Tools & Technologies

RIM Unveils the BlackBerry PlayBook ("BlackBook" would be a better name)

Research In Motion took the wraps off a new addition to its device line up today – the BlackBerry PlayBook. The PlayBook was announced at RIM’s BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 conference in San Francisco today.

The PlayBook is a slate tablet that supports full integration with current BlackBerry devices and the BlackBerry enterprise servers, for mobile productivity, collaboration, and entertainment. The PlayBook is RIM’s response to the Apple iPad.

Based on initial information, there are a couple of neat things:

  • It continues RIM’s focus on the enterprise. RIM is already a proven player in the enterprise space, and the integration with BlackBerry devices and its enterprise server means the PlayBook will be easier to bring into the enterprise.
  • It offers multi-tasking support, through the ability to have multiple windows open and active at the same time.
  • It will give mobile workers an option to leave their laptop behind. Their BlackBerry smartphone will give them highly mobile on-the-go access to critical information, and when greater interactivity is required, the PlayBook will be readily available.
  • It offers better Internet support than the iPad, through support for Flash.

I think RIM should call it the BlackBook though, and get rid of the “Play” name. This could be a serious business tool, and “play” sends the wrong message.

I’m a big fan of BlackBerry devices, and choose a BlackBerry over an iPhone 3 or 4. The real keyboard on the BlackBerry is a must-have in a mobile device in my view – although I realize that many people take a different view and find on-screen keyboards satisfactory.

The PlayBook will be commercially available in early 2011.

For more, check out the BlackBerry PlayBook.

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