RIM unveils its tablet, the 'PlayBook'

RIM's tablet finally gets unveiled. It's got two HD cameras, a beefy processor, and the company says it's "enterprise ready."

RIM PlayBook
RIM President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis holds up the company's new tablet, the "PlayBook." James Martin

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. It will also come with a special version of the BlackBerry software that features multitasking and 1080p video playback. Other specs of note include 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and support for Adobe Flash 10.1.

Lazaridis said that the device is "enterprise ready" and that it will fit in with the company's existing server architecture. The company said in a press release that it plans on "working with developers and select corporate customers next month to begin development and early testing efforts."

Of note, the initial version of the PlayBook appears not to ship with a 3G or 4G cellular antenna. Instead, users are expected to pair the device with their BlackBerry phones (via Bluetooth) to enable data connectivity when out of range of a Wi-Fi connection. The company's press release says it "intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future."

CNET will take a first look video on the device later today. In the meantime, here's RIM's first promotional video of the PlayBook in action:

Update: Here's our first look:

Read the full CNET Review

BlackBerry PlayBook (16GB)

The Bottom Line: The BlackBerry PlayBook ably showcases RIM's powerful new mobile operating system, but its middling size diminishes many of its best features. / Read full review

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.



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