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RIM will join Apple, Samsung with a fresh tablet

RIM's answer to the Apple iPad has been rumored for at least a few months, but the company made its new device official today. The 7" tablet is called the PlayBook and runs the BlackBerry Tablet OS which is based on QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis describes the device as "the first professional tablet".

The PlayBook features a 7” touch screen (1024x600), dual-core Cortex A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, and will have both HDMI and USB ports. Unlike the Apple iPad, the 9.7mm-thick PlayBook will have both a front-facing and rear camera. The device can also playback both HTML5 and Adobe Flash content.

Naturally, the PlayBook supports 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Although it won't be available at launch, RIM intends to release versions of the PlayBook with 3G and 4G functionality. 

“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 Lazaridis. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”

Full specs for the PlayBook are as follows:

  • 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)

More details are still slowly trickling in about the device, so you can watch a two-minute video here which previews the device's operating system. 





"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis



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