RIM didn’t disappoint at BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 today, with the announcement of their new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet known as the BlackBerry Tablet OS. As we suspected, the tablet will be targeted at business users, but will offer a number of options that spill over into the personal/professional space as well.
The new PlayBook will be powered by the BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is QNX Neutrino-based, as we already told you about in previous reports. It will offer a 7-inch screen that is 1024 x 600 WSVGA that uses capacitive touch screen technology. The touch screen will support multi-touch and gesturing. It will be powered by a 1GHz dual core ARM processor and have 1GB RAM on board. It weighs in at less than a pound with dimensions of about 5 inches x 7.5 inches x .4 inches thick.
The PlayBook is built for multimedia and offers dual camera support with a front-facing 3 mega pixel camera and a rear-facing 5 mega pixel camera. It supports native 1080p HD video out of the box with HD video recording and playback. It will offer video support for H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV, as well as audio support for MP3, AAC, and WMA. It can output video using the included HDMI output.
As for connectivity, while future models of the PlayBook will offer 3G and 4G support, the initial offering of the PlayBook will only offer a/b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support. Additional connectors include MicroHDMI and MicroUSB. It would appear from our understanding that the PlayBook will support tethering to BlackBerry devices.
The BlackBerry Tablet OS will offer an Open and flexible platform for software development with support for WebKit/HTMP-5 as well as Adobe Flash player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, and Adobe Reader. In addition it will support POSIX, OpenGL, and Java. This gives developers a wide range of options for software development on the BlackBerry Tablet OS, which we think is something to get excited about. Of course, it will offer BlackBerry Enterprise Email support as well as enterprise security support with IT policy controls.
While we didn’t find out everything that would like about the PlayBook, the company did tell everyone that more specifics and details will be released on or before the actual launch of the product. Right now, RIM is expecting the first PlayBook devices to arrive in early 2011 in North America, with an International rollout planned for Q2 of 2011. Developers will be able to get their hands on the BlackBerry Tablet OS Development Kit in a few weeks so that they can start building apps for the device.