As expected, RIM announced their first Tablet during the BlackBerry Developer Conference 2010 at San Francisco. It’s call the BlackBerry PlayBook.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is a 7 inch Tablet. It is 13 x 19.4 x 1 cm and weighs 400 grams. Runs on BlackBerry Tablet OS powered by QNX technology. 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. This thing is powerful. Supports HTML 5 and Flash 10.1 with hardware-accelerated video. A 3 Megapixel HD front facing camera for video conferencing and a 5 Megapixel HD back facing camera for taking photos/videos. And we are talking 1080p HD video recording here. It supports 1080p HD video playback and has a HDMI video out. Amazing stuff.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, making it a truly Professional Tablet. The most interesting part about the BlackBerry PlayBook is the integration with a BlackBerry handheld. All you need is to pair the PlayBook with your existing BlackBerry phone and you will be able to access your email, calendar, BlackBerry Messenger, tasks, documents etc etc on your PlayBook. The current version has no SIM card slot on the PlayBook. RIM intend to release a 3G and 4G version in the futrue. So in the meantime, it will access the internet thru wireless tethering with your BlackBerry phone or WIFI.
Somehow, this reminds me of the Palm Foleo which was cancelled back in 2007. It seems like my prediction of the future might be coming true.
I really feel that the future should be where your mobile phone remain in your pocket, and a large screen device is being used to access the data.
The positioning of this device is pretty interesting. It looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook will be tied closely with the BlackBerry phone. Perhaps this will help RIM sell more BlackBerry phones. Or keep the existing BlackBerry users on the BlackBerry OS platform. But the only drawback for the PlayBook is that it is not able to show its full capabilities if you are not a BlackBerry user. And with all the processing power and 1080p video playback, I wonder how will the battery life be. I can’t wait to try out the BlackBerry PlayBook myself.
RIM will release the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK to developers in the coming weeks. No news about the pricing yet. Expect to see the BlackBerry PlayBook launching in US some time Q1 2011. The rest of the world might need to wait till Q2 2011. More details about the PlayBook will be released when we get closer to the launch date.
On a side note, I kinda hate the naming. Maybe it’s just me.