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BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Targets Business Users

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RIM (s rimm) confirmed rumors of a tablet by introducing the BlackBerry PlayBook, a powerful 7-inch device that will offer a dual-core 1GHz processor, full HTML 5 browser, Flash 10.1 with video acceleration, 1 GB of RAM, 1080p playback with HDMI output and two HD cameras, all built atop the QNX operating system.

The PlayBook connects to all 250,000 BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, offering solid security and management and cementing its appeal with enterprise users. That’s how RIM is framing the PlayBook, first as an “enterprise-ready professional tablet.” But with a full WebKit browser, multitasking and multimedia support, it should appeal to consumers as well.

In April, RIM bought QNX, which had been working on the PlayBook operating system for at least a year. The QNX operating system has been deployed in cars, medical devices, networking gear from Cisco and other embedded machines.

Dan Dodge, CEO of QNX, said the operating system is advanced and modern, created with multiprocessing and security in mind. He said all of the learning QNX gained from other applications of the OS went into the PlayBook OS.

The platform will support a Java virtual machine to apparently support many of the existing BlackBerry apps. That addresses some of the questions about dividing developers between two platforms. Developers will also be able to create apps using WebWorks, RIM’s new platform for developing web apps and packaging them for BlackBerry App World. And they’ll be able to build Adobe Air apps as well 3-D applications that take advantage of the PlayBook’s support for Open GL.

Users will be able to tether the PlayBook with a BlackBerry handset via Bluetooth. RIM plans to offer 3G and 4G versions of the PlayBook in the future.

There’s no word on the pricing of the tablet. But it’s headed for release in early 2011.

Here’s a list of complete specs:

Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook include:

  • 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)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

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36 Responses to “BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Targets Business Users”

  1. Ryan Berckley

    Finally!!!… I’ve gotten used to the Tablet lifestyle with my iPad; but willing to trade it with a tablet that has Flash!!

    The Internet is missing without it. Love it or hate it…. Flash is everywhere!!

    • Adam O'Neill

      Really? I genuinely haven’t noticed the lack of flash on my ipad and it stay’s by my side pretty much all the time. I haven’t come across any video’s that won’t play now, but heh that might just be my browsing habits ?

    • I have an IPAD/Iphone 3Gs and to me the Internet fills incomplete, I use some different web sites that requires flash, we have in our church an Internet TV channel (just as an example), that is not Iphone/Ipad compatible (Livestream) is trying to move but it seems is not a quick easy move and neither back compatible with all content already published, So I really like the PlayBook presentation and of course will need to see the earlier reviews to confirm it works as shown in the release video.


    This is huge if it integrates into BES services! Companies will be more willing to take the leap if a management system is already in place. QNX is a solid real time OS. Keeping java around allows developers to transition to the new platform. This is a good move by RIM.

  3. Krishna Baidya

    Consider this a desperate bid to enter the luring tablet market. I’m afraid this fragment this market even further. Would interesting to see how willing the developer ecosystem to develop enticing app for this.