BlackBerry World is upon us, with RIM making the controversial decision not to show off any new devices, instead revealing information on BlackBerry 10, its brand new operating system that's going to be powering the company's top-end gear.

Our intrepid brothers at CNET have been hands-on with Dev Alpha, a testing device that's running the PlayBook OS seen on RIM's doomed tablet. What are their first impressions of RIM's new toy?

BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to ditch physical keys, and some new keyboard software seems to be drumming up excitement. Brian Bennett reports that the Dev Alpha device has a natty predictive ability to guess what you're trying to type. Every letter you tap displays a guess at the word you're fishing for above that character.

Predictive text is nothing new, but a slick take on it could make bashing out missives a lot speedier, and could reassure business types who will be switching from the established physical Qwerty keypad.

Brian writes, "I tried my hand at banging out a few messages and I often found myself staring right at the word sitting on the tip of my tongue. It's honestly an uncanny feeling, almost as if the device was reading my mind."

You can get a sneak-peek by watching the embedded video below. The keyboard is shown at the 20-second mark.

Intriguing stuff. The Dev Alpha device might not be anywhere near a final design, but its 4.2-inch 1,280x768-pixel screen is encouraging at least -- as this is a device for app developers to take a gander at with a mind to crafting software, so final devices should offer this impressive resolution.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that the BlackBerry 10 camera app has a time-turning feature that lets you adjust the exact moment that a photo was snapped, in case someone had their eyes closed.

Some promising features? Perhaps, but it's galling to have so little information on new products. BlackBerry 10 should land this year, but that could be after the next iPhone, and will surely be after the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Is this enough to rescue RIM? My instincts say no, but let me know your predictions in the comments or via our Facebook wall.

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Here's the back.
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Looks like a sneaky speaker grille.
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Side-on.
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You can tell the screen boasts a high resolution.
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There's no official word on BlackBerry 10 devices yet.
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Is RIM beyond help? Let me know your thoughts.
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