...tethering the PlayBook to a BlackBerry smartphone in order to get mobile connectivity or to access native BlackBerry email, calendar or BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is a major turn-off.
"We cannot work out why RIM has decided to release a device like this that needs to be paired with something else to operate whilst mobile. This puts it at an instant disadvantage to its rivals and also means they are forcing you to buy two devices if you want to operate when mobile. I cannot understand it," Ian Auger, head of IT and communications at ITN, said.
The PlayBook functions as a reader of data on the BlackBerry smartphone - none of which is stored or cached on the tablet. Consequently, users need to carry two devices instead of one.
RIM claims it's a security feature that CIOs will love, not a functionality flaw, but heads of IT are not keen on the tethering.
"We will be unlikely to buy the PlayBook until it has stand-alone capability for email, calendar and contacts. The PlayBook is limited by having to tether to a BlackBerry at this point and as such has limited appeal," Alan Balharrie, head of business information at The Scottish Parliament, said.
Graham Yellowley, technology lead equities, LCH.Clearnet, also believes the PlayBook will only take off when its functionality is the same regardless of whether it is tethered or not. "The downside at present is having to plug in a BlackBerry for full functionality. When the planned future release of the BlackBerry PlayBook arrives without the BlackBerry dependency it will gain greater traction," he said.
David Thomson, IT and communications manager at Rice & Dore Associates, also questioned whether the tablet is as fully featured as it should be. "Perhaps a future version but this release is not appealing to us in any way. I would go as far as to say that RIM should not have bothered trying to enter the tablet market with this, it simply does not stand up against Apple or Android," he said.
It's a sentiment echoed by Neil McGowan, IT director at JD Williams. "We are concerned that RIM is weakening fast and RIM will become an expensive proprietary technology. PlayBook has missing functions and RIM seem to be having trouble keeping up with the competition," he told silicon.com.
This week's CIO Jury was:
- Ian Auger, head of IT and communications, ITN
- Alan Balharrie, head of business information, The Scottish Parliament
- Alan Bawden, IT and operations director, The JM Group
- Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director, Hachette Filipacchi
- Andrew Clarke, group IT director, Arcadia
- Stephen Chilton, director of IT services, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
- Iain Hepburn, IT director, Clarke Willmott
- Neil McGowan, IT director, JD Williams
- Mike Roberts IT director, The London Clinic
- Dave Thomson, IT and communications manager, Rice & Dore Associates
- Graham Yellowley, technology lead equities, LCH.Clearnet
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Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.