BlackBerry Introduces 7-inch ‘PlayBook’ Tablet

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BlackBerry just announced its once-rumored tablet. The 7-inch device thankfully shakes the previously-tipped “BlackPad” name in favor of “PlayBook.” Pricing hasn’t been announced, while availability has been set for “early 2011” here in the US, with an international rollout to follow in the second quarter. (More: What the PlayBook Means for RIM)

The PlayBook features a 7-inch screen with a 1024×600 resolution, it measures 0.38 inches thick (9.7 millimeters), weighs 0.9 pounds and can handle full Flash 10.1 with hardware-accelerated video.

The tablet is powered by a 1GHz dual-core mobile processor and features 1GB of RAM for running the software. As the previous rumors indicated, the tablet can be connected to cellular data networks, but only through BlackBerry handsets. You’ll be able to use your existing plan, though. There’s a Wi-Fi chip as well, allowing it to connect to standard networks.

As for cameras, the PlayBook is equipped with both front- and rear-facing cameras that are both capable of shooting HD video. There’s HDMI output for displaying 1080p videos on a larger TV or monitor as well.


Though the device is named the “PlayBook,” Research in Motion has emphasized that the tablet is enterprise ready. The device will be running a new operating system called BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is based on a secure operating system known as QNX.

QNX has the highest level of military security and is used in mission-critical applications such as cars, medical systems, security systems, and more. So RIM’s putting a big emphasis on security with this tablet. “You don’t build a skyscraper on a house’s foundation,” said RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis.

Aside from enterprise applications, the PlayBook is “going to be an incredible gaming platform,” says QNX’s representative. The tablet features a full web browser with support for HTML5, Flash 10.1, Adobe AIR, and HD video. QNX and Adobe “worked very closely together, all the way down to the core.”

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