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Five Reasons to get the RIM PlayBook

December 30, 2010
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After over half a year sitting at the top of the gadget game, Apple has certainly given us reason to look at app-based tablet devices as essential products for the business professional. Many of the other technology giants have taken note, and are beginning to roll out their own products to challenge the iPad in versatility. RIM, the
maker of the iconic Blackberry smartphones, has recently announced their new PlayBook tablet, set to be released in the first quarter of 2011, and we here at Barebones all agree it looks pretty promising. Here’s our Top Five reasons to get the new BlackBerry PlayBook:

1. Intuitive “true” multitasking
In adhering to the traditionally minimalist design of most current tablets on the market, RIM has taken a new approach to integrating hardware controls on the new PlayBook. By swiping gestures on the right and left bezel, users are able to activate a graphical multitasking option which is very simple to navigate through. Closing, opening, and sorting through current running applications is both simple to do and rather fluid in execution. Its beefy 1GB of RAM and dual-core processor, top specs among the forthcoming wave of 2011 tablets, sets the PlayBook ahead of the pack in pure processing power, which allows more of your active applications to run at full force in the background.

2. Video Capabilities
With its 7 inch screen, the PlayBook is smaller than most tablets, which is advantageous when maneuvering to shoot pictures or video on its 5MP rear camera, or when video chatting with its 3MP front facing camera. The PlayBook plays a variety of video formats including h.264, WMV, DivX and MPEG, and also boasts a mini HDMI as well as a micro USB port for setting up presentations.

3. Flash!
A large problem with the iPad was Apple’s adamant refusal to include Flash support in its iOS. Apple has made it clear that Flash will not be supported on its devices at least for quite some time, in what many see as a tyrannical attempt to reform the structure the whole Internet. The truth is that Flash still maintains a strong presence on the web, and Blackberry has not been shy about ensuring its support of Flash on is devices, even supporting Flash-based OS applications on its PlayBook.

4. Portability
As previously mentioned, the PlayBook rocks a seven inch screen, significantly smaller than a composition notebook. Tipping the scales at a mere 0.9 pounds, the PlayBook is definitely an essential device to be taken with you everywhere.

5. Price
To round out the impressive glut of advantages the PlayBook features over the competition, it shouldn’t hurt to hear that RIM plans pricing at “under” $500 when it hits US storefronts in 2011. For a device that boasts that much hardware power with a refreshingly brilliant user interface to boot, the PlayBook tablet should be definitely making heads turn in both the consumer and developer worlds.

The popular blog BoyGeniusReport recently had the opportunity to extensively demo the product and recorded footage of its user interface in action.

Here are the official specs from RIM:

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.