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Innovation

BlackBerry PlayBook gets a spec, price and launch date

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

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

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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.

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