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RIM introduces PlayBook -- The BlackBerry Professional tablet

September 28, 2010 4 Comments Mobile Integration

With the emergence of EHR/EMR this new device may be a very useful tool in a doctor's office.

Yesterday at Research In Motion's annual BlackBerry Developer Conference, CEO Mike Lazaridis announced the company's new tablet -- the PlayBook. The tablet will utilize an OS created by the recently acquired QNX (just as we'd heard previous to the announcement) called the BlackBerry Tablet OS which will offer full OpenGL and POSIX support alongside web standards such as HTML5 (which is all tied into RIM's new WebWorks SDK). Lazaridis was joined on stage by the company's founder, Dan Dodge, who said that "QNX is going to enable things that you have never seen before," and added that the PlayBook would be "an incredible gaming platform for publishers and the players." RIM also touted the PlayBook's ability to handle Flash content via Flash 10.1, as well as Adobe AIR apps. The new slate -- which Lazaridis described as "the first professional tablet" -- will sport a 7-inch, 1024 x 600, capacitive multitouch display, a Cortex A9-based, dual-core 1GHz CPU (the company calls it the "fastest tablet ever"), 1GB of RAM, and a 3 megapixel front-facing camera along with a 5 megapixel rear lens (and yes, there will be video conferencing). There was no mention of onboard storage capacity during the keynote, though the devices we just spied in our eyes-on post are labeled 16GB and 32GB on their back panels. The PlayBook will be capable of 1080p HD video, and comes equipped with an HDMI port as well as a microUSB jack, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1. The device clocks in at a svelte 5.1- by 7.6-inches, is only 0.4-inches thick, and weighs just 400g (or about 0.9 pounds).  Read more about this from Engadget


Comments (4)

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I had a brief play with a BlackBerry PlayBook at Orlando airport this mnnriog. Most of it wasn't functioning because there was no wifi connection, so it wasn't possible to try out the browser or any of the web-dependent apps.a0Of course, the 7 inch screen just looked stupidly small next to my iPad. A point of sale display nearby boastfully proclaimed Amateur Hour Is Over (presumably a sly dig at the iPad), but all I could think of when I picked up the device was how it felt like a Fisher Price toy. It felt too light and too plasticky. It just isn't a device that is in the same class as the iPad and I found it hard to take it seriously.a0My deep reservations about the form factor aside, the good news is that the QNX software is fast and fluid. It's far more responsive than Android on the Galaxy Tab and far more polished than Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom. Seeing all your open applications running live in the card view is really quite cool, but I didn't get a chance to push the multitasking to the limit to see if performance would suffer in real world use.a0I hunted around for an app which would allow me to test the onscreen keyboard, eventually stumbling upon Word to Go (which looked pretty similar to the iPad version, I have to say).a0Unfortunately, that is where the similarity ended. Firing up the application and attempting to type in landscape mode was an exercise ina0frustration. Not only did the keyboard take up half of the already small screen, but the keyboard itself was only a three quarters of the width of an iPad's and each key about two thirds the height. Worse still, there was no autocorrect, resulting in a large number of typos, even in the few short sentences I managed to type.a0Switching to portrait mode, I was more successful. Thumb-typing is definitely the way to go on the Playbook it feels really, really comfortable when held that way. The lack of autocorrect is still a handicap, however, with the keyboard depending upon complete accuracy when typing so the typos persisted. It felt great, but it didn't work great. Moreover, can you imagine sitting in a business meeting with a Playbook held up in front of your face while taking notes?Overall, I think $499 is a steep price to pay for a device which is basically no more than a BlackBerry accessory. It may indeed find a market with some of the BlackBerry crowd, but the form factor alone severely limits its usefulness. My iPad has replaced a laptop for me; I couldn't imagine the Playbook doing the same.
I had a brief play with a BlackBerry PlayBook at Orlando airport this mnnriog. Most of it wasn't functioning because there was no wifi connection, so it wasn't possible to try out the browser or any of the web-dependent apps.a0Of course, the 7 inch screen just looked stupidly small next to my iPad. A point of sale display nearby boastfully proclaimed Amateur Hour Is Over (presumably a sly dig at the iPad), but all I could think of when I picked up the device was how it felt like a Fisher Price toy. It felt too light and too plasticky. It just isn't a device that is in the same class as the iPad and I found it hard to take it seriously.a0My deep reservations about the form factor aside, the good news is that the QNX software is fast and fluid. It's far more responsive than Android on the Galaxy Tab and far more polished than Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom. Seeing all your open applications running live in the card view is really quite cool, but I didn't get a chance to push the multitasking to the limit to see if performance would suffer in real world use.a0I hunted around for an app which would allow me to test the onscreen keyboard, eventually stumbling upon Word to Go (which looked pretty similar to the iPad version, I have to say).a0Unfortunately, that is where the similarity ended. Firing up the application and attempting to type in landscape mode was an exercise ina0frustration. Not only did the keyboard take up half of the already small screen, but the keyboard itself was only a three quarters of the width of an iPad's and each key about two thirds the height. Worse still, there was no autocorrect, resulting in a large number of typos, even in the few short sentences I managed to type.a0Switching to portrait mode, I was more successful. Thumb-typing is definitely the way to go on the Playbook it feels really, really comfortable when held that way. The lack of autocorrect is still a handicap, however, with the keyboard depending upon complete accuracy when typing so the typos persisted. It felt great, but it didn't work great. Moreover, can you imagine sitting in a business meeting with a Playbook held up in front of your face while taking notes?Overall, I think $499 is a steep price to pay for a device which is basically no more than a BlackBerry accessory. It may indeed find a market with some of the BlackBerry crowd, but the form factor alone severely limits its usefulness. My iPad has replaced a laptop for me; I couldn't imagine the Playbook doing the same.
I had a brief play with a BlackBerry PlayBook at Orlando airport this mnnriog. Most of it wasn't functioning because there was no wifi connection, so it wasn't possible to try out the browser or any of the web-dependent apps.a0Of course, the 7 inch screen just looked stupidly small next to my iPad. A point of sale display nearby boastfully proclaimed Amateur Hour Is Over (presumably a sly dig at the iPad), but all I could think of when I picked up the device was how it felt like a Fisher Price toy. It felt too light and too plasticky. It just isn't a device that is in the same class as the iPad and I found it hard to take it seriously.a0My deep reservations about the form factor aside, the good news is that the QNX software is fast and fluid. It's far more responsive than Android on the Galaxy Tab and far more polished than Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom. Seeing all your open applications running live in the card view is really quite cool, but I didn't get a chance to push the multitasking to the limit to see if performance would suffer in real world use.a0I hunted around for an app which would allow me to test the onscreen keyboard, eventually stumbling upon Word to Go (which looked pretty similar to the iPad version, I have to say).a0Unfortunately, that is where the similarity ended. Firing up the application and attempting to type in landscape mode was an exercise ina0frustration. Not only did the keyboard take up half of the already small screen, but the keyboard itself was only a three quarters of the width of an iPad's and each key about two thirds the height. Worse still, there was no autocorrect, resulting in a large number of typos, even in the few short sentences I managed to type.a0Switching to portrait mode, I was more successful. Thumb-typing is definitely the way to go on the Playbook it feels really, really comfortable when held that way. The lack of autocorrect is still a handicap, however, with the keyboard depending upon complete accuracy when typing so the typos persisted. It felt great, but it didn't work great. Moreover, can you imagine sitting in a business meeting with a Playbook held up in front of your face while taking notes?Overall, I think $499 is a steep price to pay for a device which is basically no more than a BlackBerry accessory. It may indeed find a market with some of the BlackBerry crowd, but the form factor alone severely limits its usefulness. My iPad has replaced a laptop for me; I couldn't imagine the Playbook doing the same.
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