Some time back, we posted a news piece describing Research In Motion’s plans upcoming tablet device, which was known then by the tentative name of ‘BlackPad’. And RIM’s recent announcement has confirmed the existence of such a device, albeit with a caveat: it will not be called the BlackPad. Instead, it will go by the name of PlayBook.
Not too long ago, purchasing a tablet meant that consumers had only two options to choose from: Apple’s iOS-powered iPad or OEM-made tablets running off Google’s Android operating system. However, with the latest official announcement from RIM, it seems that users now have a third option to choose from – a tablet running on RIM’s own operating system.
According to a news report by intomobile.com, Research In Motion formally announced the PlayBook yesterday in San Francisco. However, unlike earlier reports and speculation, the PlayBook will not be loaded with the new BlackBerry OS6. Instead, the tablet will ship with a new operating system which has been developed by QNX, and is claimed to be compatible with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Adobe’s Flash plugin.
In addition, intomobile.com claims the new OS sports an interface similar to that on the BlackBerry OS 6, ostensibly to allow for an seamless user experience between the PlayBook and BlackBerry’s smartphones.
Specs-wise, the PlayBook has also been touted to carry some powerful hardware: reports have confirmed that the PlayBook will have a seven-inch touchscreen, a dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of system RAM. In addition, the PlayBook will also support OpenGL ES2.0, which opens the PlayBook up to the potential of being a gaming device.
App development has also been touted to be friendly towards developers. Blackberry has claimed that the QNX operating system on the BlackPad will support its own WebWorks API and Adobe’s tools. In theory, this means that app developers will only need to write one set of codes, which can then be compiled for either platform, thus resulting in lesser work for developers when porting applications from one platform to another within the BlackBerry ecosystem.
The PlayBook will only be released in early 2011, and even then, no pricing for the device has been confirmed. However, if you are interested, we have attached the official press release in the next page for your viewing pleasure.
Source and image: Intomobile.com