Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg Says Wait for Improvements Before Buying PlayBook

RIMThe Wall Street Journal’s technology columnist Walt Mossberg was more negative than positive in his review of the newly available RIM PlayBook. In fact, he said wait for future improvements before buying.

He turned thumbs down on:

  • The lack of a built-in cellular connection
  • The lack of basic built-in apps such as e-mail, contacts, a calendar, a memo pad and the BlackBerry Messenger chat.
  • They only show up when the PlayBook is connected to a BlackBerry, but RIM said they would be added this summer
  • The requirement that automatic syncing lasts only as long as the PlayBook is connected to a BlackBerry
  • The smaller 7-inch screen
  • The lack of a video store
  • No video-chatting software
  • The app shortage and its inability to run any of the 27,000 BlackBerry apps; it’s too soon to say how the BlackBerry and Android apps will run on the PlayBook
  • No functions for sharing pictures
  • No one-touch icon for airplane mode
  • The inability to add Web bookmarks to the ones that come pre-installed
  • Battery usage of about five to six hours
  • Browser is slow to load

He turned thumbs up on:

  • The QNX OS that he called “handsome and quick“
  • The “smooth and fast“ user interface: apps that are open show as images at the top of the screen
  • Beautiful screen
  • Better cameras than the iPad’s
  • Built-in connector outputs “gorgeous“ HD video to a TV
  • Browser does the best job with Flash video and Flash sites of any that Mossberg has seen, “far better than on any Android device“
  • Its sturdiness and, although 14% thicker than the iPad 2, it’s about one-third lighter

Mossberg said the necessity of connecting to a BlackBerry for apps, and connecting to a cellular network plus the promises of future software enhancements prompts him to say wait until those arrive before purchasing a PlayBook. As is, the PlayBook is “a companion to a BlackBerry phone rather than a fully independent device.“

“I recommend waiting on the PlayBook until more independently usable versions with the promised additions are available,“ Mossberg said.

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