Today in Tech: RIM PlayBook reviews, Twitter's troubles

April 14, 2011: 5:05 AM ET

A curated selection of the day's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to you everyday.

Research in Motion's PlayBook tablet gets reviewed.

  • Early reviews of Research in Motion's 7-inch PlayBook tablet are in, and while both publications found features to like -- a fast, intuitive operating system and user interface courtesy of QNX, understated and solid hardware -- Engadget found the PlayBook's inability to run basic email, contacts and calendar-related tasks unless it's tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone a major sore spot. "We have hardware that looks and feels great but isn't being fully served by the software," reviewer Tim Stevens writes. "And, ultimately, we have a tablet that's trying really hard to please the enterprise set but, in doing so, seems to be alienating casual users who might just want a really great seven-inch tablet." Walt Mossberg over at All Things D felt similarly: "Unless you are constantly glued to a BlackBerry phone, or do all your email, contacts and calendar tasks via a browser, I recommend waiting on the PlayBook until more independently usable versions with the promised additions are available." (Engadget and All Things D)
  • Colleague and senior writer Jessi Hempel's excellent feature on Twitter exposes the board room drama, growing pains, and tricky power dynamics that went on (and continue to go on) behind the scenes at the social network that popularized 140-character messages. Take 20 minutes to read it, because it's the best story you'll read all day.  (Fortune)
  • UberMedia, a developer of Twitter-related apps like UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd, is reportedly planning a bonafide Twitter competitor of its own that will address what some users might view as issues with Twitter proper, including that 140 character message cap and (initially) confusing interface. (CNN)
  • Bloomberg reports that the elusive white iPhone 4 running on both AT&T and Verizon's networks will finally go on sale within the next few weeks, 10 months after the launch of its black-hued counterpart. (Bloomberg)
  • Is it any coincidence that the PC market shrank 3.2% year over year in first quarter 2011 while the iPad product line exploded? Probably not.
  • Facebook poached Google's head of creative marketing, Ji Lee, away to become the social champ's first creative director. Li was the man behind Google's "Parisian Love" Super Bowl ad; he's also done editorial cartoons for The New York Times. (Silicon Alley Insider)

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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