The rumors of a tablet from Research In Motion (RIM) have turned out to be true with CEO Mike Lazardis announcing the company’s PlayBook tablet at its annual BlackBerry Developer Conference. Described by RIM as a “professional-grade” tablet, the 7-inch device will be running the new BlackBerry Tablet OS created by the recently acquired QNX. It boasts BlackBerry integration, out-of-the-box BlackBerry Enterprise Server compatibility and security features designed to appeal to businesses as well as true multitasking, gaming and multimedia capabilities.
The PlayBook is powered by a Cortex A9-based 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and OS support for symmetric multiprocessing. The 7-inch 1024 x 600 resolution capacitive LCD touchscreen display includes full multi-touch and gesture support, while dual HD cameras (3-megapixel front facing and 5-megapixel rear facing) support 1080p HD video recording and video conferencing with both cameras able to record HD video at the same time.
Connectivity-wise the device sports a microUSB port, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a microHDMI port for the connection of an external display. It supports H-264, MPEG, DivX and WMV video formats and MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback through the device’s stereo speakers.
The BlackBerry PlayBook measures 5.1 x 7.6 x 0.4-inches (130 x 193 x 10mm) and weighs approx. 0.9 lb (400g). RIM hasn’t announced a price for the PlayBook but expects to start shipping the device in the U.S. early in 2011, rolling out to other international markets in the second quarter of the year.
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