Although RIM has delivered excellent hardware and a well-designed user interface, the software experience still falls short of expectations. The tablet offers little functionality out of the box and suffers from an abysmally poor third-party application ecosystem. The PlayBook’s lack of standalone messaging software further erodes its potential value to a mainstream audience and will pose a serious barrier to adoption.
Despite the major weaknesses out of the starting gate, the underlying platform has compelling technical assets that could make future iterations of the PlayBook appealing to consumers. More significantly, the excellent work that RIM has done to polish the PlayBook home screen and built-in software sheds some light on how the company could modernize its aging phone operating system and boost its competitiveness relative to Android and iOS.
This review is well worth the time it takes to read all 11 pages. What impresses me the most is just how attractive and WebOS-like the tablet’s UI is.