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Tablets

BlackBerry PlayBook 10-inch model rumoured for end of 2011

While Brits wait patiently for the first PlayBook to arrive, rumours surface of an iPad-matching 10-inch BlackBerry tablet model launch before the end of the year.

We hate seeing rumours of the next generation of a product before the current version has even launched in Britain. So we're mighty miffed to hear of a new 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook when we don't even have a UK release date for the original 7-inch model.

This gives BlackBerry builders RIM plenty of time to manufacture a PlayBook with a larger screen, particularly as Boy Genius Report's sources suggest there won't be many other spec enhancements over the current model.

Though RIM may be playing catchup to Apple, with rumours of the iPad 3 already coalescing, as things currently stand a larger PlayBook might be quite evenly matched to the iPad 2. No, the irony of Apple hoarding touchscreens and delaying RIM's plans isn't lost on us.

Performance wise, it largely depends on how the PlayBook's Cortex-A9 processor stands up against the iPad's A5. They're both dual-core 1GHz chips, though the PlayBook needs to contend with Flash, which the iPad sidesteps. This will also impact battery life. The iPad 2 touts 10 hours in ideal lab conditions, a figure the PlayBook may find hard to match.

The rest comes down to cost, user experience and apps. Neither platform lacks loyal fans, though Apple easily has the upper hand on software, with the PlayBook inexplicably launching without built-in email.

Six months is a long time in the world of mobile devices. We can only hope future PlayBooks get decent feature upgrades so they're more competitive.