Research in Motion – makers of the BlackBerry smartphone – have revealed their answer to the iPad, a 7-inch multi-touch tablet introduced on Monday by Mike Lazardis, president and co-CEO of RIM, as the BlackBerry “PlayBook.”
By all accounts, the arrival of the PlayBook heralds the first significant competitor for Apple’s iPad in the tablet computer marketplace.
“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 Lazardis. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised Web browsing and high performance multimedia.”
By all accounts, the device will be targeted to the “business consumer,” similar to the marketing strategies behind the BlackBerry smartphone.
The BlackBerry “PlayBook” features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and two HD cameras. It will be 9.7mm thick and offer both HDMI and USB ports. 1080p resolution video playback is also possible. The first-generation “PlayBook” will not support 3G or 4G connectivity. It will only connect via WiFi or tethering to a BlackBerry smartphone.
Despite initial reports of a BlackBerry tablet being available in time for the holiday shopping season, those reports have now proven to be inaccurate. The BlackBerry “PlayBook” won’t roll out until early 2011.