Meet BlackBerry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

Summary:RIM introduces its own answer to the tablet PC market, an enterprise ready device with a 7-inch screen called Blackberry Playbook

Today at the BlackBerry Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Research in Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis kicked off the event with the widely-anticipated news: a tablet PC of its own.

Called the BlackBerry Playbook. the device is a a "Flash-loving," "device-pairing," "enterprise-ready" tablet with an "uncompromised browsing experience" on a 7-inch screen. It is 9.7 millimeters thick and features a high-res wide screen display that supports 1080p with HDMI and USB ports.

In addition, the company announced the BlackBerry Tablet OS, which will power the Playbook. The OS is built on the QNX Neutrino architecture, which the company touts as one of the most "reliable, secure and robust" architectures.

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Lazaridis said it wont require new data plans, new security or anything new. It comes with out-of-the-box compatibility. He said it will become the enterprise standard.

It sounds like a powerful device and, as such, it would probably need a powerful battery, right? The company talked up a lot of the specs and the performance but not once - not in the on-stage presentation nor in the press release - was there a mention of battery life.

I also didn't hear anything about pricing. The technical details from the release:

  • 7" LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

The device is expected to be available in early 2011 in the U.S. with rollouts to international markets in the second quarter of next year.

Initially, it will be a WiFi-powered device that pairs with BlackBerry smartphones. The company said it plans to offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

Want to see it in action now? Check out the YouTube video:

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobility, Software Development

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