Pogue Pans the PlayBook

Pogue Pans the PlayBook

Oh dear. RIM’s iPad competitor, the PlayBook, gets a solid panning from the New York Times’ David Pogue.

The main problem is the lack of apps. Not even native apps. It doesn’t even have built-in email! The hardware is pretty limited too — no 3G or GPS.

The PlayBook, then, is convenient, fast and coherently designed. But in its current half-baked form, it seems almost silly to try to assess it, let alone buy it.

Remember, the primary competition is an iPad — the same price, but much thinner, much bigger screen and a library of 300,000 apps. In that light, does it make sense to buy a fledgling tablet with no built-in e-mail or calendar, no cellular connection, no videochat, no Skype, no Notes app, no GPS app, no videochat, no Pandora radio and no Angry Birds?

On the bright side, it does have a couple of spectacular features: its secure, can be synced wirelessly, and can power an external screen independently (the iPad only does mirroring). RIM promises updates to the hardware and software throughout the year, but by then, Apple will be finishing the iPad 3. It looks like a bomb.

New York Times: A BlackBerry Tablet, but Where Are the Apps?

UPDATE: WSJ’s Walt Mossberg slams it too: “I recommend waiting on the PlayBook until more independently usable versions with the promised additions are available.”

  • Robert Pruitt

    This review is going to have the Rim CEO crying again. I hope the NYT mailed him some tissues.

  • Robert Pruitt

    This review is going to have the Rim CEO crying again. I hope the NYT mailed him some tissues.

  • Logan

    So what does it have beside the OS?

  • devunish

    I think he may turn to violence at this point. 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. He’s got a ways to go yet.

  • Younggun

    As expected, after months of delay with one bogus claim after another as excuses, the two co-tards finally dropped a half-baked pos, just like the Torch before it.

  • Tash Wahid

    And is it just me or is the co-CEO losing it. I mean I seen him up on stage he isnt a marketing person. He is very defensive. He cannot answer questions correctly. He is like a politician except he is trying to sell a product. Supposedly, he is a engineering mastermind. So keep him where he excels. Him not able to coherently answer questions makes me question RIM’s direction and whether they have a plan to compete. Put Jim to do the marketing.

  • fortninety

    There’s no built in email client? WHAT?!?!

  • madhatter61

    iPad3 is not a 2011 product … why do you continue to hype the rumor. The changes will be software. The hardware is more than adequate. You won’t see Retina in iPad either. When Apple is building iPad2 at the rate of 4 million per month … and the demand is so high the distribution points can’t keep them in stock … why would Apple need iPad3? Business wise, it isn’t necessary. Now if you talked about the available of the Thunderbolt 30 pin adapter, then you would have something to crow about. Hi speed wireless sync to Apple TV would make sense.

  • RetroMacCast

    I agree that all this talk about the iPad 3 coming out this year is ridiculous. The iPad 3 speculation is all based on one guy’s opinion that Apple wants to get the iPad release cycle in line the iPod and the holiday buying season. I can agree that would be a good thing, but it is pure speculation to say they would shorten development time to do that. At the rate the iPad 2 is selling, they’ll will still be hot items in seven months, and the lack of competition isn’t forcing Apple to hurry up.

  • Respighifan

    Hardly a bomb – the product gets a lot right and some wrong, just like the first iPhone. there will be solid sales of the Playbook and the future of QNX-powered devices is bright.

  • Jaaack333

    The playbook does actually have a functioning GPS Get your facts right!!!

  • Jaaack333

    The playbook does actually have a functioning GPS Get your facts right!!!

  • epramono

    Releasing a new device/platform this Easter season without including Angry Birds is such a big loss.
    What are the Playbookers going to do when everyone around them are playing the upcoming Angry Birds Seasons Easter Update on their iPads?
    BTW, there’s been a video uploaded on YouTube showing the gameplay of the upcoming Easter update. I think you should check ‘em out: http://bit.ly/fJHpnV
    It’s awesome!
    And, I do believe that this Easter season is going to be owned by Rovio and Apple, not BlackBerry.

  • Download

    Interesting and informative post

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    The difference being that when the iPhone launched, there was nothing quite like it. The Playbook launches with the iPad 2 already in the market and with all those missing features already in place.  

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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