RIM announced the First tablet with a dual-core CPU (1 GHz ARM Cortex A9) named as Blackberry PlayBook. The Playbook is small and thin. RIM did a good job with the design. Because it has a 7-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio display, it is more rectangular than square. It looks sharp and professional — definitely more business-oriented than the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has a decidedly more consumer feel to it.
Lets check out the Features of Blackberry PlayBook,
- 1 GB of RAM. That’s reportedly twice what the iPhone 4 has and 4 times what the iPad has. That will aid when you open multiple tabs on your Web browser, keep the memory-hogging Flash player from crashing, and keep multi-tasking apps humming.
- Two HD cameras – a 3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel camera both of which record at 1080p. The iPad, as some have complained, lacks a camera altogether.
- Hardware-accelerated version of Adobe Flash 10.1 player, meaning it is fully compatible with all desktop Flash apps and videos.
- 1024×600 7-inch multi-touch screen with 1080p resolution and HDMI video output..
- Tethered 3G Internet access via nearby BlackBerry smartphone. Wi-Fi also available, but no 3G on its own for the PlayBook, for now.
As a first for RIM, the PlayBook does not have a removable battery. All the BlackBerries made to-date have removable battery. RIM didn’t share any information about battery life, but given RIM’s track record, it is sure to be solid. Still, some may decry the lack of a replaceable battery.
The 7-inch display, which packs 1024 x 600 pixels, looks really nice. Even under the glass, it was bright, crisp, and sharp. The room where RIM showed the PlayBook was brightly lit, with plenty of sunlight streaming in. To make it worse, the PlayBook was hidden behind glass. What I am trying to get at here is that display worked really, really well even with all these obstacles in its way.
RIM said 3G/4G versions are in the works, but didn’t elaborate about what sort of radios will be in those products. Will RIM make CDMA, GSM/UMTS, WiMax, or LTE variants? Will it make variants for all of those networks? RIM didn’t say.
The tablet space is quickly becoming more crowded, with entrants from Apple, Samsung, RIM and soon others to be lining store shelves. With so many of them based on phone operating systems, it will be interesting to watch how tablets and phones evolve over time, and how (or if) their roles change.
RIM can probably get away with a list price of $1,500, as that price would drop substantially once bundled with operator service. But if RIM really wants to protect its enterprise house, the benefits of listing at $999 can’t be underestimated, even if enterprises aren’t price-sensitive like consumers. Witness how hard Apple worked to get its entry-level iPad under $500, and how that seems to be reaping benefits with consumers, enterprises and schools. And surveys showing that potential Android tablet buyers are expecting sub-$300 tablets.
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