Apple's iPad has quite a grip on the newly-popular tablet market. While its popularity looks to remain strong in the near future, a piece of the tablet market share pie could be taken by competing tablet devices from other manufacturers. One such tablet, the Blackberry PlayBook, is not on the market yet, but tech fans have been given a preview as to what the upcoming tablet will offer.
Before jumping into the list of features set to come in the PlayBook, it should be noted that RIM has made no official announcements regarding an actual price for the tablet. Company officials have simply stated that the PlayBook will be priced competitively. To give you an idea of a possible price, RIM's co-CEO Jim Basille said in November that the tablet would cost less than $500. An actual release date has not been divulged either, although many suspect that it will ship sometime during the first quarter of 2011.
The PlayBook has a 7-inch display with a 1,024 x 600 resolution, which is a good deal smaller than the 9.7-inch display of the iPad. Similarly, the PlayBook also weighs less than the iPad, coming in at 0.9 pounds. The smaller overall dimensions of the tablet make it easier to grip and control. One sacrifice that comes with the smaller display size, however, is less real estate to type on using the touch-screen keyboard.
A 1 GHz Cortex A9 dual-core processor powers the PlayBook, and it appears to give the tablet plenty of pep when gaming, watching video, and performing other, similar tasks. The PlayBook is also Flash capable, meaning you can view all of your favorite YouTube videos and more on the tablet's 7-inch display. When the tablet actually comes out, it may also be able to play Flash videos in 1080p, even though the small display is not exactly ideal for such viewing. Besides its Flash capabilities, the tablet is also said to be HTML5-friendly. As far as the OS is concerned, the PlayBook will run on a new platform designed by QNX, and it won't be based on the current Blackberry OS.
The PlayBook's battery life has been questioned, with rumors surfacing that it has only been providing a few hours of usage on a full charge. RIM executives have denied these rumors, and stated that they plan to ship a PlayBook that will offer eight hours of usage. Rumors have also been discussed regarding the PlayBook's connectivity. When it first launches, Wi-Fi will be the only option, although RIM announced that consumers can look forward to 3G and 4G versions of the tablet in the near future. Sprint announced that it will have a 4G version available this summer.
Other notable features of the Blackberry PlayBook include dual cameras capable of capturing video in 1080p. The front of the tablet will house a five-megapixel lens, while the back will house a three-megapixel lens. To output 1080p video, the tablet comes with a micro-HDMI port. Besides the listed features of the PlayBook, tablet shoppers can also look forward to a user-friendly interface and much more.
Will the Blackberry PlayBook be an iPad killer? Probably not, but it will be fun to see the tablet arena's competition heat up.
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