RIM BlackBerry Playbook tablet! Price? Specs? iPad killer?

By Richi Jennings. September 28, 2010.

RIM BlackBerry Playbook (rim.com)
As expected, Research In Motion announced its shiny new tablet at its San Francisco developers' conference. The official name is confirmed as the RIM BlackBerry Playbook -- so much more enterprisey than 'BlackPad' or 'SurfBook', don't you think? It's a dual-core, 7" slate, running a new OS based on the real-time microkernel, QNX. But please, don't call it an iPad Killer. We now have detailed specs, but what about the price? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers unpick the Canadian spin.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention size isn't important...


Josh Halliday looks past the holidays:

The announcement of RIM's eagerly-anticipated assault on the ... market was as elegant as its enterprise-led handsets. It will not rush the Playbook out in time for the festive season. ... Without further ado, the specifications:


• BlackBerry Tablet OS built on ... QNX

• 1 GHz dual-core processor

• 1 GB RAM ...

• Adobe Flash Player 10.1

• Dimensions: 5.1?x7.6?x0.4?

• Weight: 400g (Apple iPad: 680-730g) ...

• Pairing with BlackBerry handsets ... on existing BlackBerry data plan.

Nick Farrell adds:

The Blackberry Playbook might sport a dull name, but it at least it has not been called the Blackpad, which was one of the suggested ideas.


There are microHDMI and microUSB connections and it runs the Webkit browser with ... Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL and Java.


The PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in the second half of next year.

 But Brian Caulfield couldn't care less about the hardware:

Hardware doesn’t matter. Tablet computers have been around for years. It took iOS ... to make the iPad a mass market phenomenon. And it’s software, not tech specs, that will give ... the PlayBook, a chance.


The PlayBook will rely on software from QNX, which RIM purchased from Harman International ... in April. RIM’s challenge will be to build an operating system around QNX’s Neutrino software that’s compatible with ... BlackBerry, while retaining Neutrino’s reliability. Oh, and it’s got to be one heck of a user experience.

  And Ed Hansberry has more on QNX:

QNX ... [is] in the Unix family of operating systems. That may be a smart play on RIM's part ... the Blackberry OS is getting old and it may be time for a rewrite to compete ... with the likes of more modern platforms like iOS and Android.


Palm and Microsoft started over for the same reasons. It will be interesting to see if Blackberry 7 or 8 has its roots in the QNX operating system lightened up a bit for the smartphone form factor.

 So will it hinder Brad Linder?

The user interface looks pretty slick, but it really does seem that while RIM is emphasizing the “enterprise ready” capabilities of the PlayBook,the ... promo video ... really emphasizes the multimedia capabilities of the device for watching local and web video. 


Oh yeah, and I guess you can also use it for video conferencing, viewing documents, and other business tasks.

  Meanwhile, Eric Krapf talks... sense:

We now have three announced tablets whose focus is the enterprise:

* Avaya Desktop Video Device with Flare Experience ...

* Cisco Cius

* And now, RIM's PlayBook

  What distinguishes RIM from the other 2 is that it's not dependent on your enterprise communications platform--Avaya's device only works with Aura, Cisco only works with Cisco. ... So if you're an enterprise with a mixed communications environment ... and you want to standardize on a tablet, PlayBook makes the most sense from a compatibility perspective, assuming you already run BES.


And Finally...

Star Size Comparison
[hat tip: Epic Win FTW]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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