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9/27/2010
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Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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RIM Intros 'PlayBook' Enterprise Tablet

Research In Motion on Monday announced the PlayBook tablet device. RIM said the QNX-based tablet is fully ready for the enterprise.

RIM Playbook Enterprise Tablet
(click image for larger view)
RIM Playbook Enterprise Tablet
The PlayBook runs a new operating system from QNX Software. RIM didn't name the operating system or platform, but spent plenty of time telling the developer audience in San Francisco how robust, secure, and stable it is.

QNX, which was acquired by RIM earlier this year, develops software for a multitude of devices and machines.

The device itself features a seven-inch display and it measures just 9.7mm thick. It has a full WebKit, HTML5, full Adobe Flash 10.1 (with hardware acceleration). It will also work with Adobe AIR, to add more developer integration.

The PlayBook will have two cameras, with the ability to play 1080p video via an HDMI out port. RIM says the PlayBook can also deliver video through USB. RIM was sure to point out that the PlayBook will be a great media and gaming device.

Powering the PlayBook is a dual-core 1GHz processor with symmetrical multiprocessing. It has 16GB of RAM.

RIM says the QNX software uses Linux and POSIX, and other standard Web technologies. RIM co-CEO Lazaridis noted that the PlayBook is built on such a secure platform that it is fully ready for the enterprise and comes with all the tools that IT already has for controlling BlackBerries.

As reported earlier, the PlayBook will not have a cellular radio, but will access the Internet via a Bluetooth connection with a BlackBerry smartphone.

The PlayBook has a refreshed user interface, but still carries forward design language with which BlackBerry users will be familiar.

RIM and QNX are launching an SDK for the PlayBook immediately, so developers can get started writing applications right away. It will support all the same new tools -- BlackBerry Messenger Social, WebWorks, and RIM's advertising platform -- that its regular BlackBerries can take advantage of.

This initial version of the PlayBook will be available in early 2011. RIM also said that 3G and 4G versions of the PlayBook will be available later in 2011. It will initially launch in North America, with other world markets to follow during the second quarter.

Here are the full specs:

- 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 - Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording - 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

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.

Here's a short video demonstration what the user interface looks like.

SEE ALSO:

RIM's WebWorks Promises Web Apps For BlackBerries

RIM's BlackBerry Messenger Develops Social Powers

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