BlackBerry Playbook hits US shelves

The PlayBook will not feature in the company's future

Research In Motion (RIM) began its foray into the tablet market late Tuesday, as the BlackBerry Playbook hit shelves in North America. The tablet met with mixed reviews, initially targeted at the large and small enterprise space (much like the original BlackBerry), yet at present lacking full email, calendar and contacts functionality. RIM said a software update is due in a few weeks.

The devices is less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound, with a seven inch high resolution display running at 1024 x 600. It is fueled by a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), and wifi. RIM has already said it will make 3G and 4G models available in the future.

The PlayBook marks the introduction of the BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is built on the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture. Neutrino has a good reputation as an embedded devices OS and QNX was acquired by RIM last year. Yet the BlackBerry maker’s app store was left wanting for Playbook relevant apps at launch.

To coincide with the launch, RIM released the final version of its BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe Air, and its WebWorks SDK 2. 0 for the tablet and smartphone form factor.

As part of the package, JavaScript APIs are now separated from the OS, which will allow developers to easily modify and enhance the existing APIs and package them with their BlackBerry WebWorks application, RIM said. The vendor has also aligned the versioning of the two platforms so that developers can easily create and deploy applications on the WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS and for smartphones.

The final version of its BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR includes special APIs for the BlackBerry PlayBook Plugins for Adobe Flash Builder and a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet simulator.

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One comment

  1. Ben 25/04/2011 @ 4:19 pm

    cant wait for the UK release date which i believe is May 8th?

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