Bluetooth Keyboard for the BlackBerry PlayBook Review

11 Comments

I was recently sent a Bluetooth Keyboard for the PlayBook by The Next Success and TotallyTablet. A Bluetooth keyboard is coming officially from RIM, and it’s great to see Next Success bring one to market this fast. I’ve used the keyboard for over a week and this review breaks down whether it’s a good investment.

Bluetooth Keyboard for PlayBook

The Bluetooth keyboard for the PlayBook by Next Success comes as a case with a built-in keyboard. The keyboard is charged via Micro USB and pairs to the PlayBook like any other Bluetooth accessory would.

Some of the great things about the Next Success keyboard is that the keys are made from rubber so that when your PlayBook screen rubs against them, your screen won’t get scratched. The case that surrounds the PlayBook also feels like it’s fairly good quality and the stand that props the PlayBook upright is at a nice angle.

The typing experience on the keyboard is pretty solid and the letters register on the screen quickly. There isn’t as much feedback from the keys as you would want though. It feels as though the keys are hollow rubber, and because of this the typing experience takes some getting used to. Compared to the virtual keyboard on the PlayBook, if you have any significant amount of typing to do you’ll love this keyboard. Writing emails, documents and completing forms with the Bluetooth keyboard was significantly faster.

The major criticism I have of the Bluetooth Keyboard is that the case that the PlayBook sits in didn’t take into account the gestures that are used by the PlayBook. The leather cover hides the bezel which is integral to the PlayBook experience. If you’re browsing multiple apps, you will want to swipe from the far right to the center, or from the bottom to the center. This is difficult with the PlayBook case and hurts the user experience a bit.

It should be interesting to see how this Bluetooth Keyboard compares to RIM’s official one that launches in “early 2012″. If you’re someone who is on the road a lot and you’re looking to make your PlayBook a laptop replacement, this is a great solution.

To learn more about the PlayBook Bluetooth keyboard and to purchase, head over to NextSuccess.com. The Bluetooth Keyboard is being sold for $89.95.

  • Anonymous

    Kinda cool but to be honest, I doubt I would use it much. If I need to work, I use my laptop. Playbook is more for apps, surfing and reading (consuming content).

    If you travel though, could be good if youy don’t want to carry a laptop.

  • http://BaconOnTheGo.com Jeff Bacon

    … so, it turns the PlayBook into a less-convenient NetBook? It’d be better served as a docking station.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    I don’t know if it’s less or more convenient. Never used a NetBook. It’s good if you’re connected over Bridge and want to send lots of emails. 

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    I find laptops still pretty bulky. I’m going to try it out at my next conference and see how it goes.

  • http://blogs.blackberry.com Alex Kinsella

    Hi @dindak and @Kyle,

    Alex from RIM here. You both make a great point—the portability of the PlayBook is one of its key advantages. If you want the production of a laptop but in a more portable design, the BlackBerry PlayBook fits the bill. Add in the Bluetooth keyboard, and working from the road is even easier.

    In fact, a colleague of mine took part in a challenge last summer where he left his laptop behind for months in favor of a BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook. You can read about his experiences on our Inside BlackBerry Blog: http://bbry.lv/o3bkiD.

    Cheers,
    Alex, RIM Social Media Team

  • Ric


    Some of the great things about the Next Success keyboard is that the keys are made from rubber so that when your PlayBook screen rubs against them, your screen won’t get scratched.”

    Huh… did you expect any other material to actually scratch Gorilla Glass???

  • Ticktock

    Oh my goodness. This looked amazing until you mentioned the part about the covering of the bezels. What a tremendous oversight. Epic fail in my opinion. Completely useless product, and clearly the engineers have never used the playbook before.

  • Smellier

    I have this product.  Bluetooth connectivity is VERY unstable.  good for 2 minutes of typing at a time between disconnects.  Don’t buy this product.

  • Whoissarthak

    Can the Bridge with a BB Phone and the keyboard work at the sametime? Asssuming both use bluetooth to connect?

  • http://www.nokias60v5.com/ Vada Lytle

    The case that surrounds the PlayBook also feels like it’s fairly good
    quality and the stand that props the PlayBook upright is at a nice
    angle.

  • http://www.hyundaiofgreer.com/ hyundai of greenville

    The Bluetooth keyboard for the PlayBook
    by Next Success comes as a case with a built-in keyboard. The keyboard
    is charged via Micro USB and pairs to the PlayBook like any other Bluetooth accessory would.