Research in Motion Announces Blackberry PlayBook

Research in Motion (RIM) has finally responded to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab with the announcement of the Blackberry PlayBook (formerly rumoured to be the Blackpad).

On paper, the Blackberry PlayBook indeed looks quite impressive.  It will utilize an operating system from recently acquired QNX.  QNX has been in the business of real time operating systems for about thirty years and has released a new OS, labeled Blackberry Tablet OS.  While the OS has advanced features such as multitasking and provides support for the Blackberry Enterprise Server, there appears to be a major lack of applications or development environment.  RIM has stated that a developer IDE and program would be forthcoming.


It appears that in order to gain a secure connection to BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server), the PlayBook must pair over secure bluetooth to a Blackberry device.  This also is required for push-based content.

The PlayBook will sport a 7″, 1024 x 600 capacitive multitouch display, a Cortex A9-based, 1Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 3 megapixel front-facing and 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with support for 1080p. The Playbook will also have a built-in HDMI port. micro USB, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.

Pricing has not yet been established but there is speculation that it may be as high as $1,500 USD retail.  RIM has stated the PlayBook will begin to ship in early 2011.

List of specifications announced:

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.


About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.