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Playbook toys with Apple’s onions


When the Apple iPad came out, I think I speak for most folks when I said, “Ooo, another premature Apple release!” (with emphasis on that initial bleat). This is because Apple, in my opinion, tends to push its products on us a little too early.

Then, a few months later, it brings out the updated model, and we smugly chuckle at the techno-pioneers; people that have to deal with dead links, non-responsive touch-screens, and other general bothery.

There’s nothing worse than showing off your new device, a week after release, to some cooing crowd you’ve just attracted in an airport lounge, then have it loudly squawk suddenly in a language that would bead the brow of a medieval linguist while the screen juggles a snowstorm of abstract impressionism, and you awkwardly say, “Oh, um…”

However, the strongest criticism of the iPad was not like many associated with the iPhone. (You may have heard the complaint. “Great gadget. Live the apps. Wish I could make calls on it.”) Most of the upset was caused by the lack of a camera (inflated by the mysterious port, suggesting a devious ‘upsell’ strategy in the making) and its inability to multi-task.

Hence Blackberry’s confident stride into the same as yet tentatively-described ether; the Blackberry Playbook. Due for release in the early part of next year. The promotional stuff looks impressive. Advantages over the iPad? You can probably guess.

The Blackberry Playbook

Blackberry is talking multi-tasking, like a laptop. You can have several windows open at once.

Like a laptop?! Then, what’s the point?

Battery life. Oh right. The iPad rolls along for almost 12 hours, despite the ridiculousness of the demands you place upon it, apparently.

This says to me massive battery life is coming to laptops: not that tablets are going to overtake laptops as the de rigueur business conduit. Mind, it also says something that Blackberry has yet to announce; its particular battery contribution to the inevitable competition.

How long will the Playbook last? Blackberry has yet to say. And Apple, right now, looks worried. Just look at its counter-marketing strategy on Twitter and Facebook. Does Apple know something we don’t?

So I’ll stick with my laptop for now. I’ll wait for the battery tech to filter down to us laptop bottom-feeders, then I’ll look into writing an article on a workable keyboard over the Atlantic on an airline without a power socket.

Stefan Abrutat is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger and editor in a wide variety of fields, from sports to science, the philosophy of science, humourism, history, travel and food.