The much-anticipated new and faster Playbook from Blackberry, albeit possessing the familiar businesslike look and feel of the original Playbook, has several enhanced features that make it a truly mobile device. Looking nonchalantly at its exterior, one would easily detect the small microSIM card slot and some branding which shows its compatibility with 4G LTE high speed data networks. For those who are rather skeptical, a closer scrutiny on its improved functionality is therefore encouraged.
What has evolved from a period of one year is the addition of a data radio which gives the Playbook real mobility as it becomes WiFi independent and smartphone data plan indifferent. RIM also managed to squeeze in a newer and faster dual core processor of 1.5GHz which should come in handy as soon as BlackBerry 10 undergoes transition in 2013. Moreover, enabling the device with 4G-LTE radio without any additional bulk is truly a breath of fresh air to an engineering scheme.
The Playbook 4G LTE is undeniably faster and therefore can be on par with the Nexus 7’s quad-core feature and the iPad’s Retina Display. Playing games, real-time multitasking, launching apps, and web surfing have all been swift and easy. Users would also notice the Playbook’s least fidgety feature when it deals with Adobe Flash as compared with the constant struggling found in other tablets.
The best thing in having the 4G LTE feature right out of the box is that it gives users a handy access option and gain either similar WiFi speed or even faster. Users can then have the desired flexibility in consuming mobile data. Enterprise users can also benefit much from Playbook 4G LTE as it has a built-in security from Blackberry and runs several enterprise-concentrated apps whenever data connection is possible. Hence, this feature can make it look appealing to the law enforcement sector. Students may also find such feature enticing as long as they are not price-conscious.
Aside from its 4G LTE feature and processor upgrade, there seems to no drastic overhaul to the Playbook when it comes to functionality. For it to become more competitive against its iOS and Android rivals, RIM needs to add more features such as NFC and BBM.
Available in 32GB configuration, the Blackberry Playbook 4G LTE sells at an off-contract price of $550. It is also available in several plan options from Bell and Rogers ranging from $5 to $22 a month to a three-year locked plan of $350.
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