Thursday, June 23, 2011

Closer look at the BlackBerry Playbook

The BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s first tablet, has started shipping in the US and many other parts of the world. Like the original Samsung Galaxy Tab, the BlackBerry PlayBook sports a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels display. The tablet runs a webOS-like sliding-tile UI based on the QNX software. Its biggest strength is its multitasking skills. You can, for instance, run Quake III while playing a 1080p HD video on the tablet.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has a 1GHz dual core ARM based processor and 1GB of RAM. There is a 5 megapixel camera on the back side with video recording capabilities and a 3 megapixel on the front side for video conferencing. The PlayBook has an understated look with a black matte casing.

The PlayBook supports HTML 5 and Adobe Flash. And because it has a widescreen display you will not have to worry about your videos getting cropped. But the feature that would appeal most to a BlackBerry Messenger fan is the tablet’s secure email skills.

Right now only a WiFi version of the tablet is available. A 4G-enabled version is expected to be available in the US sometime soon. You can pair a WiFi PlayBook with a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth to access enterprise grade email, contacts and the BlackBerry Messenger IM software.

The biggest drawback right now is the limited availability of apps for tablet. While the iPad has tens of thousands of iPhone apps to run, few apps are available for the PlayBook right now. On the bright side RIM has announced that it is working on adding support for the Android Market although it is not clear when exactly that would happen.

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