Today Research in Motion (RIM) announced their entry into the tablet computer market with the BlackBerry PlayBook. What's interesting is that RIM is pitching it as a "professional" tablet rather than as some sort of home device like the iPad.
It's great to see that more manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with some products that may actually prove to be top-quality devices, and we want to see them keep Apple on their toes with future iterations of their tablet devices.
The specs for the device have been announced, and from a hardware standpoint, it already has quite a few things on the iPad.
Let's compare tablet specs:
In addition, RIM says that their tablet offers uncompromised web support, which is a polite way of saying, "We support Flash, Apple doesn't."
Here's a little more regarding their web support: Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
Both devices offer Bluetooth functionality, but the BlackBerry tablet allows for integration with BlackBerry phones. Meanwhile, RIM also intends on adding 3G and 4G devices down the line. Which may help them further compete in the market, especially if they can nab a deal like the one Apple was able to secure with AT&T–consumers don't like contracts.
RIM still needs to show off more of their software and the BlackBerry Tablet OS to make a fair comparison on that front. However, it will no doubt support games and applications comparable to what the iPad is able to do.
The iPad has had a very strong start in the tablet market. Things are going to get interesting from here on out. The major players are showing their commitment to tablet computers and this is just the beginning. It's great to finally see some of the major ones announced and giving Cupertino some competition. The most interesting thing over the next few years will be to see if tablets end up becoming a device that is manufactured by many companies (such as computers and cell phones), or if two or three major players such as Apple and RIM battle it out (much like Kindle and Nook) while the rest seem to watch from the sidelines.