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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. 



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The triumph of UNIX
By Tony Swash on 9/29/2010 6:27:12 AM , Rating: 1
Although I think the Playbook will be a relative failure and do nothing to halt the iPad juggernaut it does bring attention to something more interesting which is the triumph of Unix.

Here is a very interesting article discussing the rise of unix and the cul-de-sac that Windows finds itself in.

http://www.asymco.com/2010/09/29/unixs-revenge/

Here is a a couple of quotes from the article

quote:
Now we’ve entered a new decade of devices where Unix(-like) operating systems will, on a CPU basis, probably out-install Windows. Not only is iOS based on Unix, but Android and MeeGo and even Bada are based on Linux as are QNX and WebOS. Google, Apple, HP, RIM, Samsung and Nokia are all now betting heavily on Unix or Unix-like implementations. The success is so overwhelming that there are really only two hold-outs: Microsoft and the rapidly depreciating Symbian.


quote:
For Unix, the point of modularity was reached early in the 1990's and, through the Linux implementation, it allowed the lowest layers of the software to become commoditized (and free). This commodity status was actually what Microsoft tried to avoid by integrating Windows with the layers above it. This was a conscious and deliberate decision which also led to trouble with anti-trust regulators. The decision seemed to have paid off. Microsoft won.

However, the very strategy which Microsoft used to maintain a monopoly caused its rigidity of response to a new, post-PC market. Unix fit right in with the new shift in the basis of competition: toward more personal, portable and conformable computing. Windows did not. Microsoft had to build a completely new OS to deal with devices (Windows CE has little if any shared code with Windows NT et. al.). The dual OS strategy continues to hobble Microsoft as each is stretched into new dimensions: the desktop Windows being dragged into the high end and into tablets while the device Windows is re-written to accommodate new input methods.




RE: The triumph of UNIX
By Tony Swash on 9/30/2010 8:41:57 AM , Rating: 1
I posted this comment on another forum at OS News.

http://www.osnews.com/comments/23847

There it provoked an interesting, sane and considered discussion about the role, rise and merits of Unix as an OS.

Contrast that to the situation here where there is no discussion about my comment about Unix which would be OK but for the fact that that the discussion is dominated by yet another series of infantile comments about Apple full of the usual fluff about "Apple users are all [fill in the blank with some name calling]".

Time to raise your game guys.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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