BlackBerry PlayBook has two more 4G wireless models on the way this year

RIM's decision not to include 3G in its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was puzzling, but now RIM has announced two new 4G models will be going on sale this year.

Stuart Dredge
2 min read

BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi connectivity alone might not be a hugely tempting prospect, even if you can pair it with a BlackBerry smart phone for 3G access. RIM, however, has announced two new PlayBook models this morning, due to go on sale this year, which will have built-in 4G mobile broadband.

4G? Bully for the US, where the operators are busily rolling out their 4G networks. There's good news for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic too, though. One of the 4G PlayBooks supports the LTE standard, while the other supports HSPA+. Expect the latter model to be the one that comes to the UK, to match the network tech of our operators.

Want a quote to get you fired up about all this? Well, you probably won't get it from RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. "We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook's many advantages with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users," he snores.

Still, the BlackBerry PlayBook remains a contender in 2011's Battle of the Tablets. Its 7-inch screen is smaller than some of its newly announced rivals, such as the LG Optimus Pad or Samsung Galaxy Tab II, but the 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM should ensure the PlayBook flies along. Videos posted by RIM, such as this one comparing its Web-surfing speeds with Apple's iPad, back that up.

The Wi-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook is due to go on sale in the first half of this year, with units already rolling off the production line for its North American debut. The two new 4G models will follow in the second half of 2011, although RIM has not announced likely pricing or operator partnerships to sell them here in the UK.