Hands-on with the BlackBerry Playbook
This morning, we had an intimate encounter with the BlackBerry Playbook. Representatives from RIM took us on a BB Playbook bus, went around Ayala while demo-ing their upcoming tablet.
Unlike the other tablets out there where you have menus or at least a Home button, the BB Playbook does not have anything on the screen except the screen itself. The small power button is placed on the top of the device, along with a playback button and volume controls.
The Playbook’s navigation relies on the edges of the screen (the bezel part) and gestures from that end activates several menus and controls the panels/windows for individual apps that’s running in the background.
The tablet is very thin at just 9.7mm and weighs about 0.9lb (400g, has a little bit of heft). It supports WebKit/HTML5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile Air, POSIX, OpenGL and Java. The tablet can also do video playback in full 1080p HD, H.264, MPEG, DivX or WMV. Hook it up to an external monitor via HDMI and you’d get the full HD experience on a big screen.
The multi-tasking capability is very impressive. Imagine running a full browser streaming YouTube, playing Need for Speed and playing music all at the same time, in real time. Switch between windows in a snap and the rest of the apps will continue to run in the background, uninterrupted.
RIM BlackBerry Playbook
7â€³ capacitive display @ 1024Ã—600 pixel
BlackBerry Tablet OS
1GHz dual-core CPU
Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing)
1080p Full HD video recording
Recorded videos of the Playbook in action but have not yet finished uploading it on YouTube. Will update once that is done.
At the moment, the WiFi-only variant will be released but they promised a 3G/4G variant will follow. However, they added that you can pair the Playbook with any BlackBerry and share internet connection (called BlackBerry Bridge).
The tablet will be introduced in the Philippines soon so we’re fortunate enough to be one of the first few ones to get to play with it. Reps could not comment on the release date or the indicative price but they say it will be competitive and near the announced $499 they had in the United States.
Update: See BB Playbook in action…