RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: Unfinished, unusable

It's been half a year since Research in Motion (RIM) unveiled its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet based on the QNX operating system. This week, RIM began shipping the 7-inch tablet. After spending a couple days with the final product, it's clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished.

Not only can it not compete with an Apple iPad, it can't compete with the second-best tablet, Motorola Xoom, nor even with marginal Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab that use the smartphone version of the Android OS rather than the Honeycomb tablet version. In fact, if my choice were between a PlayBook and a Windows 7 tablet -- my benchmark for unusability -- I think I'd rather go sans tablet.

[ Also on InfoWorld: "Tablet deathmatch: Apple iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom." | Compare and calculate your own scores for the iPad 2, Xoom, Tab, and PlayBook with our tablet calculator. | Compare the security and management capabilities of iOS, Windows Phone 7, Android, and BlackBerry in InfoWorld's Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF report. ]

I knew the prerelease reviews were negative, and I had my own concerns after seeing a PlayBook demo in January. But even those didn't prepare me for the profound disappointment that is the PlayBook. Why did RIM bother shipping it?

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