RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

Summary: Yesterday at DevCon 2010, Research in Motion (RIM) unveiled a new "enterprise-ready" 7-inch touchscreen BlackBerry tablet called the PlayBook. Is this a serious business contender to Apple's iPad?

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Yesterday at DevCon 2010, Research in Motion (RIM) unveiled a new "enterprise-ready" 7-inch touchscreen BlackBerry tablet called the PlayBook. Is this a serious business contender to Apple's iPad?

The PlayBook is interesting. First, RIM have packed a lot of power into a small shell.

  • A 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen, which much smaller that the iPad's 9.7-inch screen, might be more suited to the BlackBerry-wielding suit.
  • Inside there's a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
  • There's a 3 megapixel forward-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, both of which are high-definition.
  • Pulling all this together is the BlackBerry Tablet OS, developed by QNX. The OS offers true multitasking, as well as support for H.264, MPEG4 and WMV high-definition video. There's also full web browsing thanks to a WebKit-enabled browser. There's also support for Adobe Flash 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Java, OpenGL and HTML5.
  • On the connectivity front there's 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth for those wanting to be wireless, and microUSB and microHDMI for those wired connections. The only downside is that 3G access is currently only available via a BlackBerry device.
  • There's tight integration with BlackBerry handsets.
  • Oh, and there's app ...

Without a doubt this is an enterprise-level bit of kit and while it has features that will appeal to consumers, I think that the price is likely to put it out of their reach. This is all about RIM locking up the BlackBerry users, and BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers into a BlackBerry tablet before they start thinking about migrating to different tablets (not necessarily the iPad since Apple's walled garden approach to app development won't sit well with enterprises looking to develop bespoke apps).

Availability is slated as early 2011.

How will it do? I think this is one of those wait and see situations.

So, what do you think? Is this a relevant device, or just an iPad for folks in suits? How will its relevance be affected by the release of Windows-based tablets?

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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27 comments
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  • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

    Price and battery life will be major factors in deciding this tablet's success in the market. So like you said Adrian, let's just wait and see.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • Yep

      @MG537 And "always on", "ultra-thin" and Flash all point to some serious power-management challenges. It will be interesting to see what the real-world performance will be. Of course, it will be a bit of a wait.
      matthew_maurice
      • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

        Can't open the video "Testing on Mozilla Firefox" & "Features of Coded UI Test Editor". Are they still available? <a href=http://www.coded.ie/ >website design Ireland
        richard8990
    • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

      I also noticed another positive when using it. A few people would say that they had no cash and would come back after visiting an ATM. The ATM at the festival has a $3 fee for use and that doesn't include the out of network fee that their bank may charge. I would say that I could take the card as payment without a fee. <a href=http://kimkardashiantaped.net>Kim Kardashian sex tape</a>
      richard8990
    • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

      @MG537 Yeah but they cant compete with these <A href="http://www.sim-mobile.co.uk/apple-iphone-4s-contract-deals-compared/">iphone 4s deals</a> anymore
      FrankHampton
  • I have no doubt...

    about RIM's ability to produce a solid device with great battery life.... Every one of their phones has been a solid, stable device with excellent battery life.

    In the enterprise... this is a no brainer. IT departments love blackberry already, and since this links through the blackberries that we all already have...it is a zero setup footprint for IT enterprise deployment. It is a brilliant setup using the 3G and shadowing the content over to the tablet via bluetooth. It keeps the company from an extra monthly fee and it minimizes setup. AWESOME.
    condelirios
    • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

      @condelirios this tablet is truly engineered for the enterprise. The only 2 factors are price and battery life. The ability to sync in real time with blackberry phones is awesome. I can see my dad getting one of these for use with his blackberry. Although if the price is right I might get one too. Afterall I can always tether with my evo.
      Jimster480
      • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

        So, what do you think? Is this a relevant device, or just an iPad for folks in suits? How will its relevance be affected by the release of Windows-based tablets? <a href=http://www.comparemymobile.com/ >mobile phone recycling</a>
        richard8990
    • when all you run is email.. you're going to get great battery life..

      @condelirios - the moment you start running processor intensive apps... video etc.. the battery will drain just like any other smartphone..

      given the envelope of this thing.. i've gotta believe the battery life is going to be limited when you start doing processor intensive stuff.. if the processor is like the dual core atoms i.e. doesn't really increase speed, but increases efficiency this might help.. 7 inch vs 9-10 inch screen might have also been chosen to bring battery life up a bit..
      doctorSpoc
      • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

        @doctorSpoc That's one of the problems today. Everything seems to focusing on getting smaller or a larger and larger memory but what about the length of time a battery stays charged? Maybe a <a href="http://www.vibrationplatereviews.net/crazy-fit-vibration-plate-review/"><font color="#2B2929">vibro plate</font></a> is worth consideration.
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  • huh??

    [i]Apple?s walled garden approach to app development won?t sit well with enterprises looking to develop bespoke apps)[/i]

    http://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/

    [b]iOS Developer Enterprise Program[/b]

    Gain access to resources that will help you develop proprietary,
    in-house iOS applications that you can distribute to employees or members of your company or organization.
    $299/year

    Distribute Your Apps with Ad Hoc Distribution
    Ad Hoc distribution allows you to distribute your proprietary, in-house applications to employees or members of your organization. The iOS Developer Enterprise Program is available to companies with a Dun & Bradstreet number.

    Test on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
    See how your development application will perform in a real-world environment by installing and testing it directly on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

    Receive Code-Level Technical Support
    Request support from Apple engineers for code-level issues and technical guidance to fastrack your development process.

    Get Your Questions Answered in the Apple Developer Forums
    Join the discussion in the Apple Developer Forums to post questions or offer responses to other developers and Apple engineers on iOS application design and development.
    doctorSpoc
    • I always love when they trot that old chestnut out.

      @doctorSpoc Adrian, and the rest of the Apple-Hates-The-Enterprise crowd, seem[s] to have never noticed Apple's Enterprise apps program.
      matthew_maurice
      • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

        @matthew_maurice
        Because it sucks.
        Droid101
      • Wow, impressive

        @Droid101 While you were probably going for "smart ass" your comment screams "dumb ass", so quit while you're behind.
        matthew_maurice
    • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

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  • looks to me like the consciously chose not to go head to head with apple..

    and chose to carve out a niche business market.. really looks like an executive machine.. just given the specs and resulting price (for sure well north of $1000 USD) and the way they presented it..
    doctorSpoc
  • Look to the fashion industry

    Suits used to have a fob pocket [watch pocket] for a fob watch - until wristwatches came along.
    All these mini tablets are to big [and flat] for a standard pocket. Only when business suits have a suitable pocket, AND someone makes a device that FITS in that pocket, will mini-tablets be a success.
    Mobile phones are now small enough to fit in a standard pocket. Tablets will never have that luxury.
    alan_r_cam
  • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

    There's no doubt that this is suited for business folk, but I can see it being relevant to the "youth scene" as well. My daughter is a huge blackberry fan, as are her friends, (most likely solely because of the BBM and RIM's rep, and the fact that they realize an iPhone is essentially useless if you already have an iPod touch) and she'll be asking for one of these in a few days right after she sees it, especially because of the BBM ON it and all of its power. But me first! This is exactly what I've been looking for.
    mirandab17
  • RE: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

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