Meet BlackBerry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

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.

Related coverage:

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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  • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

    Awesome! Looks just awesome!
  • And When The Blackberry Network Goes Down

    It makes a great flyswatter.
    • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

      @cyberslammer It's wifi powered too-
  • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

    1080p and dual core plus QNX? Me likey.

    Android who?

    First native app on this one will probably be Scrabble. Those guys never met a platform they didn't like.
    • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

      @allargon - QNX who? Honestly, have been following tech for years and never heard of this.
      • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

        @ArtInvent QNX is a realtime multitasking OS that's been around for almost 30 years. Very well known to embedded system developers, which is a field most consumers know nothing about. It's used in military gear, the Shuttle, nuclear power plants, you name it. Very robust.
      • There is life beyond PCs


        If that is all you consider "tech". QnX is a great, fast and light weight OS. Not only that, it is one of few certified OSes for safety based systems and can be used to control nuclear reactors and other critical industrial equipment. In short, the OS quality is top notch and far beyond the quality of Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and OS X.

        I have seen the OS upgraded in full from major version to major version without having to shut down operating tasks. Like adding Windows 7 to a Windows XP without having to shut down any apps. Right cool.
      • QNX Runs on Linux API's as RTOS UNIX CLONE As Well Itself!

        @ArtInvent It's another POSIX Compliant UNIX like OS but is a full Microkernel based OS and as such is most like BeOS in that it can boot almost instantaneously and you can stop or start any service individually w/o restarting the entire OS.

        Forget every other OS as far as FAST BOOT! ....the only question is in Applications, but thanks to the fact that the API's are Linux based based, that will help Developers in porting applications and the designing new ones. For certain uses this RIM Tablet will be a standout favorite. But for consumers it won't even touch the Android or iOS markets. Not just because of Applications, but PRICE!!!!!

        Dual Core Atom, 1gig of Ram alone will not come cheap and ARM will still rule over the consumer market! :D
  • Hate to say it.... Seems like they did a nice job on it (nt)

  • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

    I am typing my comments about the Playbook from my iPad and have to say for the business customer this will be one hot product.
  • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

    Play.. As in "playbook". Weird name for a business-centric promoted device!
    • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

      I think it's more a reference to the secrecy with which football teams keep their playbooks. You could be right though.
    • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM


      That was my first reaction also, play and enterprise doesn't quite go together.
    • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

      @ghutch2262 - It's a common phrase in business. Most people have read news like "So and so took a page right out of Apple's playbook when they introduced an app store", etc.<br><br>It's a very clever name, evoking competition and leadership for business users, and fun for home users.

      Beats the heck out of the reception that 'iPad' got... remember the crude jokes about it?
      • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

        @kevindarling Exactly.
      • Playbook

        @kevindarling <br><br>You got that right. RIM took a page right out of Apple's playbook. <br><br>Everybody is aping Apple. RIM, forget the consumer market. This tablet may find some acceptance in the enterprise, but have a charger handy. No way this thing can match the iPad battery life of 10 hours. And forget fun and innovating apps, only boring spreadsheets.
  • Wow.

    That bezel is HUGE! :/
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Meet Blackberry Playbook, a tablet PC from RIM

    It looks really good! I'm impressed!
  • The interface looks great!

    P. Douglas
  • Wait for More

    What I've read so far looks great, but I have to wait to see some more information on pricing, battery life, and compatibility with other eBook publishers. Until then, it's all marketing fluff. Flash support is a big plus, but not having at least a 3G model may place it a disadvantage.