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12/17/2010
10:55 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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RIM CEO: PlayBook 'Way Ahead' Of iPad

Research In Motion's co-CEO Jim Balsillie defended the company's PlayBook tablet, and says it outperforms Apple's iPad.

After a reporter called the RIM PlayBook a "me-too" device during RIM's quarterly earnings call, co-CEO Jim Balsillie shared his thoughts on the PlayBook versus the competition. In short, he thinks the PlayBook is better than the iPad, and is especially better for businesses.

"I think there's going to be a strong appetite for web fidelity and tool familiarity," he said, implying that the PlayBook's use of Adobe's AIR and Flash set it apart. "And I think there's going to be a rapid desire for high performance. I think we're way ahead on that. And I think CIO friendliness, we're way ahead on that."

RIM recently published a video that compared web site rendering speeds on the PlayBook and the iPad. In the video, the PlayBook handily beats the iPad in a number of tests across different web sites. Flash content, in particular, was well rendered by the PlayBook and not rendered at all on the iPad.

"I think the PlayBook clearly sets the bar way higher on performance," Balsillie continued. "I think the enterprise stuff, we're seriously extending. I think the BlackBerry is still number one in social collaboration. And I think with the PlayBook and that environment we're going to set the new standard on performance and tools, very powerful tools. And we're growing very very fast."

The PlayBook features a seven-inch display and it measures 9.7mm thick. Its browser incorporates WebKit, HTML5, and 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. Powering the PlayBook is a dual-core 1GHz processor with symmetrical multiprocessing with 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.

Speaking earlier this month, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said, "This is a complete mobile computing platform. We're all using Flash on our PCs. We're all using Flash on our Macs. Why wouldn't we expect Flash to run our tablet….There's all this content out there. Why would you limit yourself?"

Lazaridis claims that PlayBook OS will allow RIM to "jump into the next decade of mobile computing."

RIM is making some big claims here. It had better deliver come launch time.

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