Will RIM's new BlackBerry PlayBook be able to take on the Apple iPad?

RIM revealed the BlackBerry PlayBook today and looks to be challenging Apple head on in the tablet space. 2011 looks to be an exciting time for mobile device fans looking for something between a smartphone and a laptop.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I have to honestly say I didn't really give much valid consideration of actually seeing RIM come out with a BlackBerry tablet device after trying out and hating their touch screen Storm and Torch products, but as Sam already posted the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is official and will be coming early next year.

Specifications for the BlackBerry PlayBook include the following:

  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with multi-tasking support
  • 7" LCD, 1024x600 resolution display
  • Video conferencing support with 3 megapixel high def front facing camera
  • 5 megapixel rear facing camera
  • micro HDMI port and DLNA streaming support
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • microUSB port
  • Web browser supporting Adobe Flash 10.1
  • Dimensions of 5.1 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches and 0.9 lbs

I understand the experience with a BlackBerry PlayBook is enhanced when you pair it with a BlackBerry smartphone, but unlike the failed Palm Foleo the PlayBook also stands on its own as a tablet device. I also like that there are no service plans since it is intended to be paired with your existing BlackBerry and its data plan.

One of the first questions people will ask probably concerns applications and from the sounds of it the new BlackBerry Tablet OS is designed to run apps built in Adobe Air and BlackBerry WebWorks. WebWorks is a new app platform which will allow apps to run on the PlayBook and BB 6 smartphones.

There is no pricing information yet available, but I have to admit it looks pretty sleek. Apple has the applications for the iPad and the user interface, but RIM looks to win in supporting their smartphone platform and in the web browsing experience.

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