The demand for high performance computing in laptops has never been greater.
BlackBerry Pearl 8100
- Sleek and slim design, Multimedia features, Trackball navigation, Same email capabilities as previous BlackBerry's, Wider appeal
- SureType can take some time to grasp, Keys quite small
Finally, a BlackBerry that appeals to the regular consumer. The Pearl is an excellent device that sacrifices none of RIM's famous email functionality while still managing to provide a compact and light form factor and multimedia capabilities.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The BlackBerry has long been synonymous with business. Compared with today's multimedia-savvy phones, Research In Motion's addictive devices have had something of a staid image; but this has changed with the impressive BlackBerry Pearl 8100, the first BlackBerry to have a built-in camera, and both audio and video players.
Die-hard BlackBerry fans will be glad to hear that the addition of all these consumer-friendly features hasn't lessened the device's messaging prowess. The Pearl supports the RIM push e-mail technology that has made the BlackBerry so popular, and adding a POP3 e-mail account is a snap. You simply enter your e-mail address and password, and within minutes your messages will be delivered to the device. It also supports AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo instant messaging networks.
The candy bar-style Pearl has an attractive shiny black-and-silver finish. The handset is noticeably light and petite, weighing just 89g. However, its compact size comes with a trade-off; the Pearl's keys are quite small, so those with large fingers will experience problems typing.
Like BlackBerry 7100 series models, the Pearl features a SureType keyboard, a modified QWERTY keyboard that saves space by combining two letters on most keys. Once you start to type, the SureType system suggests words based on the letters that you've entered. When SureType guesses correctly the system is a wonderful time-saver, although this doesn't always happen, meaning it can become a time-consuming chore. The best feature of SureType is the fact that the Pearl will automatically scan all incoming emails, messages and phone book entries and add words not already in the SureType word list.
For navigation, an incandescent pearl-white trackball sits on the face of the phone, immediately below the display. This trackball replaces the standard BlackBerry jog wheel. The effect is aesthetically pleasing, but we're not sure how the trackball will hold up after a few months of use. It doesn't feel strong or sturdy.
In our tests call quality was mixed: On some calls voices sounded loud and clear, but on others we noticed a slight echo. The device's talk-time battery life is excellent lasting 8 hours and 34 minutes in our tests.
Among the Pearl's biggest attractions are its multimedia capabilities. The included 1.3-megapixel camera is easy to use, though it lacks a dedicated shutter control (instead, you press the trackball to capture shots, and roll the trackball to zoom in or out). The built-in flash is handy for low-light shooting. Picture quality was about average: bright colours looked washed out, and snapshots sometimes lacked crispness. The Pearl doesn't capture video, but it does play video clips, which look fantastic, if small, on its 240 x 260 pixel TFT display.
The Pearl is the first BlackBerry to be equipped with a music player. You can transfer AAC, MP3, and WAV files to the device via the included Desktop Manager software. You can also store music files on a microSD card (not included), but the card slot is inconveniently situated beneath the phone's battery.
Overall, none of the new features on the Pearl qualifies as truly innovative, but when you combine its well-executed features with RIM's messaging capabilities and the device's sleek look, the BlackBerry Pearl is clearly a winner.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 3 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
- 4 Huawei Watch GT review: Battery life isn't everything
- 5 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's Galaxy Fold appears more fragile than expected
- Apple and Qualcomm surprisingly settle their legal differences, and it’s pretty clear who won
- Google Pixel 3a announcement gets a date
- Oppo cut corners with the ultra-cheap AX5s
- Xiaomi is finally coming to Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?