It’s something of a serious tablet when compared to the competition running software from Apple and Google and, while it certainly has games, its biggest strengths are rather more boring. It does a really great job at displaying PowerPoint presentations, for example, and has the security chops to keep last quarter’s dismal sales figures from falling into the wrong hands. Exciting stuff? No, but useful features for sure, and regardless of whether you find those intriguing or boring this is RIM’s seven-inch, Flash-having but 3G-lacking tablet clad in an unassuming but extremely sophisticated exterior. It’s what’s running behind the glass that disappoints.
The black PlayBook, with its angular edges and dark styling, looks decidedly nondescript, more likely to open up a wormhole somewhere in orbit around Jupiter than leap into someone’s hands at retail. Only the chrome logo ’round the back adds some flare, with the word “BlackBerry” subtly embossed below the display on the front. The chassis is cool metal, ever so slightly rubberized, the edges squared off, and there is absolutely no flex or give anywhere. It feels perfectly solid and doesn’t yield to any attempted contortions, despite being just 0.4-inches thick — less than a tenth thicker than an iPad 2. At 0.9 pounds, it’s considerably lighter, but a bit heavier than the .83 pound Galaxy Tab.