BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Review: Three reasons it’s the best tablet bang for your buck


  • Natasha


    • Juan de la Vega

      Today the only reason for buying a RIM product is BBM.

      Does the playbook have BBM?

    • Ex-RIM Employee

      I see RIM employees are still being paid and told to post on any internet forums that discuss their products.

      It was a good idea, but its become too obvious now.

    • hoo dat

      Juan, actually it does. Just finished BBM-ing my father in the UK on my PlayBook. He could have been using his as far as I know.

      You guys just jump from one lame objection to the next and personally I find it amusing.

    • 99bucksPB

      The playbook has the privilege of being the Only product in history that was released incomplete at $500; one year later retails for $150 and gets the status of “finished product” even if it doesn’t do BBM or BES.
      The product costed Half a BILLION dollars to RIM just in Q4; There are still a lot to be sold, and you can find them in stock everywhere, is not like its the Best bang for the buck, that value is when it drops down to $99, everybody who hasn’t bought on is just waiting for that. Wait for March 30 Q4 earnings report and get your PB for $99!
      Its not great but an OK value for a device with a 1yr old battery and incomplete software. I’m getting one.

    • JJ

      The PlayBook is exactly what it says it is “A Play Book”

      toouch screen is tricky, some websites dont work

      over priced they should drop the price then it would be ok and value for money

    • Zagabog

      One-year-old battery? The manufacturing date on my PB was January 12, 2012.

  • steiner

    As a dedicated playbook user, I’m frustrated that the new native apps, calendar and messages, can’t be used properly in portrait mode. Such a small and simple failure, but it really does make a difference.

  • Ray

    This article reaks of RIM fanboyism, it’s not even funny. I’m getting sick of reading your crap, get your head out of your a*s and stop defending RIM so f*****g much.

    • Sterling

      Well Ray, if you want a site that is Pro Apple and PRO iphone, go check out another website, like BGR who hates on RIM every possible moment they can, and praise Apple and Iphone even when they make huge mistakes. Which they have….

    • Sterling

      Plus, this is a Canadian Website, and RIM is the pride of Canada and OS2 for the Playbook is fantastic.

    • jellmoo

      What fanboyism? It is “the best bang for your buck”. At the price point it is a terrific tablet. Is it feature complete to an iPad? No. Does it have the app catalog that an iPad has? No. Does it have a great user experience at a great price? Absolutely.

      It is far from a perfect device, but it is easily the best tablet you can buy for $200. There is zero fanboyism at play here.

    • bob

      there is a lot of fanboism in un-backed claims such as

      “The updated Playbook browser is one of the fastest and most standards-compliant out there”

  • mark

    I could never get a Blackberry, I’m creative. I will take my ipad so I can sit in starbucks and everyone will say ‘look, that guy has an ipad’

    • Sterling

      Creative? You mean a hipster? Someone that will line up outside for many many hours looking like a r****d to get the “latest, greatest” SAME OS, SAME LOOK, 1 or 2 new features Iphone?

      I look like at iphone users going wow, you are just an apple sheeple, like the Samsung ads recently, get a clue, iphones are NOT the cool thing anymore. Android and Blackberry (yes Blackberry) will come back after the sheeple realize wow, I’m retarded for wanting the same recycled crap that needs a rubber just so I can make a phone call….

    • wtv

      Dude you’re a barista.

    • manuj

      You want people to look at you and not what you do? Is that creative?, well don’t even move to PlayBook then. Obviously you seem to be a coffee and a media blog addict, time to get real in life, I am a creative too and I love the PlayBook but don’t showoff.

    • Greg

      I could be wrong, but it looks like Mark’s sarcasm is on the dry side.

    • Courtney

      It’s too bad most people didn’t understand your sarcasm. Lol (o; People need to slow down and take a deep breath.

    • fmar26

      Mark, do you use the tablet to show off or for the purpose that you need one. Personaly I don’t need 2000 apps or games ( I never play) I work

    • Ivan

      You choose your tablet like you choose your coffee shops. I like italian coffee and Blackberry Playbook.

  • Paul

    With so many in the media still critical of RIM, it’s nice to read something positive. If I want to read everything wrong, I’ll read the Toronto Star.

    The Playbook is priced right and the features make it a tablet that can be used everyday.

    • jason

      Had an Android tablet and returned it. It just felt piecemeal on honeycomb. Have my PlayBook and what it does it does very well. Very good for the price.

      I think the padfone will be my next step because while the playbook does everything I want from a tablet…well sometimes I need a tablet, sometimes a phone, and sometimes a laptop

  • kevin

    Love my Playbook. For $199 its a STEAL. Yes iPad is good (I have one) but for gaming and portability – Playbook is better.

    • nade

      For gaming, the PB is better than the iPad? Really?

  • kng

    how about the transformer, the OG transformer
    i think with ics it’s better than the playbook but not pricewise
    lol im a transformer owner

  • Yash

    really wish it had skype though. im planning on giving the playbook to my sister and get me an ipad3…i really need Skype application.

    • Sterling

      You will regret giving it away…. Skype is coming, but not an actual skype app, its going to be integrated into the PB Video chat, but its about 3-6 months away still….

      And NO ONE NEEDS skype, it’s a want, plus you can go to and go on skype if you REALLY need to

  • Luc

    RIM could release a solid gold model for a dollar that did your laundry and wiped your A$$ and some people would still complain..

    I’ve loved my playbook since day one.. I’m not sorry I paid full price for it, and it just keeps getting better and better!

  • Tom

    I have a Playbook and I’m really pleased with the OS2 upgrade, but I still have a quibble: they sold their customers to Microsoft.

    I don’t mean to be naive – I understand that they need to make money – but it would be great if these companies could let their customers choose which solutions to use. But RIM took money from MS to bake Bing Search, Bing Maps, and ActiveSync right into their new OS, and this is a hassle for users who would prefer to use Google solutions.

    I don’t mean to suggest that only RIM does this – Apple has done exactly the same thing with Twitter in their coming OS upgrade, and MS did the same thing with MSIE in Windows until the justice department forced them to level the playing field for browsers on Windows.

  • Kid.Canada

    @Ray – Unfortunately ignorance out weighs rightful thinkers these days in the tech world. And fanboyism?? The guy is is being completely neutral in this article and is saying the actual truth about thr tablet not the cr*p u read on most tech blogs nowadays at actually reek of fanboyism. I know you expecting another garbage article that would hate on RIM no matter what the article is about but I’m sorry, you’ve come to the wrong place for that..

  • SgtEddieWinslow

    I owned a playbook for a while, and just couldn’t comprehend the price to what it did.

    Now at 199 and with this update i 100% agree that it is the best bang for your buck.

    when using it, it was the perfect size for me, watching videos browsing the web and everything was great. but just not at 300 bucks.

  • Owl

    Touch Pad for the win! Got mine for $100. Its getting a little better month by month. Still rather have a playbook or android tablet.

  • AUV

    Best bang for the buck is HP touchpad (150 on craigslist) + CM9 ICS 4.0.3
    Playbook can’t even begin to match this.

    • Geoff

      So the best bang for the buck is to buy used? Wow! There’s a shocker.

  • Woofmeow

    I love the new keyboard on os2.0. I always loved my playbook. Perfect size and great sound and display. True multitasking and capability to you play flash. I am not into zillions of apps so ipads would be useless to me..not to mention overpriced. Hopefully RIM moves forward in the right direction. Man I can type faster on my playbook now!

  • whocares

    RIM sucks!

  • koko

    Battery life on the PB is still sh*t… my HP TP lasts almost 2 weeks on a full charge in sleep mode… PB no more than 4 days..

  • cheenachatze

    I have a few remarks:
    – I agree that the browser is very good. Websites that rely on Flash run very well. However, bookmarks management is non existent. It feels like the people at RIM don’t think I will have more than 10 bookmarks on my browser.
    – The lack of 3rd party apps is a huge problem and a deal breaker for most.
    – RIM should have released BBM for Playbook that would work without a BB phone. That would have been a big draw, and it’s a feature that RIM can provide without reliance on 3rd party developers.
    – Why was the Playbook released in the first place without an email client?

    I think that all these points show that RIM is still lacking a vision and is slow to respond to the market. As a Canadian, I can only hope that the new management will make a difference.

  • steve

    I THINK THAT IS HILARIOUS!!! “Your Playbook is now useful….. Not that it wasn’t before” HAHAHA I Almost cracked up in my office!!!!! Had to step out for a sec. I feel a slight bias towards rim products coming from a canadian blogging site, but hey i’m all for competition and I don’t own any tablet products anyway!!!!

  • Syn

    At $200, the Playbook may be a good deal. But it still can’t compete with the refined user experience of other platforms.

    I have a Playbook, and would disagree with a few of the points above. First, the browser to me is still terrible. Regardless of standards compliance, I find the performance is still poor on larger webpages, particularly while scrolling (it’s rare not to see the checkered background). I also still find the browser crashes more than it should (but it is far, far better than in OS1).

    The biggest disappointments to me are the bridge apps. While the remote control introduced does have it’s uses, the apps all remain as user-unfriendly as before. Setting aside the omission of native BBM (which is a big omission), can someone explain to me why the Bridge Message and Calendar apps use the old OS1 versions, rather than the new, and much improved native Messages / Calendar experiences? For the life of me, I can’t figure this one out …

    As much as OS2 is an improvement, there are still glaring omissions that RIM needs to work quickly to address.

  • wtv

    Honeycomb wasn’t a refined experience. It’s sluggish, buggy and the gestures kick the s**t of any other UX.

  • A.Sellapandian

    The Playbook 2.0 update was really cool, but with a dedicated twitter client, instant messenger and video chat integrated with gtalk,yahoo will be really great.

  • Chas

    Yesterday I went to BestBuy to try out the new OS2 on the Playbook. I was blown away. The first thing I did was download the new bridge software so that I could use my Blackberry as a remote. Typing – especially using my auto type short cuts – was a breeze. I then tried it on the web. Its incredibly easy to scoot around the web sites with the remote. Very easy to place the cursor and type. In my view – far better than fingers that’s for sure. Since there was no wifi I had to use by Blackberry 9700 for internet access. A little slow but serviceable. I know that wifi will be a lot faster. I also used “docs to go” to type a nice memo with indented paragraphs, bold, underline, paragraph numbers etc etc. Saved the doc to my Blackberry and to the Playbook. Also typed up an email using my Blackberry email. Didn’t do one on the Playbook because I didn’t want to set up email accounts. Back to the web – you can press a button to see news articles in a perfect column format – and flip the PB to landscape so its like an e-reader. Super easy to read. Haven’t tried games – because I will use this machine more for work and less for play. One thing I will use is the ability to hook the PB up to the TV and then use the remote to surf the web and download movies and TV shows – i.e. PBS and cooking shows. LOL. I was so impressed I bought one of these puppies 32G. For $250 – this is an unbelievable deal. Playbook is awesome.

    • Richard

      Chas, How about some more details about how you use it with your TV? I’m a new Playbook user but love it.

    • abc123


      You buy a micro-hdmi to hdmi cable. PLug the micro end into the playbook, the hdmi end into your TV. Then go into settings under HDMI and turn it on.

      Your TV then becomes a mirror of the playbook screen. Use a blackberry device or a rooted Android phone with BluePutDroid installed, and you can remotely control the playbook from the comfort of your couch. Even better, buy a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

      Of course, your TV needs to have an HDMI port. If not, there are cheap HDMI to component video switchers at monoprice.

  • Taede

    the good news people are talking about blackberry again. The device is solid hardware will continue at the top because it is just better. A year since it’s release and most devices don’t come close. We all know they need to and are partnering to add more apps we don’t really need. But to make it more attractive more apps are needed. Oh did you see the new leak BBsmartphone awesome

  • Poulet

    The problem with this is that $200 is currently not a “normal” price for a tablet. Let’s be honest, RIM is losing money with every single sell they make.

    Yes, people are buying it in mass at the moment but will those same people buy the next generation at the non-discounted price (i.e. 2x the price)?

    • Guy

      Many probably would if they can shape it up a bit more, fix the lack of apps, all that stuff. RIM is losing share price, but they still have fairly big coffers. If a money loss is what it takes for them to sell a ton and increase market share, then it’s the right way to go.

  • jeremy

    The kindle fire is the same device (minus camera) in a smaller package for the same price. Though they make more on book sales it’s still a fair price given that it’s year-old tech at this point.

    • hoo dat


    • Bry

      Have to agree with you on the Kindle Fire. With the right “Android” apps it is far better then the POS2BOOK. I paid over $500 for my POS and waited almost six months for a fix. I installed the beta version of OS2 after being told it would run Android apps. Well what I wasn’t told it that the apk’s have to be converted and most didn’t convert very well. WHY?! Why as in do I have to convert a file for something that claims that it will run Android. Emulation? None here! I will stick to my Android devices.

      PSST … RIM: Instead of discounts, why not a refund to all of us that paid full price for your product only to find it not what you “Played” it up to be and kept us all awaiting a new OS as you dropped the price hundreds of dollars as we all set here awaiting the new improvements?!

  • Stever

    I’m surprised that one of the three reasons is the browser… I’ve found the browser (even more since 2.0) to be slow, choppy and unresponsive. it DOES load everything properly without a hitch, just at a glacial pace.

  • hah

    LOL @ Sterling trying to tell others what they WANT/NEED. Get outta here.

  • Kennedyk24

    I haven’t used the browser on the playbook but it’s not crazy to say it has the best browsing. Go back and read reviews for the playbook when it was overpriced (original release). Everyone was saying then that it had the best browsing experience, better than ipad, gtab,etc… so why would it get worse with the release of an improved and refined OS??
    grow up.

  • Steelepunk

    Great device to watch Netflix on.

  • jazzi

    If it were 9 or even 8 inches, I wouldn`t have returned mine. But at 7 inches, no matter how good it is, its too small to be a useful tablet for my eyes at least. no memory slot sucks though, i am not looking at any device any more that don`t have memory slot. 32gb is a min

    But great build quality. good browsing

    I’ll wait for the 10 inch playbook

    Did they find a way to increase write speed to memory via USB/wifi. Painfully slow before

  • Senseless

    I think the steal of the decade is still the HP touchpad, now running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

  • roman129

    At $200 it is pretty much an impulse buy, or a decent gift for someone.
    I was considering one, but decided against it because my phone screen is nearly as big, and has more pixels.

  • msruknar

    i have a ipad and recently bought a playbook because of price. apple in the 80’s had limited software and sold computers to universities at a discount and developed a loyal(fanatical) following. apple due to smart management and appealing products has become sucessful and maintains a loyal and ego centric followers. rim produced a half baked playbook meant for business crowd.
    my kids use apple for playing and i find playbook very useful for work. i stopped taking laptop to work. Playbook’s multi tasking is useful at work (running excel and showing video at the same time).
    I wonder how many apple fans have tried a playbook before condemining playbook . be fair (the canadian way).
    As a satisfied owner of both ipad and playbook, playbook is great value for the money and is more than enough for most people except it does not have apple’s appeal.

  • JJ


  • abc123

    I like the playbook form factor and the newly installed OS2. The browser is great…

    but until they get SKYPE, NETFLIX, and PPTP VPN capabilities, I’m afraid it will keep many potential buyers away.

  • Stuart

    Too bad there is no decent ebook reading app for the Blackberry OS. It has a good form factor for reading ebooks, but the ebook software that is available, sucks.

  • Cell Hell

    The Blackberry tablet is looking good. Telus ripped me off and sold me a tablet at their $150 special, even charged my credit card and then didn’t HAVE a tablet for me.

    Yes I got my money back, but if you take it in the ifrst place and say I’ll have one then you’re immoral liars. Telus sucks butt.

  • apphole

    I have an ipad and the play book. I use the playbook because browsing is better. The lock out of the ads when browsing and it only shows the content I want to read. The games they gave with the upgrade cost a lot on an ipad. The mail client I find I use all the time now. I figured out how to hook up the form factor into my car with my rogers 4g stick. Fits perfectly. Heh it had a hdmi connection in the first go round. My Ipad heats up which is a function of cheap components. Playbook stays cool. My android crap heats up and dies and shuts itself off. Trust me this article is just scratching the surface. I am also ISF certified and guess which display is exponentially better with contrast, chromacity, and I didnt have the stuck on pixels which I had on 4 Ipads before I settled with an ipad with 5 stuck on red and 3 stuck on blue pixels. Cmon haters. Apple proprietary garbage .. heh nothing proprietary on this baby. I use my ipad now in the shitter.

  • V900

    Well, if you want a cheap piece of **ap tablet, guess the BB is fine… Still doesn’t change that if you want a quality tablet, get an iPad or Samasung Galaxy Tab…

  • John

    I cant believe its 200 bucks. I have an iPad and its just sitting there, never getting used anymore.

    Oh but it has dozens of apps on it…..a good portion of which… are on my new PlayBook.

    It also beats out all other mobile devices in Ringmark too! That is Facebook’s new mobile browsing benchmark which they acquired.

    Guess it cant be denied 🙂

  • jeremy

    Hoo Day: why the laughter? Check it out. I own both. Look at the specs. Same hardware. Wish RIM was a leader but it’s not.

    Sad that ignorance gets so many thumbs up here.

  • Richard

    Thanks Chas. This is certainly a superb tablet. I’ve followed them all for some time and I think this is now the best tablet on the market. Beautiful screen, smooth working and lots of apps coming with the Android opening. And anyone who knows OS’s knows that Qnx has been the best operating system in the world for many years. I’ve used several generations of Qnx on PCs for a number of years and if stability and capability were the measurement of OS’s and not marketing muscle, Qnx would be the most widely used OS and not Windows. That’s part of what convinced me to get a Playbook.

  • msruknar

    regarding book reader for playbook built in kobo reader is ok.but reads only kobo stuff. book reader(.99c)from bb and another one on the net ebook reader ($1.99) are supposed to be good. I have book reader from bb and it is good.reads epub and kindle

    • Courtney

      Kobo does NOT read Kindle! They’re liars…don’t believe their advertisement claim of reading Kindle. Kindle hasn’t released anything to Playbooks yet so you cant read a thing from kindle. The only thing they did do is give me my money back because they knew they lied! Doesn’t work!

  • Skids789

    Waited quite a while before deciding that my first tablet would be the Playbook. Price obviously had a lot to do with it, but the OS upgrade weighed heavily in the decision as well. I always wanted the 7 inch size and had been looking at the Samsung, but the Playbook was far and away the better piece of hardware. Now with the OS upgrade, it’s exactly what I needed. Everything works for what I need and that’s why I purchased it. I knew what I wanted to do. I’m not worried about what people think when they see it. Don’t need an “i” anything for posing. Extremely happy with the choice I made. The thing is on 24 hours a day and has only been rebooted when the upgrade was installed. No hang ups. No locked programs. Solid tool that just works for me.

  • Simon Orford

    Just reading through the comments i notice that anything negative that had been writtten about the playbook has been hidden. That seems very unfair and pro playbook dont you think?

  • Bry

    Simon …..

    Reading through I noticed the same thing. So I am assuming all of us “True Android Users” will all be hidden together … LOL

  • Ashraf

    I wonder what’s happened to the Canadians I personally love to own a Canadian product rather than praising the stupid apple

  • Mike

    Just bought a brand new playbook off craigslist for $150.00. It was a freakin deal, love this thing. Just waiting for more apps, other than that this thing is butter.

  • PapaDJ

    I agree totally with the article. There isn’t anything on the market that comes close to the Playbooks abilty at that price. Anyone who does their homework will find out the same thing. I’m really hoping that RIM has learned their lesson on this one and gets things moving in the right direction. They still have a huge place in the corporate world because of the security of their devices, and with companies buying Playbooks in bulk now, it might just give them the leverage they need to stick it out a little longer. P.S.: The person that said the Playbook = Kindle Fire should be throughly pimp slapped with a downward swipe.

    • robinottawa

      Makes sense, but unfortunately, these companies are in it for the money and not for our pleasure. They will break the company if they can cash in and they think it’s too risky to stay invested in the long term. 🙁


    I hav a classmate at my university who uses the Playbook so much every day it is insane. It is like the best companion for school. It is so fluid and seamless and the remote option on the BBM makes it seem amazing. Hes always typing notes using his BB and it automatically transfers onto the playbook like a keyboard. I am quite envious of that, even though I’ve never and probably won’t buy a tablet.

  • Jack

    Bought the playbook with 2.0 at best buy and here are my impressions. Love the OS. Swiping is brilliant. Keyboard is very good, size is great, battery is decent, camera is very good (both front and rear), love the browser, love the size, great price, and build quality is solid.

    The negatives are, almost zero apps. Im no app w***e, but trying to get even the basics is a struggle (no skype and no video calling outside of Blackberry to blackberry for example). The OS is half baked in a lot of little niggly ways as well. In the picture gallery app for example theres no way to simpy share the photo. You have to go to your sharing application (mail, sms, etc) and attach the picture. No deal breaker, but annoying. And there are a fair few examples of this throughout the OS. Email app and most others will simply stop working and be stuck in a loop for no obvious reason and at no specific time. A reboot is the only fix.

    I really loved the OS and wanted to keep the playbook, but I just couldnt after the negatives listed above. These things may be fixed in future firmware updates, but for now its a no go for me.

  • Jake


  • ripper

    I have a ipad216Gig and a PB16Gig and I got to say that I like the PB way more for price and what it can do I even got family members and friends that bought a PB after I should them mine and they love it also. For the price and what it can do
    And it can do as much as the iPad, yeah maybe there are not a TON of games in the app store be deal all app stores have a ton of app’s that all do the same thing, how many weather apps do you really need?
    anyways if you want to pay 500 for a tablet buy a laptop instead cause your just wasting your $
    If you want to be smart about saving $ but the PB it can do just as much as any tablet on the market .
    Don’t get me wrong I loved my ipad2 but now it’s just collecting dust ever since i got a PB 4 months ago
    PS my ipad2 is for sale

  • Tim

    RIM has offically discontinued the 16GB version of the playbook. It’s not a popular product and RIM is going down the tubes hard.

  • Junior Luc Zagbo

    I love this Blackberry phone so much! But maybe if it has more useful apps and sfuff!

  • pedro

    playBook all the way. Apple products are nothing but advance toys. I have since ditched my ipad 2 for its inability to multitask. Why should a video wait for me while I’m updating my Facebook profile ? It out to play on till I come back. This is what my playbook does, flash in the playbook realy makes it an ipad killer

  • daniel

    Playbook all the way. It is Canadian and once you get it going and match it up with your blackberry, it is fine.

  • Gordon

    I’m feeling a little cheated. I just picked up a PB 64GB version at a great price and so far the experience has not been very positive. I was hoping to use it as a satnav but the GPS is so poor. It took an hour sat in the garden before it was able to pick up a location. Scrolling in the browser is stuttering and apps crash in ways that require the thing to be rebooted. Compared to comments on here mine appears faulty, but I have been assured by people on other forums that this is the experience I should expect

  • loco73

    I just bought a Blackberry Playbook 64GB for $199, which is quite the deal for a tablet, especially for one with soo much memory and all the features I see listed here by other users. But now I am starting to regret the decision of having bought it. Its still in its box, haven’t taken it out yet, and with all the negative reviews, some of which are valid, if one looks past the ones that go like “RIM sucks”, I want to give it back. I bought it from The Source (former Radioshack)), they have all these deals that are available on line, and for a minute there I thought that this would be a good investment but now I don’t know anymore…I am suspicious that with these REALLY low prices the Playbook as a product is on its way out and nothing more than dead technology, especially now with the advent of BB10… If RIM dissapears I’ll be left with an overpriced e-reader…with no tech support, no software upgrades etc. I think that RIM announced that the Playbook would upgrade to BB10, but will that make any difference? Any thoughts?

  • Wow j

    Why now my blackberry playbook not connected to chat when I open my fb account?? Wats d problem?!

  • Wow j

    Why now my playbook not connected to chat when I open fb?

  • Mike.James

    I love my BLACKBERRY PLaybook…….”blackberries are much sweeter than apples”.

  • Ron Shid

    $128 this week @ Walmart. Bought one for my 6 year old granddaughter to keep her from hogging the desktop, laptop and my cellphone (Nokia N8) to play her girl games and watch her Justin the Beaver videos.

  • David Cochrane

    Just bought the 32G Playbook at Walmart for $128.00. GOOD BANG FOR THE BUCK!

  • joyce

    I am not good at downloading things. I can’t figure out how to get my recorded videos onto my computer from the playbook . help please