RIM Demos PlayBook Tablet

Research In Motion used the AdobeMAX conference to highlight the capabilities of its forthcoming PlayBook tablet. The big question on everyone's mind: Is this thing for real?
RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch shared the stage on Monday at AdobeMAX and talked about Adobe's AIR platform and the BlackBerry PlayBook. The PlayBook, which is rooted in QNX, has a user interface that is derived entirely from AIR.

During the on-stage demo, Lazaridis shows off the multitasking powers of the PlayBook, as well as select applications, such as the media player and video player. Based on the video from the event, RIM imagine's multitasking similar to the way Palm does, and assigns "cards" to each running application. Users can then swipe through the cards to access different applications, leaving the others running in the background.

Lazaridis also showed off the PlayBook's browser, which of course has Adobe's Flash Player Mobile 10.1 baked in. He navigated to the full HTML version of YouTube and was able to play back a promotional video with no problems, and without loading a separate media player to handle the Flash content.

It looks pretty slick, in all. The user interface was fluid and smooth, and takes obvious cues from today's best touch-based platforms. It's one thing to make a demo look good, it's altogether different to bring a working product to market.

RIM took the opportunity at the same event to launch the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR. RIM says of the new developer tools, "This SDK enables developers to quickly and easily create AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using Adobe's powerful, familiar and industry-leading development tools. Adobe AIR developers can start building their applications today for BlackBerry PlayBook and will be able to start submitting their AIR applications for BlackBerry PlayBook to BlackBerry App World by end of this year."

The SDK is already available for download.

If the PlayBook is to have any chance of success, it will need developer support, and particular Adobe's as the UI is based on Adobe tech.

Here's the video in question so you can get a sense for how this new enterprise tablet will really run: