Get to Know the Inside of Your BlackBerry PlayBook - dummies

Get to Know the Inside of Your BlackBerry PlayBook

By Corey Sandler

An area that few BlackBerry PlayBook users will ever see is the inside. Here the clever engineers and designers have managed to squeeze all of the electronic parts that make this plastic case into a computer tablet.

BlackBerry PlayBook Processor

The brain of the BlackBerry PlayBook is a specialized version of a computer microprocessor. It is made to be speedy yet cool (so you don’t need a fan) and be powerful enough to run all sorts of amazing apps yet use wee bits of battery. It is assisted by a graphics processor and a few other special-purpose controllers.

BlackBerry PlayBook Memory

The BlackBerry PlayBook has 1GB of memory dedicated to the processor and operating system. This fair amount of thinking room is twice as much as that bestowed on most of its competitors. Of that 1GB of memory, the PlayBook’s operating system generally grabs about half to spread out its collection of 0s and 1s that instruct the device on how to respond to your touch and interact with other devices.

Early in the life of the BlackBerry PlayBook, there was about 449.3MB of free or unused memory with all applications closed. Turning on the WiFi transceiver reduced free memory by just a tad, to 448.5. Later versions of the operating system may move those numbers up or down a bit.

BlackBerry PlayBook Storage

This block of memory holds any files you create or download, as well as any apps you add. The initial models come with built-in memory of 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes (GB), and they don’t let you add more storage by plugging in an extra block of memory.

  • Even 16GB is a lot of space, but more is almost always better than less. If you can afford the extra few hundred dollars, buy a unit with 32 or 64GB of storage.

  • On the other hand, if you end up with a 16GB base model, you should conduct regular housekeeping sessions to remove unnecessary files; store them elsewhere — on your BlackBerry smartphone or on a computer — and leave your PlayBook with as much available space as you can.

One other important point: this storage is a form of non-volatile memory; that means once data is recorded to it, that information stays in place even when the power is turned off.

BlackBerry PlayBook Radios

Your little tablet is a power broadcasting station, capable of using two or three different modes of wireless communication.

  • The basic PlayBook model includes WiFi and Bluetooth transmitters and receivers. Use these to link to a wireless network or directly to another device.

  • Cellular models add a cellular radio capable of communicating with one of the various data systems spread around the world. Various cellular providers offer adaptations of the BlackBerry PlayBook that work with their particular frequencies and transmission methods.

BlackBerry PlayBook Battery

The engine for the entire enterprise — a high-tech Lithium-ion device that provides enough electrical power for the processor, screen, memory, storage, and radios for hours and hours — is rechargeable.