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BlackBerry PlayBook Appears Again

David Gilbert


Since we first got a glimpse of the BlackBerry PlayBook at the Adobe MAX conference at the end of October, we have seen the tablet pop up here and there, including a video contest between itself and an iPad. At the recent Rogers TabLife conference in Canada we got our most recent view of the device in operation and saw its multitasking capabilities.

At the networking event in Toronto last week, we see an RIM executive play with the 7in tablet. In the video, he first outlines to the audience that there will be two styles of gestures – the regular swipe, to flip between screens, and a downward vertical gesture, pulling down from the top, to see separate controls and settings. However the stand-out feature on display was the ability of the PlayBook to play video (1080p) in the background while searching the internet or looking at photos.

Now we know you would probably never want to have a video playing in the background but it did show the ability of the PlayBook to handle multitasking easily. The tablet did seem to struggle to display the internet page when the exec opened the browser but this, he tried to explain, was because the machine he was using was not optimized to use the dual-core processing power the PlayBook will have on release. Another piece of news about the tablet to emerge is that the processor will be the Texas Instruments' OMAP 4440.

While displaying the video, the RIM spokesman said: “We wanted to make sure devices like this are a true crossover, moving away from merely messaging and into a combination of media, internet and more." We are hoping RIM will be giving us some real hands-on time with the PlayBook when we travel to CES 2011 in Las Vegas in the first week of January. We will hopefully be able to give you some real insight into how the device looks, feels and works.

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