BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 review: An enterprise evaluation

By , CIO |  Consumerization of IT, BlackBerry PlayBook, tablets

Overall, I'm a big fan of the new PlayBook keyboard that ships with OS 2.0; however, when I have to unlock the PlayBook or the "work" apps, I have to enter in my password, and the new row of numbers atop the keyboard overlaps the password entry box, blocking the "Cancel" and "Unlock" buttons. This is a minor gripe, as I can click the "enter" arrow on the keyboard to confirm my password, but it still frustrates me, and I wish RIM had moved the password box up on the screen to address the issue.

My final complaint relates more to the PlayBook hardware than software, but it's a major issue that's keeping the PlayBook from competing with today's leading tablets: Despite RIM's February 2011 promise to deliver 4G versions of the PlayBook, no cellular PlayBook is available to date.

BlackBerry PlayBook Review: Conclusion

So, is PlayBook OS 2.0 too little too late?

It could be. The PlayBook is now a very solid tablet for BlackBerry owners and non-BlackBerry owners alike, but the hardware is a year old, it's still not available with cellular network support, and Apple just dropped the price of the mega-popular iPad 2, to $399, and announced the new iPad, available on March 16.

However, I'm honestly a big fan of the PlayBook. I love the size. It's durable. It has a number of great enterprise features that set it apart from other tablets. And the new software is, for the most part, quite functional and a joy to use.

Would I recommend the PlayBook to the average user looking for a solid tablet option? Probably not, unless the PlayBook was heavily discounted by 50% or more. Over the past year, I've been very hesitant to recommend the PlayBook to people who ask me for advice on tablet purchases, unless they had a BlackBerry. Now I'm hesitant because I fear it may take RIM another year to release the next major software update.

RIM will likely update the PlayBook hardware within the next six months or a year, or maybe even release a larger PlayBook tablet, and I might be more likely to recommend one of those devices because they'll presumably be much more "modern," hardware-wise. But by that point, PlayBook 2.0 might feel behind the times. Which is why it's so (so) important for RIM to keep the software, and hardware, updates coming at a swift pace--something the company hasn't done in the past.

Would I recommend the PlayBook to enterprises looking to deploy tablets? Absolutely I would. The PlayBook is a solid, sturdy tablet option for business users, and along with its new ActiveSync and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion support, it's one of the most easily managed and secure tablets on the market.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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