RIM announces BlackBerry tablet - PlayBook

Research in Motion announced their much rumoured BlackBerry tablet device today, the PlayBook.

The device features a 1Ghz dual core processor, 1GB RAM and a 7" screen. The PlayBook will not run on RIM's BlackBerry OS but a new OS made by QNX. It's expected to feature full 1080p HD support and will include a USB and HDMI port. The PlayBook will also feature HTML5 and full Flash 10.1 support says RIM.

Pricing is unknown at the moment but it's likely that enterprise adoption will be key to the success of the PlayBook. The timing is perfect for enterprise customers who are constantly under pressure from their employees to offer support for iPhones and iPads within secure corporate computing. RIM offers a wide range of enterprise management features for their BlackBerry devices so the PlayBook is bound to appeal to CTO's worldwide.

Full specifications:

  • 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
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future

The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in (calendar) Q2.

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79 Comments

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If this ends up being anything like what it looks like in the teaser, then I personally think that RIM has the best chance of eating away at the Ipad`s market share, considering how well known the company is to the general public.

I was thinking about ordering an iPad, but I"m going to hold off. Lots of tablets coming out, and I want to compare. I hear Cisco has one coming too.

1080p with minHDMI out...now we're talking...

What's the storage by default and do we have microSD/etc. options? I assume so, since BB is all about the microSD (and apple is not, unfortunately). But does anyone have those specs?

Looks nice ... if it costs more then $499 ... it isn't going to sell
to good in the United States. Also, another negative for it ...
not out till after the holidays ... not good ... They need to release
it in Nov. or Dec. to get the holiday shoppers to purchase it.

This is the reason why I loved the iPad launch, I knew it will force the development of the slate revolution and at the end we'll end up with pretty good options to choose from....and no more crapy netbooks

Meconio said,
This is the reason why I loved the iPad launch, I knew it will force the development of the slate revolution and at the end we'll end up with pretty good options to choose from....and no more crapy netbooks

Um, the slate revolution was going on prior to the iPad launch. I'm not talking about the traditional ones either, but like the HP Slate and such that were announced long before the iPad came out.

a crossover between the palm OS and ipad a bit, i guess, awesome device for sure the bezel is too big for my personal use but I hope its fine for the rest of us. love the specs and camera, looks like a nice competitor to the ipad

It looks interesting. I really like the front and rear facing cameras. Nice MP on both. Does Flash and has an HDMI out. It has awesome features over the IPad. Don't get me wrong, the IPad has tons of free and paid IPad apps and this will have to catch up. However, I think this will rock in the corporate end.

I'd like to see how it actually runs on a device (especially with that Flash). The teaser video gives us no indication, and in fact, has elements of Safari in plenty of its screen captures (and that's not just because it uses WebKit). Obviously, a lot of that is just done in After Effects right now.

Elliott said,
I'd like to see how it actually runs on a device (especially with that Flash). The teaser video gives us no indication, and in fact, has elements of Safari in plenty of its screen captures (and that's not just because it uses WebKit). Obviously, a lot of that is just done in After Effects right now.

+1
Because those HP Slate videos looked great at one time not so much now. Even my BB Torch doesn't perform as good as it looked in those videos. We'll see.

I don't think this going anywhere. Very few people are going to buy this LOL. More people are going to buy android, ios or even Windows 7.

I'm disappointed with the cameras but it was expected. That will prevent the use by a lot of military personnel using these at work as cameras are prohibited inside restricted areas. I have to leave my iPhone4 in the car but I can have my iPad with me. I'll be hurting if/when Apple follows suit on future products.

PsyOpWarlord said,
I'm disappointed with the cameras but it was expected. That will prevent the use by a lot of military personnel using these at work as cameras are prohibited inside restricted areas. I have to leave my iPhone4 in the car but I can have my iPad with me. I'll be hurting if/when Apple follows suit on future products.

You know, you don't have to pick an Apple product in the future (if they include cameras on all) if you don't want to. No reason to be hurting, when there'll probably be a lot of cool tablets on the market in the upcoming years. Besides, I know people in the military that have used tablets/slates for a long time, and they absolutely love those.

warwagon said,
How great is 3rd party app support? Are there the same amount of apps for Blackberry as android? I'd follow the apps.

From looking at the online App store it looks pretty nice. More than Android? No.

Temperingpick said,

From looking at the online App store it looks pretty nice. More than Android? No.

Definately more about quality than quantity...

Woah.

First, let's just all agree that PlayBook is BY FAR, the best name for any of the tablet on the market yet. (thank god they didn't name it black pad)

Now.

Woah.

Is it me, or does this look like WebOS and BlackBerry OS6 ran off and had a love child? I don't know why HP is still ***** footing around a Windows 7 tablet when they have WebOS, but RIM have really jumped the gun here with what looks to be a VERY VERY impressive looking OS.

BBs are huge in the enterprise space. This is going to be huge too. Great specs, great output options, great OS, (hopefully great price). I think RIM (long time coming now) finally have a winner!

NeoXY said,
Is it me, or does this look like WebOS and BlackBerry OS6 ran off and had a love child?

It's not just you, I was thinking exactly the same thing.

NeoXY said,
I think RIM (long time coming now) finally have a winner!
Agreed. They FINALLY got up off their backside and have something here! I'm hoping it turns into something big. I want one...

Damn it! Again, this is being seen as a Tablet. IT IS NOT A TABLET, is a Slate device. Darn it seems the world will go developing with the same idea as if Mac weren't PCs, which they are, but with Different Operating System.

Please enlighten us, oh Wise One, as to what exactly the difference between a tablet and a slate is, because the line sure is blurry (I'd even suggest that they are exactly the same thing, just different terminology, like laptop/notebook).

coth said,

Then what is the difference between tablet pc with dedicated keyboard and netbook?

Netbook is a thin, small, low-spec laptop that should have decent battery life
Slate is a touchscreen only device that can be handheld
Tablet is a a touchscreen and keyboard device that can be handheld and a swivel monitor

The PlayBook will not run on RIM's BlackBerry OS but a new OS made by QNX.

That is stupid. Now there will be fragmentation between the two different OS's and their Apps. Apple did it right by allowing apps to be run on both the iPad and the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Tech Star said,

That is stupid. Now there will be fragmentation between the two different OS's and their Apps. Apple did it right by allowing apps to be run on both the iPad and the iPhone/iPod Touch.

There are plans that all BBs are going to eventually migrate to QNX.

NeoXY said,

There are plans that all BBs are going to eventually migrate to QNX.

Truly newbie question, but aren't BB's apps written in Java and this has Java support so wouldn't that mean that the old apps can run on it too?

Joyette S said,

Truly newbie question, but aren't BB's apps written in Java and this has Java support so wouldn't that mean that the old apps can run on it too?


You would be right. All the apps are written in Java, using blackberry APIs for the GUI. As long as this new device supports the blackberry APIs (which I'm sure it will) then yes, the same apps will work.

I see this being a business-priced tablet, with the good prices being after a bulk discount for corporations. I really don't see it being competitively priced against the iPad, which is more consumer-friendly.

Tom W said,
This will be massive in the enterprise space

Blackberry mobile is a proven one in enterprise space..but..a tablet without document editing/spreadsheet/PPT or email client its not considered a worthful investment in enterprise.
iPad has iWork inside it ..but not flash nor multitasking..
Time and sales figures will tell us next year..but until then iPad will rule.

iPad has mostly been an executive toy in the enterprise space. A lot of people have them here where I work and are all starting to realise that they aren't getting any productivity benefit out of them and stopped bringing them to work.

I don't understand why RIM are trying to market this for the enterprise when they called it the PlayBook and gave it 1080p HDMI output. This is a device for play, not for the enterprise.

ascendant123 said,
iPad has mostly been an executive toy in the enterprise space. A lot of people have them here where I work and are all starting to realise that they aren't getting any productivity benefit out of them and stopped bringing them to work.

I don't understand why RIM are trying to market this for the enterprise when they called it the PlayBook and gave it 1080p HDMI output. This is a device for play, not for the enterprise.

Obviously they are trying to reach for both consumers and enterprise.

guruparan said,

Blackberry mobile is a proven one in enterprise space..but..a tablet without document editing/spreadsheet/PPT or email client its not considered a worthful investment in enterprise.
iPad has iWork inside it ..but not flash nor multitasking..
Time and sales figures will tell us next year..but until then iPad will rule.
How do you know it's not going to come with any form of document editing? My BB Storm has Dataviz's Documents To Go which allows me to open (but not edit) Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I can upgrade to their premium product (for a price) which would allow me to edit and save documents. If it's on my Storm then I have to believe the same software will be available on the playbook.

mm4rley said,
This looks pretty impressive, much better that I expected.

Defo kicks the **** out of the HP slate that we have seen.

I think the HP Slate is hands down the best looking tablet device the market has ever seen.

Frylock86 said,

I think the HP Slate is hands down the best looking tablet device the market has ever seen.

lol, are you serious ? did you see those leaked videos... it looks terrible, they really need to realize that Windows 7 is not for a tablet !!

mm4rley said,

lol, are you serious ? did you see those leaked videos... it looks terrible, they really need to realize that Windows 7 is not for a tablet !!

You're not getting what I am saying. Looks wise, the Slate is sexy, ignore the OS on it... The device itself.

mm4rley said,

lol, are you serious ? did you see those leaked videos... it looks terrible, they really need to realize that Windows 7 is not for a tablet !!

W7 on a touchscreen is no where NEAR as bad as people portray it. It works well, people just love to bash it.

Back on Topic:
I like the name of this one a LOT more than the iPad but I was hoping for a bit better UI. All-in-all, good show by RIM and I'm confident it'll do well.

Frylock86 said,

You're not getting what I am saying. Looks wise, the Slate is sexy, ignore the OS on it... The device itself.

Well it's not very hard to make a sexy looking tablet/slate when the software/hardware is complete crap.

Bengal34 said,

W7 on a touchscreen is no where NEAR as bad as people portray it. It works well, people just love to bash it.

The OS itself is OK, the problem is that people have to interact with applications that were NOT designed with a touch oriented UI and were made for a larger, higher resolution screen. THAT is what people are actually complaining about when they say that Windows is unsuitable for tablets.

roadwarrior said,

The OS itself is OK, the problem is that people have to interact with applications that were NOT designed with a touch oriented UI and were made for a larger, higher resolution screen. THAT is what people are actually complaining about when they say that Windows is unsuitable for tablets.

Then why do people always chant that the OS isn't ready for it? With the ribbon UI going to al of the first party programs, the OS isn't hard at all to use with your fingers.

A phone OS on a tablet may have it's place, but so does a full OS on a tablet.

Bengal34 said,

Then why do people always chant that the OS isn't ready for it?

Because without third party applications that also support a touch interface, the OS itself is basically useless. The only way to solve this is what other companies have realized: start from scratch. Even Microsoft realized this when they abandoned previous versions of Windows Mobile/Windows Phone to create Windows Phone 7.

seebaran said,
Neat!

The device pairing is especially impressive, if they do it right... hopefully they'll be able to pair with Android at some point as well (although initially I'd only expect this on other BlackBerry's as an advertising perk).