BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

Summary: RIM has announced that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be released in US and Canada on April 19th.

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RIM has announced that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be released in US and Canada on April 19th.

Like the iPad, the PlayBook comes in three flavors at three different price points:

  • 16GB - $499
  • 32GB - $599
  • 64GB - $699

There are also four network options:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n + WiMax
  • BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n + LTE
  • BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n + HSPA

We also get a spec:

  • 7" LCD touch screen 1024x600 WSVGA capacitive display
  • Size: and 5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4"/130mm x 194 mm x 10mm
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs/425g
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • Symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1GB RAM
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS
  • Full Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled and built-in support for HTML 5
  • Support for MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback and high resolution video playback (H.264, MPEG4, WMV)
  • 1080p HDMI output
  • Dual 1080p HD cameras for video conferencing and video capture (3MP front and 5MP rear)
  • GPS/accelerometer/gyroscope/digital compass
  • Stereo speakers and microphones
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support

Some mysteries do still remain. First, and most importantly is battery life. I can only imagine that RIM has overlooked listing the battery runtime because it's not very good. Next is app support. What's the current state of the app ecosystem for the tablet?

On paper, the PlayBook seems to hold its own against the iPad quite well. The smaller screen will be a pro for some people and a con for others, depending on your needs. But the unknowns of app support and battery life means that I'd need to know more about the PlayBook before considering a purchase.

Pre-orders begin today.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry, Tablets

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9 comments
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  • battery life

    I've been holding off on getting a tablet because of this playbook. Honestly, I dont think RIM can compete with Apple or the enterprise because
    1. they waited too long in announcing a release date
    2. 1st gen iPad is $399(and still has more apps than the playbook)
    3. we don't know about the battery life like the writer said.
    mainframe85
  • Make us laugh more

    I don't care about any of the tablets until they include WACOM digitizers for notetaking in meetings... kind of an important feature.

    But to say RIM can't compete because of Apps is laughable. The App Store is a mess; we don't need 1000 apps to calculate a restaurant tip, or a 100 clones of angry birds.

    Things that matter in an enterprise are:

    1) Browser
    2) VPN connectivity (aka Cisco group authentication)
    3) Office app read + edit (aka MS Office compatibility)
    4) A selection of utilities (twitter, facebook, GPS/mapping)
    5) And an open API for writing your own apps.
    croberts
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

      @croberts Well...at least for iPad (I don't own Android, so I don't know. Somoene else care to comment on Android?)

      Things that matter in an enterprise are:

      1) Browser
      Safari works. Flash is useless in the enterprise.
      2) VPN connectivity (aka Cisco group authentication)
      Available in iPad without issue (well, I'm VPN'ing in to my office with Cisco equipment)
      3) Office app read + edit (aka MS Office compatibility)
      iWork suite. $30
      4) A selection of utilities (twitter, facebook, GPS/mapping)
      Free in the App Store
      5) And an open API for writing your own apps.
      This I give you, although Apple has opened things up somewhat for developing in-house apps. Still, you need a OSX device & a dev account which does cost annually.

      The PB looks like a nice device...but if battery life & applications aren't up to snuff, its yet another DOA pile of garbage.

      And even at $499 entry...the screen size is still inferior to the iPad, which does matter to many people.
      samalie
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

    Man, can't the Appleheads in the tech press ever say anything good about RIM? What am I saying? Of course not. Uncle Steve would be angry. We can't displease Uncle Steve.
    homersmith10
  • It'd be really nice if it weren't for the 7" screen. [nt]

    [nt]
    olePigeon
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

    If anything, you should assume the battery life is great.

    I am an Android person, but the battery life isn't great on it. I have a Blackberry Storm 2 through my work, and it sucks. But the one thing it does well is have great, unbeatable battery life. Never seen a smartphone last longer on one charge.
    Droid101
  • I thought somebody finally got it .... then .....

    .... then you realize that RIM is trying to sell a much smaller device with barely any functionality (ie: no apps) for the same price of the top selling brand.

    Unless RIM pull something amazing out of their lazy rear-ends this will be another DOA tablet.
    wackoae
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

    FINALLY, another 7 inch tablet competitor. If Samsung terminates the 7 inch Tab, I'll at least give this a serious look.
    Playdrv4me
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

    I can't see my posts
    teefash