RIM unveils 7-inch 'PlayBook' tablet set to launch in early 2011

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Research in Motion on Monday announced the "PlayBook," a 7-inch multi-touch tablet that represents the smartphone maker's first attempt to take on Apple's highly successful iPad.



The business-centric device will run the all-new BlackBerry Tablet OS on a 1024-by-600-pixel display. The device will also pack a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual HD cameras, and support for Web formats like HTML5 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.



The PlayBook will not offer integrated 3G or 4G data connectivity, though RIM said it plans to add built-in wireless in the future. In the first-generation hardware, users will be able to access the Internet over traditional Wi-Fi, or shared with a BlackBerry smartphone.



"RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world's most robust and flexible operating systems," said Mike Lazardis, president and co-CEO of RIM. "The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised Web browsing and high performance multimedia."



The PlayBook will be 9.7mm thick and will feature HDMI and USB ports. It will also be capable of 1080p resolution video playback.



RIM said it plans to make the BlackBerry PlayBook available to retail outlets and other channels in the U.S. in early 2011. Other international roll-outs are scheduled to take place by the second quarter of next year. Pricing was not announced.



Monday's unveiling was anticipated, as recent reports indicated RIM was set to show off a device that was internally dubbed the "Blackpad." Reports, however, incorrectly indicated the device would have a 9.7-inch display, identical to Apple's iPad.



Those reports were correct, though, in stating that the device will not offer 3G in its first iteration.







Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook, according to RIM, include:



7-inch 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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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 411
    IF ONLY THEY'D RELEASE IT THIS YEAR INSTEAD OF NEXT YEAR IT WOULD'VE MADE A KILLING. TOO BAD.. By the time they release it next year, iPad 2 and others will be out.



    I think RIM is stupid for introducing a product this far out. It won't be out for another 6 months or so. Now the competitors know what features and specs to outdo. Gadgets have short lifespan and becomes outdated very quickly. The playbook specs are impressive for today. In six months I don't know about that.



    Remember when Ballmer was parading around the HP Slate last January? The HP is still nowhere to be found. It's forgotten and nobody cares about it anymore.



    The good that might come out of this is it'll give Apple the motivation to step it up big time for iPad 2.
  • Reply 2 of 411
    i really don't see any real competition to apple until/if android 3 actually happens. i was a long time bb user and i really don't see myself going back...
  • Reply 3 of 411
    Nice specs. But I'm sure apple will release something new and improved by then. When I do decide to get a tablet, it's gonna be from the same company that made my celly. Right now it's a iPhone 4, so iPad it is. But I could be talked into a BlackBerry if this thing is really good.
  • Reply 4 of 411
    Well based on the specs it seems like a fairly decent device. Dual core is certainly nice as is 1080P playback. Not sure what battery life is going to be which will be a factor.
  • Reply 5 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    IF ONLY THEY'D RELEASE IT THIS YEAR INSTEAD OF NEXT YEAR IT WOULD'VE MADE A KILLING. TOO BAD.. By the time they release it next year, iPad 2 and others will be out.



    I think RIM is stupid for introducing a product this far out. It won't be out for another 6 months or so. Now the competitors know what features and specs to outdo.



    Most other companies aren't paranoid like Apple when it comes to releasing specs. Not saying that is good or bad just that Steve Jobs tends to be the only one that worries about stuff like that.
  • Reply 6 of 411
    Reading the specs and the provided info, it appears that content is not stored on the PlayBook itself, but is passed to it from a BlackBerry phone, or am I missing something?



    1GB RAM is that for real? So you need this and a BlackBerry to carry your media around with you?



    Why is it that these companies always make a huge mistake in their designs?



    And look at the size of the bezel!
  • Reply 7 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    ... I think RIM is stupid for introducing a product this far out. It won't be out for another 6 months or so. Now the competitors know what features and specs to outdo. Gadgets have short lifespan and becomes outdated very quickly. The playbook specs are impressive for today. In six months I don't know about that. ...



    This is the classic, "Shit, our customers are all going to already have bought competitors products by the time we can bring something to market. Maybe if we announce a product we can stall some of them till we actually have something." In other words, a move of desperation.
  • Reply 8 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    I think RIM is stupid for introducing a product this far out. It won't be out for another 6 months or so.



    You mean, like Apple announcing the iPad in January and not shipping until April? I read "early 2011" as possibly being little more than three months away.
  • Reply 9 of 411
    Looks solid to me. The lack of 3G isn't a big deal - I've only used it once on my iPad.



    I'm more curious about the OS, hard drive capacity, the availability of apps, and performance, of course.
  • Reply 10 of 411
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post


    Well based on the specs it seems like a fairly decent device. Dual core is certainly nice as is 1080P playback. Not sure what battery life is going to be which will be a factor.



    Or price. RIM was able to maintain their lead in the smartphone market because their phones are heavily discounted and subsidized by carriers. It will be a hard sell without a carrier subsidize especially if the price is higher than the iPad.
  • Reply 11 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post


    Most other companies aren't paranoid like Apple when it comes to releasing specs. Not saying that is good or bad just that Steve Jobs tends to be the only one that worries about stuff like that.



    Having been repeatedly bitten on the arse by Sony Ericsson's smartphone announcements (dating back to the P990), I think I prefer Apple's way of doing things.
  • Reply 12 of 411
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    You mean, like Apple announcing the iPad in January and not shipping until April? I read "early 2011" as possibly being little more than three months away.



    Was gonna post the same thing...
  • Reply 13 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Looks solid to me. The lack of 3G isn't a big deal - I've only used it once on my iPad.



    I'm more curious about the OS, hard drive capacity, and the availability of apps.



    Apps are where the rubber really meets the road. That, and the OS which nobody has really seen yet. Does RIM have the same kind of software expertise in-house as Apple, and do they have the ability to get third-party developers up and running?
  • Reply 14 of 411
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    IF ONLY THEY'D RELEASE IT THIS YEAR INSTEAD OF NEXT YEAR IT WOULD'VE MADE A KILLING. TOO BAD.. By the time they release it next year, iPad 2 and others will be out.



    I think RIM is stupid for introducing a product this far out. It won't be out for another 6 months or so. Now the competitors know what features and specs to outdo. Gadgets have short lifespan and becomes outdated very quickly. The playbook specs are impressive for today. In six months I don't know about that.



    Remember when Ballmer was parading around the HP Slate last January? The HP is still nowhere to be found. It's forgotten and nobody cares about it anymore.



    The good that might come out of this is it'll give Apple the motivation to step it up big time for iPad 2.



    They need time for developers to create apps for it. I agree that they are showing their cards by announcing this so early, but keeping it secretive would mean that the first people to buy it wouldn't have access to many apps.



    Even the iPad took two to three months from announcement to release.
  • Reply 15 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    You mean, like Apple announcing the iPad in January and not shipping until April? I read "early 2011" as possibly being little more than three months away.



    That's true but the big difference is there were no mainstream tablets out there when the iPad was introduced. Now it's end of September there's still no tablets that are sold today that can compete with the iPad.



    Sure they are coming..
  • Reply 16 of 411
    801801 Posts: 271member
    This sort of guarantees that the next ipad will have a camera if not two.
  • Reply 17 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    This is the classic, "Shit, our customers are all going to already have bought competitors products by the time we can bring something to market. Maybe if we announce a product we can stall some of them till we actually have something." In other words, a move of desperation.



    Very good!



    MS does this all the time..."Over promise, under deliver!"



    Best
  • Reply 18 of 411
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    Looks solid to me. The lack of 3G isn't a big deal - I've only used it once on my iPad.



    I'm more curious about the OS, hard drive capacity, the availability of apps, and performance, of course.



    It also tethers to other BB devices. Something that the iPad should have.
  • Reply 19 of 411
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    This sort of guarantees that the next ipad will have a camera if not two.



    I still don't think a rear camera is needed on a tablet, but it looks like everyone wants to include one.
  • Reply 20 of 411
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The business-centric device will run the all-new BlackBerry Tablet OS on a 1024-by-600-pixel display. The device will also pack a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual HD cameras, and support for Web formats like HTML5 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.



    The PlayBook will not offer integrated 3G or 4G data connectivity...



    Truly innovative, especially the lack of cell connectivity.



    I really like the battery specs to that mention it will run for way over -- wait they never did say how long did they. Since it has tethering maybe you just plug it in anytime you want to use it.



    Well at least the look and fell is diff from everything else out there, that will set it apart -- you say it looks like the copied an iPad but left it in the dryer too long?



    It should be a good hand warmer though and Flash will be neat on a touch interface - especially the hovering bit.



    It should have tons and tons of Apps available for its previously unknown operating system - especially since the processor is a, what was that again? Oh, you think it will require a rather large rewrite for most apps...



    This is coming out in late 2009 correct? It's not out till 2011 -- well that's a different story then now isn't it.
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