RIM Unveils the PlayBook

By Cindy Waxer September 28, 2010

The suit-and-tie crowd can look forward to tossing one more device into their leather attaché cases: Research In Motion’s PlayBook.

RIM’s business-friendly response to Apple’s consumer-centric iPad, the PlayBook boasts a seven-inch touchscreen, dual high-definition cameras for video capture and video conferencing, measures less than half an inch thick, weighs less than a pound for ultra-portability and has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. 

In fact, it’s possible to pair the PlayBook and BlackBerry using a secure Bluetooth connection, enabling business professionals to use the larger tablet display to view any of the email, BBM, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone. Users can also use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data – a particularly useful feature for business users who want to leave their laptop behind.

Performance is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports true symmetric multiprocessing. With support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR and HTML-5, the PlayBook also promises uncompromised web browsing.

“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world’s most robust and flexible operating systems,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”

RIM unveiled the PlayBook for the first time Monday and is set to release the device in early 2011, with an international rollout later in the year.

The tablet market is set to skyrocket – and perhaps be the kiss of death for PCs. According to a recent forecast from IDC, worldwide media tablet shipments will grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of 57.4 percent. In comparison, IDC expects 398 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014.

Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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