There's been a lot of talk about tablets recently; Barnes & Noble announced its 8GB NOOK Tablet this week (and, priced at $199, it's primed for direct competition with Amazon's Kindle Fire). Then there's the the ever-churning Apple iPad 3 rumor mill, which continues to propel us toward a tentative early March release. And just last week, RIM announced the long-awaited BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS.
Considering RIM's tenuous status in the mobile market, many people were curious to learn what the company had in store with its OS update, which includes built-in email with a unified messaging inbox, a calendar and contacts application, access to select Android apps, and BlackBerry Bridge (which lets users tether their BlackBerry smartphone to their tablet, thereby transforming it into a remote control). However, a number of different sources argue that the update is not enough to save the maligned PlayBook. In fact, CNET declared that, "at this point, even the most ardent fan has to admit that this product has been nothing but a disappointment." This statement came in an article unsurprisingly titled, "Sorry, PlayBook 2.0 still isn't worth your money."
The CNET commentary also points out that, despite the doom and gloom for the company, recent sales and promotions on the PlayBook have inspired an uptick in purchases. The 16GB model now consistently sells for around $199, and for just $100 more you can quadruple your storage to 64GB. This would likely explain why, in our poll last month, we discovered that more dealnews readers own a BlackBerry PlayBook than they do an iPad. (Either that, or BlackBerry users are more enthralled by surveys than iPad owners.) But, will the PlayBook continue to sell at high volume as tablets in general trend toward more affordable MSRPs and RIM finds more competition at that lower price point?
Because so many dealnews readers own the PlayBook, we believe our audience in particular has valuable opinions on the new additions to the OS. (Haven't updated yet? Find instructions to do so here.) Do you think the upgrades are enough to keep the device relevant in the tablet discussion? Or does the upgrade fall short? What other features were you hoping for? Tell us in the comments.
Front page photo credit: Technorati