RIM makes a play in the Tablet space

PETALING JAYA: It certainly looks like its getting crowded in the touchscreen Tablet computer space with RIM unveiling its PlayBook device targeted at business users.

Touted by the BlackBerry smartphone maker as the world’s first professional Tablet, the PlayBook has a 7in capacitive touchscreen (1,024 x 600-pixels), dual-facing HD cameras for videoconferencing, WiFi and Bluetooth.

However it requires a link to a BlackBerry smartphone to connect to a cellular network.

This is unlike Apple’s iPad 3G model, which has a micro SIM slot to allow it to connect to a cellular network directly.

However unlike the iPad, the PlayBook supports Adobe Flash, which has been omitted from the Apple device. It also supports the new HTML5 standard that may eventually replace Flash.

For a “no-compromises Web experience,” RIM said the PlayBook’s operating system runs on the QNX kernel and architecture, which in turn runs much of the Internet’s plumbing.

This allows developers to easily make their games, software and other applications work on the device, RIM added.

The 400g PlayBook is powered by 1GHz dual-core processor and can also mirror a BlackBerry phone via a wireless link, giving users a bigger screen to view media and edit documents.

However once the link is severed, all corporate data is erased thus saving a CIO (chief information officer) a lot of trouble.

Apart from business uses, the PlayBook is also tailored as an entertainment device. RIM said it offers rich stereo sound and a media player that can handle HD video playback.

Its 5-megapixel rear camera supports 1080p HD video capture and the device comes with a microHDMI port to allow users to output their video onto a larger screen.

According to a Reuters report, RIM expects to ship the device to corporate customers and developers in October. It will become commercially available in the United States in early 2011 and in other international markets by the second quarter of next year.

RIM has yet to set an exact price but says it will fall in the lower range of prices for consumer Tablets already in market, the report further added.

The company also intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

++++ www.rim.com

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