SAN FRANCISCO--RIM put the rest of the world on notice that it's not just a boring, yet eminently reliable, buttoned-up smartphone maker anymore.
As was widely rumored, RIM did unveil its first non-smartphone device today at the opening keynote event at its DevCon developer conference here. The company is calling it the PlayBook.
The PlayBook is aimed at people who do more work than play--RIM's calling it "the first professional tablet"--but the company is certainly not ignoring the world outside of the office. In fact, even though RIM is playing very heavily to its reliable, … Read more
Judging from the number of times the words "professional" and "uncompromising" came up during today's Research In Motion announcement, we think it's fair to say the PlayBook isn't positioned to take on Apple as a budget alternative to the iPad. Instead, RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook is poised to attack the iPad on the basis of specs, such a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, micro-HDMI output, symmetrical dual-core processing, and support for 1080p HD video playback. It also features both rear-facing (5MP) and front-facing (3MP) cameras, capable of HD video recording and still photos.
The PlayBook also distinguishes itself from other tablets with its size, featuring a 7-inch screen (1,024x600) that falls right between the iPad's 9.7-inch screen and the 5-inch screen of the Dell Streak. In all, the PlayBook's dimensions measure 5.1 inches tall, 7.6 inches wide, and 0.4 inch thick, weighing just under a pound.
On the software end, the PlayBook runs an OS designed from the ground up by BlackBerry, which is compatible with a number of BlackBerry services and apps. The BlackBerry tablet OS also supports Adobe Flash 10.1, WebKit, Java, Open GL, and Adobe Air. Supported video formats include H.264, MPEG4, and WMV, up to 1080p HD resolution (scaled down to the screen's lower native resolution).
Though it seemingly isn't required for users to have a BlackBerry smartphone to use the PlayBook, it certainly doesn't hurt. Existing BlackBerry users can pair with the PlayBook over Bluetooth to provide them with a secure gateway to connect with their BlackBerry e-mail, contacts, calendar, and tasks. In theory, pairing with a BlackBerry phone also allows the PlayBook to take advantage of the phone's cellular data connection for surfing the Web or streaming media, though carriers have yet to weigh in on how far users can take this tethering capability. On its own, the PlayBook features an integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connection.
With all of these specs, the PlayBook has rocketed to the top of our list of the iPad's most legitimate contenders. Of course, there are a number of details RIM neglected to mention that may make the tablet a nonstarter. … Read more
Research in Motion today unveiled its first tablet offering called the "PlayBook."
The device is due early next year in the U.S., with international availability coming in the second quarter of 2011. RIM has not yet announced a price.
The 7-inch, 9.7mm-thick tablet, which was debuted by RIM's President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis at the company's DevCon event in San Francisco, features an HTML5-capable browser, both front- and rear-facing HD cameras, and HDMI and USB ports.
On the inside, the PlayBook runs off of a 1GHz dual-core chip and has 1GB of built-in RAM. … Read more
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET editors Donald Bell, Jessica Dolcourt, Nicole Lee, and Josh Lowensohn. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary of what got announced, in our story here. We've also embedded a short video clip of the PlayBook's introduction.
SAN FRANCISCO--A developer conference can be kind of a snooze for non-programmer folks, but Research In Motion had some rather interesting news to reveal today. After a smattering of reports of an impending BlackBerry tablet hit this spring and summer, RIM took the opportunity during its keynote address at RIM DevCon to show off the BlackBerry PlayBook, which it calls the first professional tablet.
Transcript of live blog starts here:… Read more
Kno, which showed off a fancy dual-screen tablet for education earlier this year, said today that it also has plans for a cheaper, single-screen option.
The company is aiming at the education market and had touted the two-screen option as a great way to read and take notes at the same time. However, in announcing the new model on Monday, the company acknowledged that the added glass also adds cost to a product aimed at a cost-sensitive market.
"Even though the Kno pays for itself in 13 months, the smaller up-front investment of the single screen version will allow … Read more
Sharp is planning to launch a new, cloud-based e-bookstore and two tablets in the Japanese market in December.
The e-bookstore will offer approximately 30,000 newspapers, magazines, and books, the company said today. It will include an "Automatic Schedule Delivery Service" for periodicals, which will allow magazine and newspaper publishers to automatically push new editions to the user's e-reader. Sharp didn't say how much content in the store will cost; it plans to reveal pricing details later this year.
In addition, Sharp introduced two tablets, bearing the Galapagos nickname, that will work with the company's … Read more
Research In Motion is known for basically one thing: making reliable smartphones that brought e-mailing from a phone to the mainstream. But it might be branching out very soon.
The Canadian company is the largest smartphone purveyor in the U.S., and despite the surging sales of Apple iPhones and Google Android-powered devices, RIM has held its ground--for now. Its BlackBerry accounts for 41 percent of smartphones in the U.S., and is second overall worldwide after Nokia.
But even though RIM has been able to hold on to its lead in smartphones, Apple's iOS software and Android are not staying put there. Both are moving on to bigger, more powerful mobile devices: touch-screen tablets. The iPad's runaway success has created a new device category for consumers who want to buy something that's lighter than a laptop and easier to type and browse on than a smartphone. And almost everyone is jumping in: Dell, HP, and Samsung are looking to get a piece of this market early on, too, which analysts expect to hit 15 million units this year, and more than 20 million next year.
RIM, somewhat surprisingly, is one of those with its eye on this market. Since the spring, reports have leaked out that the company was testing a tablet to work in conjunction with its smartphone. RIM was found to have bought the domain name "Blackpad.com," which has led some to nickname the yet-to-be confirmed device "BlackPad."
Word came last week that the company might even introduce the device today, when President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and other execs take the stage at the annual developer gathering, RIM DevCon, in San Francisco. The device is not expected, however, to ship until closer to the end of the year.
If it does offer a sneak peek, it's a bold move to do it in the same venue Apple uses to announce its new iPhone every year (San Francisco's Moscone Center), but not more so than RIM actually making a tablet in the first place.
If RIM trots out a sister device to the BlackBerry, like a touch-screen tablet, it's a sign that the company isn't resigned to letting Apple and Android steal its market share without a good fight.… Read more
Will small, powerful, connected-to-everything devices running on non-Intel silicon become the personal computer? The CEO of graphics-chip supplier Nvidia thinks so.
The sentiment, voiced at the company's annual conference this week by chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang, has been expressed before. And like any strong strategy statement from a Silicon Valley CEO, it's self-serving. Nvidia is staking a good chunk of its future--as much as half of its business--on chips based on the ARM design.
But that doesn't mean Huang has got it all wrong, either. Indeed, ARM-based devices such as Apple's iPhone and iPad, Motorola's Droid, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and countless future smartphones and tablets from Motorola, RIM, Apple, and others will use the ARM chip design. "ARM is the fastest-growing CPU (processor) in the world today. It's the instruction set architecture of choice of mobile computing," Huang said. "It is very clear now that mobile computing will be a completely disruptive force to all of computing."
Huang continued. "This (smartphone) is the first computer that is equipped with all kinds of sensors, cameras, microphones, GPSs, and accelerometers. This is the first computer that's context aware. Situation aware. Who knows, someday it may be self-aware," he said.
Huang raises interesting questions about the future. Will a future PC be a powerful, multi-core-CPU handheld device that wirelessly connects to large displays and a host of other devices--so the PC is carried around in your pocket or small satchel and then connects on the fly to larger devices and/or peripherals?
But the ARM-based vision also presumes that the largest chipmaker in the world, Intel, is standing still. Which it isn't.… Read more
Target will start selling Apple's iPad on October 3, the company announced at a news conference in Minneapolis today.
Target will carry all six versions of the tablet, including the 16-, 32-, and 64GB versions of the iPad with Wi-Fi and the iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G. Prices will start at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, which is the same price that Apple sells the device for.
A Target spokeswoman told CNET in a phone interview today that the iPad will be included in a special store promotion beginning October 17 that gives customers a 5 percent discount … Read more