Waterloo-based Research in Motion has finally revealed its much talked about tablet. Dubbed the PlayBook, the device was launched today at the BlackBerry developer event in with a launch date of 'early next year.'
RIM is taking aim at Apple's iPad with the PlayBook. Though co-CEO Mike Lazaridis described it as 'the first professional tablet,' the company is also promising full-featured browsing as well as high performance multimedia.
Specswise we're looking at a 7-inch (1024 x 600) WSVGA multitouch display, which makes the device a little more compact than the iPad with its 9.7-inch display; a 1GHz dual-core CPU; 1GB of RAM; 1080p video playback; support for Flash 10.1, HTML5; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR; HDMI out; and two webcams, one 5-megapixel camera on the back and one 3-megapixel camera on the front for video conferencing.
Though the specifications are pretty exciting, the most interesting part of the announcement is probably the fact that RIM is using a brand new OS for the PlayBook. Despite the fact that the latest iteration of its BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 6, was only just released, rumors that the company would go with a new OS from the recently acquired QNX have proved true. Built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, which RIM calls "most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world," BlackBerry Tablet OS is fully POSIX compliant, supports Open GL for 2D and 3D graphics intensive applications, and will run applications built in Adobe Mobile AIR and the company's newly announced BlackBerry WebWorks app platform.
No word on pricing or a specific release date. RIM has said it will be available in the first quarter of 2011, with international markets to follow in Q2.