BlackBerry Playbook tablet [the competition]

Well, folks, RIM did it. It unleashed the BlackBerry Playbook -- a 7-inch tablet with specs that even the biggest Android fanboy can look at and nod approvingly. Cribbing from our pals at CrackBerry, who are in San Francisco at Devcon, we learn:

  • 7-inch screen.
  • Dual-core Cortex A9 processor at 1GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • A special BlackBerry tablet OS
  • Ultra thin at 9.7mm.
  • HTML 5 and full Adobe Flash 10.1.
  • Hardware-accelerated video.
  • Front (3MP) and rear (5MP) cameras. 1080p video recording.
  • HDMI out.
  • BlackBerry OS

Except for that whole BlackBerry Tablet OS thing, sounds pretty sexy. Be sure to check in with CrackBerry for the hands-on and more.

Phil Nickinson
  • OK. Cortex A9 based. Wonder how quickly Froyo/Gingerbread will be ported to this thing? Essentially it is a 7" Toshiba Folio 100 which is already running Froyo.
  • "1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor" This for SURE is NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor! No other Cortex A9 based processors are ready for the market yet. We already have some idea how this platform performs thanks to numbers obtained from Quadrant and Toshiba AC100: Granted, Quadrant may only be utilizing one of the two cores since it may not be dual-core friendly. For those who are not aware of Tegra 2, here's a good article:
  • Sounds good. Good for RIM. :)
    But in terms of mobile OS, I'm soo ready to get out of RIM-world and step into Android-world. AT&T needs better phones!
  • Well Well Well just when you thought rim was dead in the water BAM they release this sucka damn good specs..can't wait for android to be ported on this so a real OS can use the good hardware
  • VERY interesting! I am excited to see how well this new OS really works. But that bezel makes the iPad's look small...
  • Who the heck wants a 7" pager?
  • people that dont want to pich to zoom........ i'm really not intrested in tablets, that do exactly the same thing as my EVO, but you have to admit it does have some impressive specs........
  • I've never actually used a 7 inch tablet so I can't comment, but I'm super stoked to try out the Galaxy Tab which is also 7 inches. Who knows it may be the sweet spot for tablet sizes. That said I'd still rather have a 10 inch tablet, but I'm willing to admit I'm wrong if the 7 inch form factor wins my heart.
  • I would hardly call this competition. No offense to our CrackBerry brethren, but what motivation is for there for developers to move to this platform? It's an unproven platform with no existing users. I know BB OS wasn't ready for tablet duty, but this is just crazy. It has nothing in common with the current BB OS so porting apps won't be easy. Also I hear it's using an HTML5 / Web background for their SDK, which as much as I would love for it to succeed (open / web apps I think are good for the future especially since they'd be easy to port to any device that supports HTML5) we all know how well that worked for Palm and the Pre/Pixi. So it looks like Apple will continue to enjoy some competition free sales on their iPad for a bit longer. That is until Android matures enough to be able to really compete or maybe HP/Palm surprises us with an amazing webOS tablet.
  • That is a concern. If there are barely any apps for their mobile devices, then there won't be that many out the gate for this. Then again, perhaps this is where BB wants to take all their mobile devices. In which case they may be able to lure developers away from other platforms. But in order to do that, they also need to work on their distribution channel. And stop squeezing developers. That's why BB apps are so dog-gone expensive - it costs devs so much to develop for BB.
  • I really only see this as competition for the iPad as it pertains to customers using it for business. Blackberry doesn't want to lose in that area, because thats pretty much all they have left anymore.
  • I got to wonder what size battery this thing is going to have in it if it is only 9.7mm thick. The Galaxy Tab has its thickness due to a monster battery, lets hope this things gets something decent in it to power through the day.
  • Wow, they even put a capacitive touchscreen on it. Amazing!
  • Nice job, Nickinson. Did you purposely leave out that the OS is QNX-based? And good to the rest of you for actually reading the link before bashing the new OS as "unproven". Talk about fanbois!
  • Too small (need at least 9")! No good marketplace for apps! I'm looking to get a Tab here, but waiting for a really good Android based one. Hopefully by Q1 and I refuse to be assimilated into the apple collective.
  • WiFi-only, and that bezel is way too big. Maybe the second generation will be acceptable...
  • I agree, at least match the ipad's screen size and people who want an ipad will look toward the blackberry one as well. Just seems like a few compromises on both sides. who knows what the battery life will be like? It's also a new platform/OS, so expect "Palm Pre" testers the first year and a half.
  • Typical consumers don't buy things based on features, they buy on benefits. This thing has impressive specs but what are the benefits of owning this tablet versus, say, an iPad? Similarly, what is the benefit of a tablet that shoots video? Are you really supposed to hold up a giant brick, aim it at your subject, and record video? Hmmm. This thing could be nice, but it seems more geared towards impressing the tech media than actually luring paying customers. I will withhold judgment until I can see more of the software/OS side, but it seems likely to fall into the "captures 4% of the market alongside 10 other middling competitors" type of device.
  • You're kidding, right? You're telling me there's a "benefit" to a 4inch high resolution battery killing screen when the trend for over a decade now has been for smaller, more compact phones? Or a 1Ghz dual core processor in a mobile phone? Or that playing 3D games made for computers is really a "benefit" to a phone? "Hey, wanna look into my ear next time we talk, I have a front facing camera!" or "Hey, wanna see my extremely over bloated file size from my 8MP phone camera that doesn't take any better pictures than a 4MP camera not on a phone?" Android phones are thriving off making geeks and people who want to toot their own horn salivate at high end specs. The "entry level" Androids don't sell because they don't have that "look, my phone is better than yours" appeal. Quit being a fan boy and see that this really has potential.
  • Hahaha, this is so darn funny hp/Palm got there thunder stolen before they can even get out the all BB needs to do is put this on a phone and Webos is toast because they would lose their advantage...the card multitasking. With BB huge user base why go to hp/Palm for great when people see this they will think BB came up with the cards first and hp/Palm copied them when and if their tablet ever comes out...everyone knows BB hardly anyone knows Palm/webos. Hp/Palm dropped the ball again as usual and soon all the major OSes will slowly take their advantages away until they are irrelevant which they are pretty much are There is a bright side they still have that gimmick touchstone nobody seems to want to copy yet. Wake up hp/Palm you are too slow to the market again!
  • Completely agree. They got trumped. Funny, I thought everyone would want to copy the Touchstone!
  • Look who's late to the party. Too late if you ask me. Androids are too cheap for BB to be any competition to, and Apples are...well...Apple and they have rabid fans.
  • 1080p recording thats madness
  • Sorry wrong post. haha
  • All due respect to Blackberry...but who wants to buy a device that will require a "Battery Pull" since EVERY BB Device to date requires this to function. Why would this be any different if they cant get it right on their phones? No thanks to this...I will wait for an android version that wont require a battery pull.
  • With all due respect for Android, your phone's got multitasking with about 10 seconds of battery life. You guys don't Battery pull because your phone won't last the day and pull itself. And this blackberry is using a different platform QNX instead of Java i believe. Recently I learned that iPod G4's require a periodical shutdown and start up. If you don't the ram will run low and you will lose the ability to listen to music and play games at the same time.
    in essence you lose multitasking if you do not"Battery Pull" Yes. I have a crackberry.
    But I love Android and iOS. and Hold no Bias.
    I know we are late but we are catching up.
    Just wait.
  • If nothing, BB and Android users are united in one thing.... It runs Flash 10. Take THAT Apple!
  • No micro SD???? Looks like Lazzy learned something from good Ol Jobs on how to screw people out of their money. Flash is cheap, put in a micro SD slot.
  • You guys are doing an awesome job and I seriously love AC for all the great articles about the latest hardware and software for Android, but is anyone doing anything about all these spam posts? Like maybe a screen captcha or something?
  • It's bots that slip through. We're keeping an eye out and crush them as quickly as we can.
  • OK, I am just wondering. While this, the Ipad, the Android Tablets are all pretty cool. Is there a legitimate practical use for these things? I can use a phone, I can use my laptop, what actual benefit does a Tablet provide? If someone can provide with a legitimate bona-fide reason, perhaps I would consider one, but as a whole, I haven't seen a reason why I would want one.
  • New OS = no software = FAIL! Hack android onto it and it may be interesting...
  • I was reading over at Engadget with their article and much like over here there is a lot of comparison with Apple and its iPad. I think in reality both BB and the Galaxy Tab will be the ones competing with each other and not the iPad. These two are going at it more at the easy of portability than competing against Apple. Will be interesting to compare once they are all out. Not impressed with any of the Tegra 2 products yet so hopefully someone will be able to put it to good use.
  • Hats off to RIM. It's about time that we'll be seeing an Apple iProduct-killer. WTG RIM and eat that, Apple! FYI, before any of you start flaming me... I'm no BlackBerry fanboi and I own a Droid X. And I HATE Apple.
  • o boy!! htc better hurry with its tablet
  • I have to admit, this is good for Blackberry.
  • The only thing I love about Blackberry is how they always sponsor NHL things. :D
  • Wow and I thought Apple fanboi's were uninformed, seriously read the specs and understand them before you speak. QNX operating system has been around probably longer than most of you have been alive (1980) QNX operating system runs missile silo's, power turbines, its in 250+ models of cars, from Mercedes to BMW to Porsche and Jag. Even Onstar is run on QNX. When you come here and say "you will have to reboot it" you really do sound like someone who says "I have 250 gigs of ram in my machine it should be really fast!" There are not apps? Hmmm with Java and Adobe AiR there are still no apps? On top of that you require NO addon data plans, everything on your BB shows up in real time on your Playbook via bluetooth or USB cable. Its an extention of your BB not a replacement. As the CEO said "you already had everything sent to your BB securely via your enterprise server, why send it again" Hackers will love it as you can turn off any part of the QNX OS you do not want running. Personally I am really excited, I am waiting for Rogers to release the Captivate so I can pick one up and ditch my BB. Now seeing this I will not be as fast to do so. I will pickup a Torch instead. Wife and daughter both have Android phones, they are GREAT but man this device is crazy good. 1080p recording and play back with front and back camera wow. Anyway my 2 cents.