Research In Motion launched a tablet computer at its DevCon 2010 event, unveiling the PlayBook as a device it was careful to describe as professional-grade.
Co-CEO of RIM, Mike Lazaridis, had the honour of revealing the new touchscreen computer, playing a demonstration video before running through some of the key specifications, while leaving plenty of areas, like pricing and availability, still shrouded in mystery.
The PlayBook takes what is arguably the best parts of the dimensions of the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, with a 7-inch LCD display and a petite 9.6mm in depth. It'll also weigh about 400g, making nearly half the weight of the hefty iPad.
With a WSVGA (1024x600-pixel) resolution, the PlayBook won't display in true HD, but it can output to a 1080p-compatible device via an HDMI cable. Lazaridis told us in his keynote that the PlayBook would be able to output one image while displaying another on its LCD, suggesting this would open up a range of cool new apps.
BlackBerry phones have been far from the best web browsing devices for a few years now, but RIM is obviously aiming for top spot in the tablet space. The PlayBook will sport an HTML5-compatible WebKit browser with support for Adobe Flash 10.1.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this announcement was that the original BlackBerry tablet rumours were true, this is a companion device. The PlayBook will share a user's BlackBerry service account and unlimited data, saving them having to pay for two telco data accounts. Those who don't have or want a BlackBerry smartphone can still use the PlayBook, with data via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.