Working on the road with the Blackberry PlayBook

I’m going to start simply. The PlayBook is Awesome!

Doing what we do, we are lucky enough (depending on your interests of course) to work with all manner of technologies, hardware and software. Because of this, we were obviously interested both personally & professionally, in what local company Research in Motion had to offer with their tablet companion device, the Blackberry Playbook.

When it came time for us to make a decision about what hardware to bring with us on a cross country working holiday, we thought a great way to put it to the test would be to get one, take it with us and put it through the motions of working, blogging and social media.  Other important features of device for our trip are the entertainment features such as movies & music. I’ve got to say… I’m impressed! Since getting the PlayBook, I’ve definitely brought the Macbook laptop out of the bag less – mainly because with the PlayBook, I can operate most of my day to day work functions online.

Karl, the tablet, and the view

 

As I’ve mentioned before, because of our industry (and operating system preference) we operate a predominantly apple based operation, including an Apple iPad. The iPad (in my opinion) is a great recreational device, though because of its failings online it is difficult, if not impossible for me to carry out some important online operations. For example, reporting, from Google Analytics can’t render any graphs… which (without a dedicated app) isn’t very useful.

In our month long trip across Canada, with both devices, I can’t say that we’ve pulled the iPad out at all. A lot of the reason for this is my preference for the PlayBook OS. The QNX platform is a true, multitasking experience… and its slick. I was initially intrigued at how pairing with the Blackberry handset would work… would it be clumsy? annoying? Well it isn’t either. It uses something called a bridge, which allows you to see the email, BBM & other functions available on the handset device without duplication (and has actually led me to take my phone out less).

The form factor of the PlayBook has been a big plus. Travelling with all of our hardware has meant that space is a premium… and being able to have a tablet that is so easy to pull out, use, and put away, has meant that its been easier to incorporate basic functions such as note taking and maps… vital for scouting out new cites.

Canada is surprisingly good (considering its size and scale) when it comes to cellular coverage, 3G, (and when it comes to towns & cities) Free Public Wifi. The PlayBook stands up to ad-hoc network use really well, with authentication methods unavailable on our other devices.

The multimedia aspects of the device alone are what makes owning a PlayBook worth while.  The quality is so crisp, images are clear and the recording of such high resolution video is brilliant.

To say I’m happy with the PlayBook over and above the iPad would be an understatement. Knowing that RIM is making plans to open its doors with regards to applications truly does mean that the future of RIMs products and platforms are headed in an exciting direction.

I look forward to seeing whats next.  Support local even if you’re not local!
For more info/pictures from our trip, check out the blog posts (written on the new PlayBook) on Amy’s blog: curlyblue.com

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