It was really a matter of when, not if, RIM would throw its hat into the tablet arena with a BlackBerry branded device. Now the fun and games iPad has an appropriate foil in the all business BlackBerry PlayBook. The 7-inch device runs an “amplified” (to use RIM’s marketing speak) version of BlackBerry OS with multi-tasking, a WebOS-like app switcher and a brand new WebKit browser with support for Flash 10.1. The usual mix of media and e-reading apps will be present, as will the ability to edit office documents, connect to screens and projectors via HDMI (and pump out 1080p video!), and of course all the BlackBerry e-mail and messaging goodness you’ve come to associate with the brand. Under the hood, the BlackBerry PlayBook packs a dual core 1Ghz processor and a full 1GB of RAM, theoretically doubling the power of that other big name tablet.
RIM is billing the PlayBook as the first “professional-grade” tablet, and while Apple (among plenty of others) might take umbrage, other companies don’t command the same amount of respect from enterprise customers as RIM. The iPad might have cornered a large market, but a device like the surprisingly sexy PlayBook has a good shot of getting tablets into the boardroom. Sadly, there’s no word on price or release date yet. Check out the promo video after the break.