I had a chat with a friend yesterday afternoon. During the course of our discussions, she asked if it was true that one needed a BlackBerry in order to use the PlayBook tablet. She narrated how almost everyone that she had spoken with about the PlayBook responded that a BlackBerry smartphone is absolutely required to use the PlayBook.
It is simply amazing the level of ignorance and misinformation that is peddled by people. I keep telling people to be careful who they listen to. Many times, people who talk are just full of bird poo. It is not true that the PlayBook requires a BlackBerry smartphone for use. Actually, in terms of connectivity with other mobiles, the PlayBook is the most open tablet that I know of.
Internet via Wi-fi
The PlayBook has wi-fi functionality, meaning that you can use it at hotspots – even mobile hotspots that you create on your mobile. It is a bit choosy in what kind of hotspot it connects to for initial setup, but once setup, it is more accommodating.
Internet via Bluetooth
You can share any regular data plan on any smartphone with your PlayBook via Bluetooth. Did you get that? If your smartphone does not have a wi-fi hotspot (or the wi-fi hotspot empties your battery too fast), you can use Bluetooth instead to share your mobile internet with the PlayBook. This works for smartphones by other manufacturers too.
This feature is not common on other tablets.
Blackberry Bridge lets you connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can use your Blackberry Internet Subscription (BIS) and access your BlackBerry smartphone’s files and services on your PlayBook. See my review of BlackBerry Bridge.
The PlayBook does NOT require a BlackBerry smartphone to be used. You can use it as a standalone tablet, or with any other phone. Of course, you can also use it with a BlackBerry smartphone to take advantage of Bridge features.
Minus quantity of apps (an area which the iPad and Android tablets have greater advantage), the PlayBook is the most versatile tablet in the market and beats the competition on most other fronts.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.