RIM, as rumored, yesterday unveiled its first non-smartphone device thus making it something much more than a smartphone maker. The venue was its DevCon developer conference in San Francisco. The company is calling the device the PlayBook.
The PlayBook is for people who do more work than play- RIM is calling it ''the first professional tablet'' but the company is not limiting the device to for enterprise use alone. Analysts say though RIM is banking heavily on its reliable, core audience of enterprise users, it is still trying out some moves with a new operating system that allows for some fun as also some mindless applications in addition to productivity apps, as also some new features that even the iPad does not have.
Though the company did not give any specific date for the availability of the PlayBook, it said the device would hit the marke t some time early next year in the US and international availability is to come in the second quarter of 2011.
The PlayBook features a 7-inch touch screen and is only 10 millimeters thick with a front and back-facing camera for videoconferencing, a 1 GHz dual-core chip and a 1GB RAM, 1080p high-definition video playback, Wi-Fi. The device also supports HTML5 and Flash-based video.
There is no clarity on the amount of internal storage, which will be available, but the prototypes displayed at the event were of 16GB and 32GB capacity.
There are other big question marks that have yet to be answered too, such as how long the battery will last--which is important for business use--and when there will be an option to have a 3G or 4G data plan subscription. Right now the only way to get on the Web is over Wi-Fi or by wirelessly connecting to a BlackBerry using its cellular signal.