Research in Motion(RIM) has been long rumoured to have been developing a tablet device. Names such the BlackPad were bandied about.

Yesterday, RIM finally announced their much rumoured device – The Blackberry Playbook.

The Playbook is a 7-inch capacitative slate touchscreen tablet. The 7-inch form factor appears to be emerging as a popular screen size as with the recent Samsung Galaxy Tab.

RIM has decided against upscaling their Blackberry OS ver. 6 as the OS for the PlayBook. A wise decision as there are many legacy codes in the Blackberry OS that may not translate well to the PlayBook. RIM acquired an infotainment company called QNX and the latter has developed the Blackberry Tablet OS.

From the initial press shots of the Blackberry Tablet OS, the UI appears to be a mixture of the Palm’s WebOS and RIM’s Blackberry OS. The Blackberry Tablet OS is touted to be a multimedia friendly device with support for HTML5, Adobe Air and full support for OpenGL and POSIX. There is also a JavaVM software to run programs compatible with Blackberry OS6.

The hardware specs is quite impressive and is as follows:

  • Dual core ARM Cortex A9 dual core 1GHz processor
  • A discrete Graphics Processor
  • A 3MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear facing camera, both of which can record 1080p videos
  • Wifi b/g/n and 3G and 4G connectivity( available in variants of the device)
  • Non proprietary micro HDMI port and micro USB ports

The devices has the dimensions of  5.1- by 7.6-inches, is only 0.4-inches thick, and weighs just 400g (or about 0.9 pounds).

Data on the user’s Blackberry phone can be synced with this device to allow consistency of information between devices.

The PlayBook sees a likely release in the first quarter of 2011.

What has not been revealed is the battery life of device which is important for potential Blackberry Tablet customers.

This is a positive and interesting move by RIM. The inclusion of a dual core processor is early sign that there will be more devices using multicore processors in the future.

Click on this link to view screen shots of the device.

Source: Engadget