The PlayBook: everything you'd expect from BlackBerry. Except email.
Goodness. The latest tablet sensation isn't even available yet and it's failed already. BlackBerry supremos Research in Motion (RIM) have been banging the drum about their PlayBook tablet for months, promising they'd blow away the competition - namely Apple's iPad. The wait is almost over, however - the PlayBook launches on the other side the Atlantic on Tuesday, and the first reviews have hit websites and newspapers across the country.
They're not great. Why? Because RIM - who made their name by delivering secure email solutions - forgot to add what can only be considered a must-have feature, a feature so blindingly obvious you can scarcely believe it isn't included on the PlayBook.
Email. A BlackBerry product that can't do email.
The only way to access secure email on the 7 inch tablet, is to connect a BlackBerry handset to it, otherwise you'll have to wait up to 60 days while RIM get around to building the application to do it. The decision to leave email off their tablet was intentional - RIM didn't consider it important for a tablet device.
BlackBerry supporters are keen to point out that it's not a simple task - ensuring similar security protocols to BlackBerry handsets will take time, they say. If so, why not delay the launch for another month or two? The PlayBook has been marketed as been both a business tool and a gaming platform - email is a must for the former and will surely be expected by the latter.
Some reviews report hardware niggles, some say it feels like a rush-job, although plenty praise individual PlayBook features. It doesn't matter now - RIM have a two month battle to beat back the negative media they themselves have created, and convince customers it'll be worth the wait.