What You Need to Know About the BlackBerry Playbook

Research In Motion (RIM) is best known for the BlackBerry smartphone but soon the company hopes to make headlines with the release of their first ever tablet: the BlackBerry Playbook.

The device was announced last September 27, 2010 and eager users have been waiting for its promised arrival in early 2011. Tablets have been all the rage lately so what edge has RIM equipped the PlayBook with to make it a contender in the competitive tablet market? Before exploring the announced features of the device, let's take a step backwards and trace the journey of the PlayBook from its conception.

It began with rumors of the BlackPad.

Rumors that RIM had a tablet in the works months prior to the PlayBook's announcement. It was initially dubbed as the "BlackPad" because of its resemblance to Apple's tablet, the iPad. Before it was announced, many were already waiting on the BlackPad eagerly, with some users predicting that the device will be business-centric as the company's smartphones were made to be.

BlackBerry PlayBook Features

The BlackBerry PlayBook is set to be released on April 19, 2011 with the device's official site boasting of the following features:

  • Professional Grade Performance (1 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM)
  • Web Without Limits (Built in support for HTML-5, Abobe Flash 10.1 enabled)
  • High-speed Connections (Wifi connectability, Bluetooth capable)
  • Amplified BlackBerry Experience (Connects to the BlackBerry smartphone to access email, calendar, BBM and more wirelessly)
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS (Powerful, user-friendly QNX technology, Multi-processing for multitasking)
  • Video Calling (Features dual video cameras in high-resolution display)
  • Best-in-class Media (Codec support for multimedia playback, Micro USB and HDMI ports)
  • Super Convenient (7" LCD display, 0.9 lbs weight, Dimensions 5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4")
  • Rich Application Ecysystem (Rapid development technology, Supports various app platforms)
  • Built for Business (Compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Corporate Data Access, Secure and Manageable)

Prices and Availability

The BlackBerry PlayBook can now be pre-ordered from Best Buy. It will be available at Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Best Buy Canada, and Future Shop outlets on April 19th at the following prices:

  • 16GB Wi-Fi: $499
  • 32GB Wi-Fi: $599
  • 64GB Wi-Fi: $699

They will also be available at various retail outlets all over the United States and Canada on the release date. International availability of the PlayBook is yet to be announced.

Sources: BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry Blog