RIM reveals the Playbook in Dubai
Device will have up to eight hours continuous performance time
The new Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry Playbook, scheduled for release in the US in the second quarter of 2011, made its debut at the RIM Developer day in Dubai.
The seven inch device will have a battery life of up to eight hours continuous usage time, and more than that in standby time according to Mike Al Mefleh, director, Product Management RIM Middle East.
"The product is still in development and what I am going to show you is still a beta version so, we are still a few months away. However, we do know from our testing and everything that we have done that the battery is very competitive. [battery life] in terms of talk time and performance time is up to eight hours and this is plenty of time to do your email and browsing. In terms of standby time, it is going to be much longer than that," he said.
Al Mefleh also confirmed that the 400 gramme device will be able to support the Arabic language.
The device will be open to browsers besides the BlackBerry browser; the Playbook will support Google Chrome and Firefox.
The Playbook has a dual core processor with I GHz per processor and will have one gig of RAM.
"There will be a lot of tablets coming onto the market just this year. About 200 or 300 tablets through the year," said Al Mefleh. "What makes the Playbook different in the market? As I said, it is an incomparable mobile browser; we actually married the technology used in the Torch, which is the web-kit browser."
Playbook runs on a QNX operating system, which is also used in several high security applications.
"The OS QNX is very reliable, very robust, and very secure; it has been in the market for some time. It is being used in nuclear plants, in the very important banking systems, in transportation and healthcare. It also gives the flexibility to develop true applications for developers," said Al Mefleh.
The device features a 5MP camera on the back and a 3MP camera on the front for video chat and web-conferencing. The rear-mounted camera has good picture quality in demonstration.
The screen is a high definition 1080x600 resolution and has capacitive touch technology. The screen's touch sensitivity is comparable to the iPad and beats the Samsung Galaxy 7 hands down.
The device has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections and users can pair their device with their existing BlackBerry phones, as long as they are on the 5.0 operating system and above, to download and read emails and documents. The documents are not stored on the Playbook and once the BlackBerry phone is unplugged, any data is wiped off the Playbook. .... Says this security feature is what will make the Playbook appeal to the professional and executive market over its rivals.
The Playbook also supports the Adobe Flashplayer 10.1, designed to give users high quality video playback.
"The BlackBerry Playbook is actually for people who mean business, not just targeted for only business users, it is targeted for people to use in their life to connect to their loved ones, to connect using social networking, to be able to Google and Facebook and all the activities they need to as well as being able to download videos, video streaming etc. It is a complete solution for both enterprise and consumers," said Al Mefleh.
Research in Motion application developers are currently busy developing apps for the Playbook, which is open source. Research In Motion has said that it hopes to release the device with at least 4,000 apps available.
RIM are still being cagey about the price, but say it will be competitive with other similar devices.