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Wednesday, 29 December 2010 09:40

Battery life said to plague PlayBook

Written by David Stellmack


New OS said to be the root of the problem
Battery life has been the hallmark of RIM’s Blackberry devices, but apparently the new PlayBook tablet is having some problems in this area. Rumors of potential battery life issues were first publicly reported by Shaw Wu at Kaufman Brothers; but our sources had indicated in whispers to us previously that they had been hearing similar grumbling for some time now, but only now are able to fill in some of the blanks as to the nature of this problem.

Apparently, the issue stems from the adapted QNX OS that powers the new PlayBook tablet along with the fact that the OS was never really optimized for battery life. Apparently, to address this issue the engineers at RIM have had to adapt, refine and build new routines at low levels to allow the OS to only sip the battery power to extend battery life. Optimizing battery life isn’t an easy thing to do and takes significant time and work.

The PlayBook with poor battery life isn’t going to get it when compared to the iPad, which checks in with about 10 hours’ battery life; or the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, which is able to get about 6 hours of battery life. To be competitive, we hear rumors that the PlayBook needs close to 8 hours of battery life just to get on the playing field.

While those that have had a chance to look at the PlayBook have marveled at the potential that the device has, without the battery life to back it up, it could have the potential to delay the launch from its promised first quarter. It is possible that RIM could be looking at a second quarter launch so that it has the necessary time to sort the battery life issues out, but that has yet to be confirmed. In the meantime, we know that the engineers are working overtime to address this crucial issue, as well they better; there are a slew of Android competitors coming.
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