Remember the Simpson’s episode with the monkey’s paw? Every time the wizened old shopkeeper tells Homer something good that it does, he immediately counters with something bad. Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook 3G+, which was recently leaked: it’s the tablet equivalent of that paw.
Let’s start with the good. the PlayBook 3G+ has a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor that’s clocked 50% higher than the original 4430. That’s great. It also features HSPA+ and NFC support — both nice things to add. Base storage is 32GB as opposed to 16GB on the Wi-Fi only PlayBook–another plus.
Now let’s move on to the unchanged, of which there’s plenty. the capacitive display is still a 7-inch 1024×600 pixel unit. There’s still 1GB of RAM inside. the rear-facing 5MP and front-facing 3MP cameras remain intact, as do 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR. the PlayBook 3G+ also weighs in at 425 grams just like its predecssor, and it’s still 10mm thick.
And now for the bad: despite tacking on an NFC sensor, HSPA+ support, and a 50% faster chip, the PlayBook 3G+ only ships with a 4800mAh battery. That’s down more than 10% from the 5300mAh unit in the original. hopefully, that means that the 4460 is a much more efficient SOC or that RIM has some seriously sweet power saving code getting ready to drop in PlayBook OS 2 when it arrives next month. I’m not so optimistic. If there’s one complaint I have about my heavily discounted PlayBook, it’s the middling battery life.
If you’re a RIM fan and you were hoping they’d knock the ball out of the park with the next PlayBook, it looks like you’ll have to content yourself with an incremental bump and mobile connectivity. That said, no one knows exactly what PlayBook OS 2 is going to look like or how it’s going to perform yet, so maybe RIM’s waiting to deliver the secret sauce that will make the PlayBook 3G+ shine.
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