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RIM introduces it's tablet.. the PlayBook


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#1 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 27 2010 - 10:13 AM

http://www.engadget..../#disqus_thread

 

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

 

 

Holy cow the stats are AWESOME.

 

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
 


End result:   Lighter then iPad.   1080P.   Dual Core.  Dual Hires cameras.  USB connectors.  Wifi a/b/g/n, will dongle with any Blackberry, Adobe integration, OpenGL and 3DNet Acceleration in hardware (Nvidia's Tegra2?)
 



 

Enterprise Email + VPN planned client support (for those who use Fortegate, Cisco, Soncwall type solutions).   Which is a big potential plus.


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#2 of 154 Dennis*G

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Posted September 27 2010 - 12:40 PM

And the miniscule worthless screen (7 inch 16*9 are they crazy?). And runs on a non rim os, so anything you have on your blackberry cannot be carried over? Good thing it can tether with the blackberry phone as it has no celluar of it's own.

Guess we wait to see what android platforms bring because unless this thing is only $200 or so and you own a blackberry, I don't see it selling great.

#3 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 27 2010 - 02:29 PM

Actually, the screen size is great -- big enough to be productive, but small enough to hold in one hand. But as a consumer level product, its success will make or break based on apps. And the BB app store is a joke.

#4 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 27 2010 - 03:12 PM

As long as it has one app, it's a potential hit:  A Sonic or Cisco VPN client.  And since they say it will, that's really all I'm after.   Give me remote desktop over a VPN client on a tablet, and it's a business level app that I have at least 20 people who will want... tomorrow.

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#5 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 27 2010 - 03:20 PM

VPN client is not a killer app for the consumer market. And this is a product squarely aimed at consumers. I'm not sure if I like the name Playbook, but it's a hell of a lot better than Blackpad.

#6 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 27 2010 - 03:27 PM

No, but it's a killer app for the clients who pay Rim for BES.    And since they've said they will do it, they placate that crowd.

 

Yes, the first dual core tablet with a phone-pad direct synch to tether is a nice bit.   Depends on the pricepoint I assume.


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#7 of 154 Dennis*G

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Posted September 27 2010 - 11:29 PM

Ah, I see the are targeting business only with this device, so in that regard ey might have something good on their hands

#8 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 28 2010 - 03:49 AM

First off, considering the name and the touted capabilities, this is definitely a consumer level device.  How is 1080p video recording and playback and HDMI out aiming to the business-centric crowd?

 

Secondly, unless this is a laptop replacement, how can you justify this on the enterprise level?  A 7" tablet isn't a business device, it's a toy.  A nice toy, but a toy nonetheless.

 



#9 of 154 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 28 2010 - 06:19 AM

 

Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
First off, considering the name and the touted capabilities, this is definitely a consumer level device.  How is 1080p video recording and playback and HDMI out aiming to the business-centric crowd?

 

Secondly, unless this is a laptop replacement, how can you justify this on the enterprise level?  A 7" tablet isn't a business device, it's a toy.  A nice toy, but a toy nonetheless.

 

 

No idea how well this will actually sell, but Hanson, I find your arguments somewhat contradictory.

 

First, you feel 7" is a nice compromise between productivity and portable fun -- and that's also apparent based on previous debates about these tablet devices.  But then, you argue that 7" "isn't a business device, it's a toy."  So which is it?  Is it not a big enough device to be both a toy and worthy of business use?  OR are you just showing your bias on this matter?


Personally, I just see this tablet being RIM's quick-to-market attempt to combat potentially losing marketshare to Android and iOS while also getting their foot in the door in case tablets do take off.  If it turns out well for them, they already have plans to produce 3G/4G versions to more fully serve the market.  But either way, if they can get it to market much faster by simply making it tether-ready (vs fully 3G/4G-ready) w/ existing BB devices, then that's a very good thing for them (and their existing BB customers as well to some extent).

 

And who says business users aren't also consumers anyway?  If anything, there's probably good likelihood that a very substantial portion of potential customers for such "toys" already use a BB device, eg. me (and my coworkers) for instance.  And IMHO, the PlayBook name actually sounds more like the name of a "toy" marketed to business folks than to your average consumer, who actually may not be the best target market for an expensive "toy" of this sort.  The average consumer -- rather than avg potential customer of such a luxury tech item -- is probably already spent on their home mortgage and car loans, various other more traditional toys and recreations, and smartphones and their requisite wireless plans, especially during this long recession of ours.  If any tablet maker wants to break through and sell their products to a high degree in this economic climate, they'd surely need to sell to the minions of "business-centric" BB users out there.  And probably few of us are serious app hounds -- maybe the reason why this tablet is so highly spec-ed for web/A/V uses is largely to target people who aren't app hounds and wouldn't mind so much that "the BB app store is a joke".

 

Most working adults just want their tech toys to work pretty much just as they expect straight out of the box rather than requiring much fiddling and downloading of (and fooling around w/) stuff from an app store -- music and ebooks (and games and videos to some extent) are one thing, but apps would be quite another.  If they bother to download stuff from an app store, it probably wouldn't be a regular thing, but just something they might try a little for the first week or two before settling down w/ what they have (and letting the novelty of an app store wear off).  Yeah, they might occasionally try something new based on very popular recommendations from family, friends and colleagues, but they don't need a very substantial app store for that -- if they can afford such things, they'd probably just as soon spend the $50 on something of substance sold by RIM, et al rather than try all sorts of $1 apps (other than games) that cobble together to do what they want in a DIY patchwork manner.

 

And like I've alluded before, honestly, what exactly does anyone really expect to do on a 7" touchscreen (w/out keyboard) anyway.  If you really need a substantial app store for your 7" device to go w/ your smartphone, IMHO, something's probably not quite right w/ that scenario (unless you just happen to fall into a certain particular niche). Posted Image  IMHO, 99.999% of folks probably only benefit all that much from having a substantial app store for one or the other, but not both.  Of course, that does beg the question of where RIM customers would fall if they have both a BB and one of their tablets. Posted Image

 

If you ask me though, I'd rather have the more substantial hardware w/ better multimedia experience, including good 1080p recording and quality standard output (like HDMI), assuming that's actually what they're offering, than an app store that offers tons of $1 games, utilities that I probably should *not* need, etc. Posted Image  Of course, this tablet may not come anywhere near fulfilling what I'd like to see from such a thing since it does run RIM software, including their lousy web browser (unless that changes very substantially), afterall.

 

And honestly, I find that most of the apps that would actually interest me all that much from the iOS app store are just a few games and a handful web-based apps that offer quality content from a substantial content/software provider, not your average free/shareware programmer -- and in most cases, if RIM can generate enough marketshare to support such apps, then the better games and content/apps will become available.

 

Only time will tell how this tablet craze will shape up I guess...

 

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#10 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 28 2010 - 06:58 AM

Mea cupla, I was using the word "productive" in different ways.

 

As a toy, it is productive in that the input isn't constrained by size.  I can get quite a lot done on my Evo, and it's considerably smaller than the Playbook.

 

However...

 

I could never use my Evo or a 7" pad as a laptop replacement for business productivity because of all the different files I need to work with.  The lack of a keyboard and mouse is a hindrance as well.  So I can be productive with a 7" pad, and productive enough for entertainment and social purposes, but I could never be as productive as I needed to be on a 7" for business.  Sorry if it sounds like I'm splitting hairs, but work and play are two different sets of expectations for me.

 

I could probably snag a Galaxy Pad through work, but I would have a really hard time justifying that.  And in terms of portability, 7" isn't something can slip into your pocket or snap into a belt clip.  So if it's too inconvenient to carry around with me at times, it's definitely not something I can swing.

 

 

Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong ../../..

Most working adults just want their tech toys to work pretty much just as they expect straight out of the box rather than requiring much fiddling and downloading of (and fooling around w/) stuff from an app store -- music and ebooks (and games and videos to some extent) are one thing, but apps would be quite another.  If they bother to download stuff from an app store, it probably wouldn't be a regular thing, but just something they might try a little for the first week or two before settling down w/ what they have (and letting the novelty of an app store wear off).  Yeah, they might occasionally try something new based on very popular recommendations from family, friends and colleagues, but they don't need a very substantial app store for that -- if they can afford such things, they'd probably just as soon spend the $50 on something of substance sold by RIM, et al rather than try all sorts of $1 apps (other than games) that cobble together to do what they want in a DIY patchwork manner.

 

Apps, much like broadband in the 90's, are one of those things that everyone can picture living without, but the reality is that they are quite addicting.  I don't know how many people told me that they didn't need broadband back in the day only to realize that they couldn't live without it once they got it.  My WinMo phone had crumbs, app-wise, and I was shocked at how much more fulfilling the user experience was to have working apps from a marketplace.  If you don't have apps, then you won't be able to compete in today's market.  And Playbook isn't even running regular BBOS.  So that's even less apps.



#11 of 154 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 28 2010 - 07:57 AM

 

Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 
Apps, much like broadband in the 90's, are one of those things that everyone can picture living without, but the reality is that they are quite addicting.  I don't know how many people told me that they didn't need broadband back in the day only to realize that they couldn't live without it once they got it.  My WinMo phone had crumbs, app-wise, and I was shocked at how much more fulfilling the user experience was to have working apps from a marketplace.  If you don't have apps, then you won't be able to compete in today's market.  And Playbook isn't even running regular BBOS.  So that's even less apps.


Nope.  Apps are not much like broadband at all.  Maybe you mean app store is much like broadband, but there's a very significant diff there.  The reason why broadband became so important is because of the ever-growing WWW (and all that it brought w/ it) *plus* there's still potential for much more in the way of content delivery, live video conferencing, etc.  But no single app store is gonna decisively provide that kind of diff like broadband vs dial-up.  Most of the more serious apps will still come from some variation on the more traditional scheme, which does not need the kind of app store you're talking about.

 

A better analogy is the app store are basically like eBay, not broadband.  And most apps are just like trinkets you find on eBay although there are occasional gems to be found there as well.  But nothing you cannot live w/out or cannot likely find elsewhere (unless you're some sort of decidedly not-average collector).  If I want to buy something, I'm still more likely to shop at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the local J&R, Best Buy, whatever clothing or home furnishing retailer, real estate agency, car dealership, et al, than eBay although I have also bought some things on eBay as well -- nothing I couldn't really get via more traditional avenues though, if I'm fine w/ paying the extra for service, reliability, etc.  And yes, spending a little time on eBay can be fun as well -- in fact, the whole experience is actually almost like a game of its own. Posted Image

 Posted Image

 

Unless these app stores (and the apps they offer) turn into the only viable means for real content/app delivery, they will never be like broadband, but will only be like eBay, which of course certainly has its place in the grand scheme of things.  Besides, who's to say that RIM's app store will forever be a "joke" anyway?  eBay didn't become eBay because it had great software and trinkets, etc. afterall.  It's all about marketshare and the perceived, potential spending power (ie. revenue/profit generation) of that marketshare -- and doing all that's needed to acquire that kind of marketshare.  Even as big as eBay is for what it is, it doesn't come remotely close to kill other more traditional avenues for shopping online though (let alone shopping offline).  Just as eBayers only constitute a small minority of all shoppers, so it will be for app store customers.

 

Another good analogy would probably be the iTunes store, and so far, I have not bought a single song (or video) from it after using some sort of iPod for over 5 years (and using the clunky iTune software for ripping and managing my music all that time).  And I'm sure you agree that the iTunes store (and its ilk) hasn't forced you to shop for your music there or to buy an iPod (or iPhone) either. Posted Image

 

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#12 of 154 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 28 2010 - 08:11 AM

BTW, who knows?  Maybe RIM will actually become the Bose of the PDA/smartphone/tablet world.  At this point, it sure seems like that. Posted Image

 

_Man_


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#13 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 28 2010 - 09:07 AM

I had an iPod Touch for almost a year, and I would go to the app store all the time.  I didn't buy anything, mind you, but I downloaded tons of demos and trial versions of games.  It never crossed my mind to ever buy media from iTunes -- we had plenty of music to load up without buying more, and watching video on that screen when I'm sitting in front of a 61" HDTV makes no sense.  But yeah, the app store is the only thing that keeps gadgets like these from getting stale.



#14 of 154 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 28 2010 - 09:48 AM

If that's how you see success w/ the app store (based on your personal experience), then that "business" model just won't fly for long.


Usually, content/software ends up commoditizing the hardware because content/software is ultimately where it's at.  But if there's no $ in the content/software, then what's the point of the hardware from the business perspective?  The iPod phenomenon had iTunes (on top of "free" ripping of everyone's existing CD collection) -- and Apple managed to control the market enough to not let the iPod turn into some sort of loss leader.  But how is the business model you're expecting to succeed actually going to succeed in the long run???


It's one thing for smartphone makers to make $ via wireless provider subsidies, but I don't see that from these tablets though.  At some point, they will cannibalize other revenue streams for the service providers (and the device makers) unless there's some big new things that help drive the tablets separately from the smartphones (and vice versa).  The kind of app store you're talking about certainly doesn't sound like *IT*.


Maybe web browsing and streaming video (both for studio produced content and live conferencing) might be it, if wireless bandwidth can actually handle the latter.  That plus maybe ebooks I guess.  But none of those has much to do w/ that kind of app store.


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#15 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 28 2010 - 10:04 AM

I'd assume RIM's business model is to make money on the HW. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the Playbook being a viable platform with a dearth of apps for the consumer. I don't think playing music and movies out of the box is enough functionality for the price. The ability to run productivity apps and games is what makes the platform enticing.

#16 of 154 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 28 2010 - 12:29 PM

There aren't much of any *real* productivity apps on any of these platforms from the various app stores near as I can tell -- all the *real* stuff are either included on the devices or (can) come from somewhere other than these app stores.


There are already too many devices vying in the gaming platform space.  Why else do you think so many games are either free or just $1 each in the Apple App Store?  But Apple's business (and brand) model is different from Google's (so far), and Apple actually makes good $$$ just the way they have it.  Likewise, RIM can also make $ the way they've been doing it as well although they do need to make improvements in order to not fall too far behind in the tech/platform curve.  Unless your tablet of choice has *THE* killer app for gaming, gaming won't matter that much in the grand scheme of things -- I have enough fun playing Solitaire or Texas Hold'em 2 or whatever few games on my BB Tour in the few spare moments I have for such things, and no, it's not because I don't like games.


People have been buying Android smartphones because they want something similar to an iPhone for something they've long been doing, ie. making phone calls, writing emails (and texting), enjoying portable music, playing a few games (w/out necessarily being real gamers), etc.  But what's really gonna drive them to get a tablet on top of (or even instead of) a smartphone?  They can already play similar kinds of games on their smartphones, and the larger 7" screen can be both a delight and a curse for most of them, and they certainly won't be using them to replace their phones (unless video phone/conferencing takes off big time).


The tablet is basically a solution that's looking for a problem -- and it's been like that forever now.  Apple at least has their brand name and the iPod/iPhone legacy, etc. to get the iPad going -- plus the iPad is actually large enough to differentiate itself more clearly from its smaller iOS brethren.  Since I (and probably most folks) wouldn't want a 7" tablet to replace my smartphone, what good is it really?  That certainly doesn't solve the convergence problem since I'd be lugging 2 devices (w/ way too much overlap to boot).


Well, actually, personally, I would indeed want such a device to replace my smartphone to the extent that I can just go back to using a cheap, "dumb" phone for phone calls (well, that and maybe play some music I guess) -- I certainly wouldn't want to pay 2x for wireless data service.  And if that's the case, then RIM has an advantage (at least so far) in that their tablet is far more likely to become an acceptable solution for business-centric users (who also happen to want a "toy") because big corporate is probably far more likely to embrace it than an Android tablet or an iPad -- plus many such users would likely have our BBs already fully subsidized by big corporate, so we certainly wouldn't be paying 2x, if we add the RIM tablet to go w/ our BB.


In truth, I suspect the reality is that there is simply enough fragmentation of the market due to different individual preferences and priorities that no one of these platforms will truly dominate until/unless one comes up w/ *THE* killer app that gives them a big leg up (and can actually stay ahead for a long while).  And as far as I can tell, that killer app won't likely come from any app store...


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#17 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 28 2010 - 01:12 PM

I think sometimes we forget and get so wrapped up in "cool" apps etc.  And those are a huge huge marketspace with tons of profit - there is no doubt about it.   RIM is simply not marketing directly to that crowd.   They are looking to provide a "similar" experience to those users who are already tied to RIM with BES/BIS, and to provide them office level integration.


In otherwords, the PlayBook will play up some of the game functions for consumers, but it's killer app are the things they showed in the video:   Exchange Calendar Synching on the go with task and full view?  Check.    No simple checklist, but an almost outlook guide?  Check.    PowerPoint on display out by HDMI?  Check.  VPN Support for those with secured networks?  Check.

And don't think some of those aren't HUGE factors.   I've got a client who has 3 of the iPads and 2 other Pads in an attempt to run their point-of-sale at demonstration shows.   While the Windows based pads work, quite frankly they suck.  And in order to make the iPads work, they have to use a gateway device that can make the VPN handshake for them.   A pad that can do the VPN handshake on it's own?   Tradeshow floor genius.  WiFi units that will instantly tether to Blackberry phones so they work on any network?   Nice for those remote who don't want to add another device to their plan?  Yep.   Which means the Playbook can connect right off the gate to Verizon/ATT/Tmobile/International.. if you have a blackberry, instant tether and support.   Nice touch.


Again, I'm mindful that some of the features are very high end for this purpose.. a dual core processor, and apparently Nvidia's Tegra2 Video, for OpenGL etc.   And those things could come into uses for different apps, as it definitely gives it more graphics firepower then anything else even sketched out.. but sometimes I laugh when people say of RIM "I hate this device it doesn't do.." 
RIM is a global shipping company in a niche that manages the largest smart phone market behind Nokia.. and trailed by a good bit by Apple/Android.  Android is a realistic potential threat to RIM and it's business oriented customer.  Apple is not.   This is not an offense to Apple, but Apple has went after a different kind of market. 

So, comparing the two directly to each other is not really the right way to look at it.


RIM will probably get some consumer adopters, but I doubt anywhere on the level of Apple.  But they will have a ton of business adopters, who see the BIS/BES integration, tether, multi-calendar and teaming, VPN supports and it makes it a no brainer.   And, if the OpenGL is 4.0 Certified (rumor) then this would be an incredible tool for fans of SolidWorks/Mastercam/etc. for a render model display device of a finished product.   I mean, incredible device for that.


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#18 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 28 2010 - 01:22 PM

Feature set breakdown on pads as known:


http://www.engadget....treak-the-tale/


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#19 of 154 Hanson

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Posted September 29 2010 - 12:40 AM

Matt, a lot the ways businesses can use this device seem to be better served by a 10" pad.  7" is great for personal use, but for presentations and displays and the like, it just seems too small.


#20 of 154 mattCR

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Posted September 29 2010 - 01:03 AM



Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

Matt, a lot the ways businesses can use this device seem to be better served by a 10" pad.  7" is great for personal use, but for presentations and displays and the like, it just seems too small.


I'm not sure that the size matters that much when you have an HDMI out.   No one is presenting on a 10" ipad either, it's also too small for a conference room.   But uh, an HDMI out goes to a projector.   That's kind of the point, and again, since apple doesn't have a VPN connection software package available, most businesses can't use it to connect to many of their resources.  In the market of business connectivity, Android and Playbook type devices are more likely to get business integration then an iPad.


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