As far as Hewlett-Packard is concerned, Research in Motion's PlayBook tablet hits awfully close to home. Never mind that the PlayBook sports a 7-inch screen compared to the TouchPad's 9.7-inch display, it's the PlayBook's operating system, powered by QNX, that reminds HP a little too much of webOS. You could say the similarities are uncanny, and in fact those are the exact words HP's Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, used when comparing the two tablets.
According to sources that spoke to BGR, RIM will be launching the BlackBerry PlayBook on April 10th in retail locations. The software is reportedly the last holdup, with a gold master build expected to be completed by the end of March. This is the first solid date we have heard for this device, albeit from an unofficial source.
Think Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook is only for business users? It's not, and to drive that point home, the PlayBook will sport a couple of preloaded games: Need for Speed Underground and Tetris. These are full-version titles that come standard with the device, and not game demos, though you do have the option of purchasing additional cars in NFS.
There's a rumor floating around that Research In Motion is working on software that would allow Android applications to run on the company's upcoming PlayBook tablet. News first broke on Bloomberg, which got the information from "three people familiar with the matter." According to Bloomberg and its sources, RIM will integrate the technology into the PlayBook's OS and could have it ready by the second half of the year.
Yet another leaked slide made its way into cyberspace, this latest one revealing launch details for Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook tablet. According to the slide, which first appeared on CrackBerry, Office Depot will sell the PlayBook sometime in late March or early April for $500. That's for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, which stacks up nicely against Apple's 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, although the upgraded iPad 2 is just around the corner as well.
You're probably familiar with W. Clement Stone's advice to "Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star." Research In Motion (RIM) is certainly aiming high and expects to ship more than 1 million of its upcoming PlayBook tablets in the first quarter of 2011, DigiTimes reports.
That would be enough to surpass the amount of Motorola Xoom tablets, which is expected to be in the neighborhood of 700,00 to 800,000 units. It would also give RIM a great start in competing against Apple's well established iPad, of which all other tablets will inevitably be measured against, not just in features (Apple could very well lose that one), but in shipments and sales figures.
RIM's shipment goal means the company is planning to blitz the market, considering the PlayBook won't launch until March in Wi-Fi form. Sometime after that, a 3G version will follow.
RIM's PlayBook has been the center of criticism over potentially poor battery life. But according to RIM, battery life will be competitive with other tablets on the market.
Raymond Reddy used to work in Corporate Development over at Research In Motion (RIM). Now he's an outsider looking in, and what he sees are a handful of obstacles standing ahead of RIM's upcoming PlayBook.
Speaking with Business Insider, Reddy identified at least three areas where the PlayBook could potentially run into trouble. First, the device might simply be too late. According to Reddy, RIM didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to port the BlackBerry interface over to the new QNX operating system.
Secondly, there won't be many third party apps, and this ties in with the point above. It will be a challenge, Reddy says, to convince developers to port their apps from the BlackBerry OS over to QNX.
And finally, Reddy says the Wi-Fi only version isn't going to appeal to users who need access to corporate BlackBerry email accounts.
One thing Reddy didn't really touch on was battery life. There has been some concern in the media that the PlayBook's battery life will fall far short of the competition, though RIM insists such claims are bogus and those who say otherwise have been playing with early beta versions of the PlayBook that have yet to be optimized.
Today at CES we got our first look at Blackberry's Playbook Tablet, and color us impressed (the "screensaver" mode, in particular, looks amazing). Don't take our word for it though, check out this awesome device in action in the video below!
We recently heard reports that Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet might not be ready for prime time due to battery life concerns, but according to RIM, it's much ado about not very much Erictric.com reports.
"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented," RIM explains. "RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life."
Reading between the lines, it's probably fair to say that the PlayBook is still in need of some tweaks to get battery life up to par with competing tablets, but it's not an issue RIM expects to cause any delays.