We mentioned last week that Globe will be officially carrying the Playbook locally. Well tonight they’ve officially launched it at an event held in the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati. RIM’s 7-inch entry into the tablet market will be available in 16GB and 32GB varieties. It’ll be powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, have 1GB of RAM and will support 1080p video recording.
We’ve seen and used the Blackberry OS in some form or another in the past, and to be honest we have mixed feelings about it. It does the job well most of the time, but there’s still some things that we haven’t gotten used to, like swiping upward to get out of apps for example.
Visually, the OS looks good, and from what we could gather from the installed apps on the device, it’s able to handle some fairly heavy number crunching. Visually, it seems like it’s able to keep up with Android Honeycomb tablets with Tegra 2 procies – the game Need for Speed Undercover that was on the demo device looked on par visually with the Android variant, Need for Speed Shift, that we tested on Android tablets.
The biggest complaint that we had against Honeycomb tablets were the lack of apps, and that goes double for the Playbook. We don’t have the exact numbers on how many apps are currently available for the Playbook, but it’s probably safe to say that that number isn’t as numerous as the ones for Android or iOS. This could improve in time, but it’s definitely something to think about.
One of the features that RIM has been touting that directly benefits owners of Blackberry devices is the Blackberry Bridge feature. It basically syncs the Playbook with a RIM device of your choice, pushing emails, contacts, calendars and other things directly to the Playbook.
Right now only the WiFi version will be doing the rounds – there’s still no word on the availability of the 3G variant. If you read our first announcement about the availability of the device, you probably noticed that there isn’t a listing available for just the Playbook. A Globe exec told me that there’s a possibility for the Playbook to be available without the additional Blackberry device. It will also be available for sale without a plan, but there’s still no word on when that’ll happen.