It’s here – the device long dubbed the “BlackPad” by industry watchers and it’s name is the BlackBerry PlayBook. But most people are now calling it the iPad for enterprise.
It has a multi-touch 7″ screen which runs at a typical netbook resolution of 1024×600 and is supported by a 1Ghz dual-core processor and a custom OS (powered by QNX, who RIM purchased earlier) which can run Flash – a big issue for people who have held off buying an iPad for it’s lack of support for this widely-used web content type.
The other area where the iPad disappointed but that newcomers to the field have been quick to improve on is the integration of webcams. The PlayBook sports two of them – one forward and on rear-facing and both support HD resolutions.
It can run a variety of different media codecs for playback, and though you won’t able to see full-HD on the 7″ screen, the addition of a mini-HDMI port means that if you connect it to an HD-capable display, the PlayBook should serve very nicely as a platform for movies and perhaps more importantly, given the focus on business, slide-shows.
Finally, the presence of a mini-USB port will go a long way to appease those who felt the iPad should have had this feature at launch. Interestingly, unlike the iPad, there is no 3G version of the PlayBook – at least for now. Instead, RIM is thinking that you will most likely pair the PlayBook to your regular BlackBerry which will give you 3G and a host of other features – an aspect of the device they call “device pairing”. Once paired, you’ll have access to all of your email, calendar, contacts etc.
Alas, no word on price just yet, but it’s a safe bet RIM won’t target too far from the range that Apple has established for the iPad.
Video below. So readers, is this the tablet you’ve been waiting for?