RIM unveiled its first tablet computer and a new operating system that will power it, joining the race to catch up with Apple Inc.’s iPad. Investors don’t seem to be ebullient on RIM’s prospects, shares are down about 1% premarket.
As was widely rumored, RIM announced the PlayBook at the opening keynote event at its DevCon developer conference in San Francisco. The device has a 7-inch touch screen, is just under 10 millimeters thick, has a front- and back-facing camera for videoconferencing, a 1GHz dual-core chip, and 1GB RAM, 1080p high-definition video playback, Wi-Fi, and supports HTML5 and Flash-based video. The PlayBook runs a new operating system, which is based on QNX Neutrino, a product RIM bought earlier this year. Neutrino is a modern, UNIX-like operating system that currently runs in many embedded systems, including cars. According to RIM, developers will be able to build apps for the PlayBook based on a range of technologies, including Java, Flash, Adobe Air, OpenGL, and RIM’s “WebWorks” HTML widget platform.
The PlayBook is aimed at people who do more work than play–RIM’s calling it “the first professional tablet”–but the company is certainly not ignoring the world outside of the office. In fact, even though RIM is playing very heavily to its reliable, core audience of enterprise users, it’s still making some bold moves with a new operating system that enables all sorts of fun, mindless apps (in addition to productivity apps), as well as adding a few features that even the Apple’s iPad doesn’t have.
The PlayBook has two cameras, 1080p HD video playback, and—as expected, but still shockingly—apparently no modem, at least at the moment I’m writing this. Instead, it may rely on pairing with an existing BlackBerry handheld. It’s unclear whether the PlayBook will work for folks who don’t already own BlackBerrys.
Tablet Playbook sail 7 inches, smaller than iPad Apple’s operating system QNX Software Systems is acquired RIM in the early years. Unlike iPad that has no camera, Playbook has two cameras in front and behind. This device will be released in April 2011. However, RIM has not revealed the price, stating only be sold with a price range that competes with the iPad.