RIM's new Playbook tablet is getting a caning from reviewers who think it is a bit of a rush job designed to get something in the market to counter the iPad. A lot of the brickbats are directed at the fact that the Playbook will not do anything useful, like email, unless it is hooked up to Blackberry.
Of course the most abuse comes from the New York Times which has sacrificed any shred of credibity it might have had by acting as Jobs' Mob's unpaid press office for years. New York Times' David Pogue wrote that RIM has just shipped a BlackBerry product that cannot do email. “It must be skating season in hell."
Of course he failed to mention that Apple has been shipping products that can't tell the time lately. But there does appear to be a fair bit wrong with the Playbook.
The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg said that he had the strong impression RIM is scrambling to get the product to market and the PlayBook is a a tablet with a case of codependency. Stupidly the Playbook is priced as high as the iPad and while it is a lot more secure than the Jobs' Mob product the fact it has to be plugged into another device to do something as basic as email is insane.
Blackberry argues that it needs to do it this way to protect business customers and networks. It promises that it will offer secure email and other key services will come later, not at launch.
However it also handles Flash websites very well, there is a connected TV and multi-tasking of multimedia which are two things the iPad cannot manage.