Research in Motion (RIM) announced the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet this week. The device will do battle with Apple's iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab early next year when it becomes available.

Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook

The BlackBerry PlayBook, which debuted at the BlackBerry developers conference DevCon, will have an immediate advantage over the iPad and Galaxy Tab when it comes to wooing business users who already are familiar with the BlackBerry mobile operating system.

Follow along this slideshow to learn more about what RIM hopes will be the BlackBerry PlayBook's competitive advantages.

Specs: ready for work or play

  • 7in LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen, multi-touch/gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for multiprocessing
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3Mp front facing, 5Mp rear facing)
  • Supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Measures 130x 93x10mm
  • Weighs 0.9lb
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future

 

NEXT PAGE: Core features

  1. We look at BlackBerry's iPad rival
  2. Core features
  3. BlackBerry Messaging
  4. Interface and multitasking
  5. Speed and security

Research in Motion is heating up the tablet wars with the BlackBerry PlayBook, which aims to outshine Apple and Samsung in business appeal.

Core features

The core features of the BlackBerry PlayBook are:

  • Support for Adobe mobile version of Flash
  • Multitasking
  • Dual-core processors
  • Enterprise level security
  • Face-to-face video conferencing
  • Support for multimedia (games, video, and music)

Two cameras for real-time video conferencing

RIM says the BlackBerry PlayBook sports dual HD cameras for both capturing video and video conferencing. On the side you'll find a HDMI-out port for presenting on external displays. No word on whether the BlackBerry PlayBook supports video conferencing on 3G networks. RIM would only say in its press material today "RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future."

NEXT PAGE: BlackBerry Messaging

  1. We looks at BlackBerry's iPad rival
  2. Core features
  3. BlackBerry Messaging
  4. Interface and multitasking
  5. Speed and security

Research in Motion is heating up the tablet wars with the BlackBerry PlayBook, which aims to outshine Apple and Samsung in business appeal.

BlackBerry Messaging

Here is a look at BlackBerry PlayBook's BBM messaging capabilities.

Calendar

BlackBerry PlayBook can be paired with your BlackBerry smartphone (running device software v5 or higher) via Bluetooth so you can sync email, calendar, BBM, tasks, and documents.

NEXT PAGE: Interface and multitasking

  1. We looks at BlackBerry's iPad rival
  2. Core features
  3. BlackBerry Messaging
  4. Interface and multitasking
  5. Speed and security

Research in Motion is heating up the tablet wars with the BlackBerry PlayBook, which aims to outshine Apple and Samsung in business appeal.

Interface and multitasking

The BlackBerry PlayBook sports the QNX mobile operating system, which RIM acquired last spring. Naturally the tablet has an on-screen keyboard and allows you to run multiple tasks at the same time.

Image gallery

Organise your digital library of pictures and videos on the BlackBerry PlayBook with utilities such as this content viewer.

NEXT PAGE: Speed and security

  1. We looks at BlackBerry's iPad rival
  2. Core features
  3. BlackBerry Messaging
  4. Interface and multitasking
  5. Speed and security

Research in Motion is heating up the tablet wars with the BlackBerry PlayBook, which aims to outshine Apple and Samsung in business appeal.

Speed and security

The BlackBerry PlayBook touts support for 1GHz dual-core processors allowing for, as it says, "highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experience for apps and content services".

The tablet is compatible with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, meaning help desks will already be familiar with the tablet. Using an encrypted Bluetooth connection, RIM says, the tablet can communicate securely between devices. It adds: "When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls)."

A true business tablet?

RIM is billing the BlackBerry PlayBook as 'professional-grade' tablet perfect for businesses. It has a point. What the BlackBerry PlayBook may lack in fun apps it makes up for in business appeal (security, links to back office resources, and syncing with BlackBerry smartphone). With its close ties to its BlackBerry smartphone cousin (already extremely popular among office workers) the PlayBook might just find a welcome home at work.

See also: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: the details

  1. We looks at BlackBerry's iPad rival
  2. Core features
  3. BlackBerry Messaging
  4. Interface and multitasking
  5. Speed and security