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RIM, maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphones, isn't sitting on the sidelines in the tablets game. Its PlayBook tablet, though a bit different from the norm, has a lot going for it. An expert at CNET admires the brand-new operating system RIM installed on the device and also raves about the fast 1 GHz processor in a BlackBerry PlayBook review. One surprising thing that critics admire about the PlayBook is its web browser. BlackBerry smartphones have had a bad reputation in the past for using clunky browsers that were light years behind the competition, but the browser RIM includes on the PlayBook is stellar by all accounts. Having said that, there were some things that experts frowned upon in reviews. The 7-inch screen, though gorgeous, is too small to do justice to the device's excellent browser, CNET laments, although a PCMag expert finds that the small screen has the effect of making the display sharper. Also, the recessed power button is hard to access and press, an annoyance noted in PCMag's BlackBerry PlayBook review.
The PlayBook runs the new BlackBerry Tablet OS. Like the iPad 2, the PlayBook is available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions. Naturally, it supports Wi-Fi connections, and it also includes mini HDMI and mini USB ports. The 7-inch capacitive screen supports multi-touch gestures, as all the better tablets do.
The PlayBook has many nice features, and its web-browsing experience is, surprisingly, about as good as you'll find. It's also a fast device. We'd like to see a 10-inch version of the PlayBook, and we're a bit concerned about the design of the power button. Also, BlackBerry's app library isn't as robust as Apple's by a long shot, although it has some decent programs and continues to grow.