NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Many of the reviews of Research In Motion's ( RIMM) PlayBook were more or less negative in tone, and I argue that many of the judgments made were unfair and contradictory. Let me first describe the background of the PlayBook's architecture and main features. About one year ago, RIM was in discussions with its main corporate customers as to their desired feature sets for a potential RIM tablet. These CIOs and IT administrators had two main requests:
1. Unlike products such as Apple's ( AAPL) iPad, they wanted a secure connection to the existing BlackBerry that all of their employees carry. They argued that the employees were more likely to lose or misplace the tablet rather than the smartphone. In other cases, a child could nab the tablet and run away with it, start reading/sending email, and generally cause trouble. Therefore, they basically demanded the BlackBerry Bridge architecture for the PlayBook. 2. Unlike an iPad, which requires you to pay for a cellular data plan one way or another if you want cellular coverage, these CIOs and IT administrators demanded free access to the secure corporate apps, such as email, calendar and address book. With the initial version of the PlayBook, RIM has delivered on both of these requirements. The reviewers who now complain about the PlayBook not yet being optimized for other usage scenarios -- i.e., their own -- are doing the equivalent of writing a car review complaining that a Ferrari isn't optimized for seating six people with tons of luggage and a camper-trailer behind it. >> RIM PlayBook Flunks Reviews These complaints are doubly troubling because in many cases the same reviewers had previously argued several things: 1. They wanted someone to combine the data plans for the smartphone and the tablet so that you don't have to pay for two separate $30 or whatever plans. Wish granted. 2. They wanted a tablet that could run Adobe Flash so as to surf the Web just like your regular PC (Windows 7, Mac OS or Chrome OS). Wish granted. 3. They wanted a tablet that provided an alternative to Apple's 10-inch 4:3 aspect ratio display. Wish granted, in the form of a 16:9 aspect ratio seven-incher.