I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on RIM’s recently-released BlackBerry PlayBook and it’s not looking good. Most reviewers agree that the PlayBook’s UI is shiny and its ability to display pages with flash components is a plus. But that seems to be where the good things, the differentiators from the other tablets in the market, stop. Most tech pundits have come down hard on the PlayBook, saying that as a standalone device, its functionality is severely, even terminally limited by its dependence on tethering with a BlackBerry phone to access the native email, contacts and calendar apps.

RIM has stated that the problems with their software are going to be addressed in updates to be released over the summer. That leads many to believe that RIM launched the PlayBook in advance of it actually being market-ready. Now it appears the company has recalled a large number of PlayBooks due to a hardware defect.

If the gadget-loving public stays well-informed on the PlayBook’s foibles since its launch, it makes me wonder if it will suffer the same fate as many other devices that may have been successful had it not been for overwhelming negative media. Or is it just that the PlayBook really is a half-baked device released before it was consumer-ready? RIM certainly has  its hands full with the competition – namely the iPad 2, which is the #1 selling tablet in the world.