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By Bob Kovacs
BlackBerry is jumping into the tablet pool, where until recently the Apple iPad has had little competition. Research in Motion (RIM) announced that it is releasing the PlayBook, a BlackBerry-based pad device that supports enterprise applications such as corporate e-mail, as well as face-to-face conferencing and just about any type of multimedia.
Sporting a seven-inch display and 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, the PlayBook measures 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches and weighs 0.9 lbs. Connectivity is with WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and 3G wireless using an existing BlackBerry smartphone service plan. The PlayBook runs on the QNX operating system.
The PlayBook has rear- and front-facing cameras, with a maximum still-image resolution of five megapixels. A real eye-opener is its ability to record 1080p HD video, a format that has yet to make it into most homes. The PlayBook’s multimedia credentials are further enhanced by its ability to play stereo audio.
Since the PlayBook is from BlackBerry, it will be able to sync work e-mail, calendars as well as other business documents and files. RIM is equipping the PlayBook with security capabilities to reduce the chance of exposure in the event a unit is lost or stolen.
Under the hood, the BlackBerry PlayBook has a 1 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM. RIM says that the PlayBook will seamlessly pair with a BlackBerry smartphone to provide a secure window for sharing data and files.
With the success of Apple’s iPad, several vendors are planning to debut pad devices in the next couple of months. The BlackBerry PlayBook looks to bring corporate “cred” to the pad marketplace.