InfoWorld reviews RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: A useless, unfathomable train wreck

“It’s been half a year since Research in Motion unveiled its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet based on the QNX operating system. This week, RIM began shipping the 7-inch tablet,” Galen Gruman reports for InfoWorld. “After spending a couple days with the final product, it’s clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished.”

“I knew the prerelease reviews were negative, and I had my own concerns after seeing a PlayBook demo in January,” Gruman reports. “But even those didn’t prepare me for the profound disappointment that is the PlayBook. Why did RIM bother shipping it?”

Gruman reports, “In the six months since RIM announced the PlayBook, observers like me have raised concerns and questions. RIM executives basically said their customers like the direction RIM had for the PlayBook and naysayers would see the truth when the product launched. If RIM’s customers really liked what they saw, then they deserve what they got.”

“But I doubt that RIM actually listened to customers or outsiders — the train wreck is just too complete for there to have been anything other than heads deeply buried in sand. Still, it’s one thing to see an impending train wreck and fret,” Gruman reports. “It’s another to view the aftermath — it’s a lot worse than I could have imagined, and it feels awful to look at it.”

Gruman reports, “Why RIM chose to ship the PlayBook in such a state is unfathomable. The iPad 2 and Xoom have been out for weeks, so there’s no heading them off at the pass. Instead, the PlayBook debuted with all eyes on it — but instead of a world-class performer, we got the homeless guy who plays air guitar in front of the mall.”

Read more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another lovely review for Dead Company Walking.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “elarson99” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
RIM launches PlayBook to no lines – April 19, 2011
RIM’s half-CEOs whine: It’s not ‘fair’ that our ‘superior’ tablet is getting bad reviews – April 15, 2011
Pogue reviews RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook: Half-baked, buggy, and missing important features – April 14, 2011
RIM’s half-CEO Lazaridis walks out of BBC interview – April 13, 2011
Research in Motion’s half-CEO admits to being clueless – April 11, 2011
Gassée: ‘The inmates have taken over the asylum’ at BlackBerry-maker RIM – March 28, 2011
RIM shares drop as marketing chief leaves company on eve of supposed PlayBook launch – March 4, 2011
Analyst: RIM’s expensive, flawed PlayBook tablet will be poorly received – February 1, 2011
RIM’s half-CEO: We think customers getting tired of being told what to think by Apple – October 18, 2010
Steve Jobs: I don’t see RIM catching us; Android is a fragmented mess; 7-inch tablets will be DOA – October 18, 2010


  1. “Instead, the PlayBook debuted with all eyes on it — but instead of a world-class performer, we got the homeless guy who plays air guitar in front of the mall.” WOW – That is quite a put down to homeless people – being equated to a RIM Playbook.

  2. More ringing endorsements for Adobe Flash, too:

    Flash objects are often slow to load, and some would not function. That’s an issue Flash also has on Android, as my colleague Neil McAllister discovered in his extensive Flash tests. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Flash and mobile don’t mix.

    And people still wonder why there’s no Flash on iOS.

  3. Well, now when the RIM Co-CEOs resign and an ex-MS manager takes over as the new CEO and brings Windows Mobile OS to RIM, the train wreck will indeed be truly foreordained.

  4. Mathew Miller & Joel Evans of ZDNET Mobile Gadgeteer “The BlackBerry PlayBook is now available for purchase and after several hours I think I might just have found my favorite 7 inch tablet.”

    Wow. This guy loves it. lol

  5. I bit the bullet and went to see the debacle first-hand on launch day. I went to a Staples in Midtown Manhattan, which one of their busiest locations in NYC.

    No one was handling the demo unit and no one was waiting on me for a turn handling it. Next to the device was a laminated sign stating that new customers were required to download a new verion of the OS “which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete on a high-speed network”.

    Spending about 20 minutes with it, the UI was almost completely lost on me. Trying to get to any kind of “home” screen was beyond frustrating, so matter which direction I swiped.

    Based on the reviews, my limited time with the device and the total lack of interest that surrounded its debut (by customers), I think RIM has pulled one of the most disasterous consumer electronics product launches I’ve seen in the last 5 years.

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