BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: 10 Key Features and Facts

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5) BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi

RIM's PlayBook tablet may not pack an internal cellular radio, but it should have Wi-Fi locked down; the BlackBerry PlayBook supports not only the common Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g standards, but also the newer, more reliable 802.11n wireless. The 802.11n Wi-Fi supposedly offers better building and surface penetration for better "inside" wireless.

6) BlackBerry PlayBook is "Enterprise-Ready"

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is "CIO and enterprise-ready," according to RIM's website. What exactly that means is somewhat unclear, since RIM hasn't detailed the process of connecting the PlayBook to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)--if it does connect directly to BES; the tablet may only connect to BES via a BlackBerry smartphone.

Regardless, RIM promises "out-of-the-box compatibility" with BES; seamless and secure pairing with BlackBerry smartphones; corporate data access, and the PlayBook will be completely manageable by IT.

7) PlayBook Sports Two Cameras; HD Video Capture

The BlackBerry PlayBook's front-facing 3.0-megapixel camera is meant for video conferencing, while the 5.0-megapixel digital shooter on its rear-side is better suited for everyday picture taking. Both cameras are capable of capturing HD-quality video. The tablet offers a variety of video-output formats, including H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI. And the PlayBook also has micro USB and micro HDMI ports for transferring media.

8) BlackBerry Tablet Supports Full Flash 10.1

Unlike one particularly popular tablet today (think: Apple), RIM's PlayBook will fully support Adobe's Flash 10.1, in addition to a variety of other Web technologies, including HTML 5, when it hits the market. That makes it "ideal for games, media, apps and everything the real Internet offers," according to RIM.

More specifically, you'll be able to view all those Flash YouTube videos you love so much via PlayBook without any sort of separate app.

9) PlayBook Will Run New "BlackBerry Tablet OS"

The BlackBerry PlayBook won't run the same mobile OS that powers RIM's current crop of smartphones; rather, the PlayBook will get its own, brand new RIM software called the "BlackBerry Tablet OS."

BlackBerry Tablet OS is built on a foundation from QNX, a software company RIM acquired last spring, and it should provide a "fresh" new BlackBerry experience. Adobe is also contributed to the BlackBerry Tablet OS. And rumor suggests some version of this new RIM/QNX/Adobe software could eventually make it to BlackBerry smartphones.

10) PlayBook Tablet Packs 5300mAh Battery

The battery inside RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook is a rather generous, 5300mAh cell. That should translate into some impressive battery life, especially since RIM and BlackBerry smartphones have always been known for their better-than-average batteries.

More specifically, RIM's most recent smartphone with the best battery life, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, ships with a 1550mAh battery. It's difficult to compare power consumption of these two gadgets since they feature completely different hardware and software, but the fact that the PlayBook's battery has more than three times the capacity of its longest-performing smartphone bodes well for BlackBerry tablet life. (The PlayBook is probably going to need all the battery-capacity it can get, as well, since Flash 10.1, mentioned above, is a notorious battery-hog.)

Unfortunately, that battery pack does not appear to be removable--a first on any BlackBerry device, at least that I know of.

Read more about the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on RIM's website.

This story, "BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: 10 Key Features and Facts" was originally published by CIO.

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At a Glance
  • RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook looks promising, but the operating system's rough patches and a lack of app selection are reasons to think twice.


    • Sharp display has vivid, accurate colors
    • High-definition video playback impresses
    • Light weight makes this conducive to hold in hand


    • Initial software is buggy and lacks polish
    • No integrated e-mail, contacts, or calendaring
    • Awkwardly designed onscreen keyboard
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