Galen Gruman at InfoWorld has reviewed the BlackBerry PlayBook, Research in Motion's new 7" tablet. In what might be the most negative product review I've ever read, Gruman doesn't pull any punches in his assessment of the device.
After spending a couple of days with the final product, it's clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished. Not only can it not compete with the Apple iPad, it can't compete with the second-best tablet, Motorola Xoom, nor even the marginal Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab that use the smartphone version of Android OS rather than the Honeycomb tablet version. In fact, if my choice were between a PlayBook and a Windows 7 tablet -- my benchmark for unusability -- I think I'd rather go sans tablet.
But wait... like Android OS, the PlayBook supports Flash, so it has to be better than an iPad, right? Um, no!
On the bright side, the PlayBook supports Flash, with no need to download a player as on Android. But 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.
Hmm, I seem to recall someone else saying that Flash and mobile don't mix. Who was that? Oh yeah, it was Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his April 10, 2010 open letter titled Thoughts on Flash.