Tim then brought out Jacob Schulman, an editor for Engadtet, and Ryan Biden, who is RIMM’s Playbook product manager, to discuss the newly released RIMM Blackberry Playbook tablet. We had both been unimpressed with the Playbook up until this segment. The small size, lack of email integration, uncertainty of QNX, poor sales (only 45,000 units sold in the first month compared to over 300,000 iPads sold during its first month on the market), and alleged cheap quality made us apprehensive about the likelihood of success of the Playbook. Mr. Biden did an amazing job selling his product to us during the show. He almost made us want one. The small size started to look like a plus and not a negative, the presentation mode looked extremely useful, and QNX visually appeared very similarly to Web OS from Palm/HP. They even gave away a free Playbook. Unfortunately, we didn’t win it. After seeing this segment, our views changed about the Playbook, however, that only lasted until several IT managers that we know told us that they had received some units, and were severely disappointed with them.
Next up was Engadget founder, Peter Rojas, along with Darren Murph, Jacob Schulman, and Tim Stevens. The four guys discussed the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Notion Ink Adam, the new LG G-Slate, and Blackberry Playbook. The group had some funny banter going, and provided some useful information pertaining to all of the tablets on the table. Darren Murph made a few good points which we agree with completely. Basically, he was saying that tablets are cool, but when they get to be too big and too expensive, what’s the point of them (aka why not just use your laptop)? We completely agree. Going along with that, he also mentioned that the pricing of the tablets, and the data plan requirement for some of them is ridiculous. He suggested that if you get a wireless data plan for 5gb a month, you should be able to divvy up / allot that data amongst however many devices that you want (your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc). Another great point.
The team also discussed the demise of Flip. When Cisco shut down Flip, it was a sad day, but one in which everyone knew was coming. With the advent of smartphones with 1080p HD video cameras built in, many people did not need a standalone video camera unit anymore. Murph also made another good point, in that Cisco might have been too quick to shut Flip down (or maybe they should have sold the brand). Murph also suggested that just because it wasn’t useful for most people anymore, doesn’t mean that it still does have a spot in a particular market. For example, senior citizens who don’t have smartphones would have a ton of use-cases for the Flip since it is simple, cheap, and works great.
Before we left, we saw two identical performances from Sabrepulse, with visuals from Output and Paris. It was sort of arcade like music, and was something to see.
Overall, the experience was awesome. Jay Booshay even won an iPhone speaker dock system. We’d love to have the opportunity to watch another filming of The Engadget Show. We’re excited to see who they bring on next!
As to whether or not Tim Stevens and company could fill the void left by Josh Topolsky and his team…we’re not sure yet. Tim has a very dry sense of humor, and is at times somewhat awkward, but there is no doubt that the man is a genius. We’re going to give him some time to see what he is capable of, and we’re sure (hopeful) he won’t let us down. In any event, Engadget is still the premiere site for technology news, as there are few if any competitors out there who bring the sheer volume, quality, and dedication to technology new as Engadget does.
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Posted by: The Sherwinator and Jay Booshay