RIM, maker of the popular BlackBerry line of smartphones, unveiled a brand-new tablet computer today they are dubbing ‘PlayBook.’ The company made the big announcement at their BlackbBerry DevCon, held at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Yes, the same venue Apple used to announce it’s iPad, among other products.
Quite a bold move and perhaps telling that RIM would choose to follow in Apple’s footsteps in such a manner. With RIM losing market share every quarter to the likes of Apple’s iPhone and the numerous popular Android smartphones out there, the company is facing pressure to innovate and regain a competitive advantage.
The newly-announced PlayBook will run on the new BlackBerry Tablet OS and is being positioned as the first ‘enterprise-ready’ tablet computer. Instead of using the recently-overhauled Blackberry OS 6, RIM decided to leverage their recent acquisition of QNX Software, who originally coded the new platform.
Features-wise, the PlayBook sports a 7″ screen (same as the Samsung Galaxy Tab – which we’ve covered extensively), a dual-core 1Ghz processor, front and rear HD cameras and is capable of multi-tasking and running flash-based applications. The PlayBook is uber thin and sexy, weighing in at 0.9 pounds and 9.7 mm thin.
Those dimensions practically make the PlayBook an anorexic supermodel when compared to the iPad at 1.5 lbs and 13.44 mm thick. Then again, the iPad’s screen is much larger and it remains to be seen if consumers prefer the smaller screens we’re seeing iPad competitors announcing of late. RIM announced that PlayBooks would officially hit North America in early 2011 and for the rest of the planet, Q2 2011 looks realistic. Check out all of the juicy details over at RIM’s official site.
I’m curious what our resident Crackberry addicts have to say about the PlayBook? Are you tempted? Be sure to sound off in the comments section.