RIM (Research In Motion – the maker of the BlackBerry SmartPhones), announced details yesterday of their own tablet computing device called the BlackBerry PlayBook. Read the press release.
The PlayBook is aimed at people who do more work than play–RIM’s calling it “the first professional tablet” and is due to hit the market some time early next year in the U.S., with international availability coming in the second quarter of 2011, but no specific date has been named. It has a 7-inch touch screen, is just under 10 millimeters thick, has a front and back-facing camera for videoconferencing, a 1GHz dual-core chip, and 1GB RAM, 1080p high-definition video playback, Wi-Fi, and supports HTML5 and Flash-based video. 3G and 4G version support is also on the cards.
RIM didn’t tread lightly to distinguish itself between the PlayBook and the Apple iPad. The PlayBook will display both HTML5 and Adobe Flash-based video on the Web. Apple has been very vocal about its distaste for mobile Flash, and has been a proponent of the emerging HTML5 Web standard. The idea that all Web video will be displayed is one way to differentiate its device for potential consumers.
This announcement together with Samsung’s announcement 3 weeks ago of their own Android based tablet computer called the Samsung Galaxy, has drawn the battle lines for an all out tablet computer device war! Tech enthusiasts are in for some interesting options becoming available.