CES: BlackBerry PlayBook gets 4G model via Sprint

RIM announces its partnership with Sprint to bring the BlackBerry PlayBook to Sprint's 4G network in summer of 2011.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
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RIM's PlayBook tablet.
RIM's PlayBook tablet. Research In Motion

In a bid to be the most blazing tablet around, RIM has announced that its Blackberry PlayBook will be up and running on Sprint's 4G network by summer.

The 4G-enabled PlayBook will exist as a separate model from the Wi-Fi-only offerings due in the first quarter of 2011, and will bear the name BlackBerry 4G PlayBook. Beyond the added wireless connectivity, all other features should be identical.

Sprint's 4G service is currently available in 71 markets, including Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City. The addition of 4G wireless speed to the PlayBook puts another arrow in RIM's quiver when it comes to taking on Apple's market-dominating iPad.

Along with dual-core processing, 1GB of RAM, Flash 10.1 support, 1080p video recording and playback, and HDMI output, RIM is making a serious effort to position the PlayBook as the more professional and capable option, against Apple's offering. Time will tell if the strategy pays off.

For more info on the BlackBerry PlayBook, read our hands-on impressions from CES 2011.