After months of leaks, rumors, and speculation Research in Motion has introduced its upcoming tablet. Thankfully, it’s not called the BlackPad. Somewhat confusingly though, RIM is positioning it as the first “enterprise ready” tablet, and calling it the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display
  • QNX-based operating system
  • 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Support for multitasking
  • Support for HTML 5 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1
  • 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Front and back cameras (3MP and 5MP, respectively)
  • microUSB connector
  • HDMI output
  • 1080p HD video support (H.264, MPEG4, WMV)
  • DLNA media streaming support
  • 7.6″ x 5.1″ x 0.4″
  • 0.9 pounds

RIM says the tablet will likely be available in the US in early 2011. It will roll out to other markets in the second quarter 2011. There’s no word on how much it will cost yet, but I suspect it will be up to telephone companies to work with BlackBerry on pricing.

As expected, the tablet is designed to be paired with a Blackberry smartphone so you can access the internet using your phone’s mobile broadband connection. You’ll be able to receive push email, appointments, tasks, and other information by pairing with your phone.

There will be a number of ways to develop apps for the PlayBook, which does not use the same OS as BlackBerry phones. There will be a new Java virtual machine and native SDK, OpenGL support and support for POSIX and WebWorks.

Thanks to full support for Flash and Adobe AIR, it looks like developers will also be able to write apps for the PlayBook using AIR. That means at least some PlayBook apps should be able to run on Windows, OS X, or Linux.

RIM has posted the promo video for the tablet. You can check it out after the break. The user interface looks pretty slick, but it really does seem that while RIM is emphasizing the “enterprise ready” capabilities of the PlayBook,the video really emphasizes the multimedia capabilities of the device for watching local and web video and even playing games. Oh yeah, and I guess you can also use it for video conferencing, viewing documents, and other business tasks.

You can also find more photos after the break.

via CrackBerry and Engadget

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13 replies on “RIM introduces the BlackBerry Tablet: Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook”

  1. “Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook”

    Is that 1GHz dual-core A9 SoC going to be from the TI Omap4 series?
    If it is then it comes with a very useful SGX540 GPU, so gaming should be good!

  2. Wow what a horrible name. How could anyone business or otherwise take a product with that name seriously? Bizarre. Is it going to be an official product of the NFL or what? The more I see, the more kudos I have to give (and it’s painful for me) to Apple and the iPad. Wow are they making everyone look like a bunch of fools. They competition can’t even get their product names planned out.

  3. Sorry… Archos 70 is much better than this. Granted, it does have the second camera, processor may be a bit faster, but I guarantee the pricing point will be just under iPad’s. I’d rather save my money and get the Archos when it arrives. $350 for 250GB? Count me in!

  4. No hands on with any tech press today. Plexiglass views of encased hardware looping videos only, and they say it’ll be ready to ship with production software in 3 months? Ooookay.

    What about battery life? Pricing? Contracts with/reliance on BB smartphones? Some remote measure of actual usability? Is it really only Flash and HTML5 development? Too little to go on at this point to get excited because I have no idea if it’s actually useful or usable – have been burned too many times this year by demos that look this good.

  5. How does its video playback ability compare with Tegra 2? They both claim 1080p but the Tegra 2 doesn’t support high profile 1080p videos.

  6. From the video, it appears as if this is NOT a touch screen device. That’s a huge surprise, and I’m wondering how exactly their interface works.

    Most slates require some type of screen based input via a touch screen. The bad ones rely on passive digitizers which require you to use a finger, and the really bad ones rely on capacitive digitizers that react to just the slightest contact and require you to use multiple fingers. This of course means that instead of using the display as a display, you’re covering it up with your hands, blocking your display from your eyes, smearing the screen with dirt and oil, and unsure of what you’re about to touch because your finger is in the way. With multiple fingers, it’s worse. Fortunately, some tablets use an active digitizer that allows for a level of sophistication similar to the benefit of moving from finger painting to fine brush work.

    I saw a lot of on screen activity, but I never saw how the interface works. They must have some sort of thought reading technology, or perhaps something like the enterprise class Speech Recognition that’s built in Windows. I guess that’s a good thing too, because unlesss you have tiny hands, a 7 inch screen would be playing a lot of hide and seek behind your fingers.

    Yup, I’m kidding. Sort of. Barely.

    1. It has a capacitive touchscreen. We’ll probably see some hands-on videos later today, as RIM will be letting folks attending the BlackBerry Developer conference play with demo units.

      1. I really was kidding. I just find the “user interface animations” totally disingenuous in this video, but I’m not pretending like this is a product demo. I know it’s a touch screen, but they’re clearly not showcasing it in this video because the screen isn’t getting touched.

        If the first iteration of touch screen slates has taught us anything, it’s that the experience of interacting with the device counts for almost everything. This video does not depict that experience. In contrast, it hides it. What we’re watching is a simulation of the operating system. This video is marketing, and we won’t know anything about the actual experience of the until you, Chippy, and JKK are hands on with one.

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