We spent a little time today at a private event being held in New York City, where RIM—makers of the ubiquitous Blackberry--was showing off their upcoming Playbook tablet. We got some hands on time with the device and think it definitely has promise, although a flaky internet connection at the venue made it hard to get at good feel for the browsing experience.
The Playbook’s form factor made it very easy to handle and at under a pound it’s nice and light. The 7” screen (1024x600 resolution) had good viewing angles all around and it felt very responsive when navigating through various menus on the device and typing on the on-screen keyboard. Browsing the web (when the connection at the venue was working) was also quite snappy, and because the Playbook has full support for Flash, there were no limitations when viewing sites with Flash-based video or ads.
To give you all an idea as to how fluid and snappy the Playbook was, we asked a rep from the company to give us a quick demo on video, which we have for you here...
As you can see, multitasking, even when it entails running HD video, a game, and a 3D benchmark is quite smooth on the Playbook and the in-game graphics with Need for Speed are pretty good. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the Playbook is powered by a 1GHz dual-core TI processor and it has 1GB of RAM. On the top of the device are volume controls, power, and a play button. And on the bottom are a micro-HDMI out, mini-USB port, and a power port.
The Wi-Fi Playbook we show you here should be available sometime in the late March or April timeframe, but other versions with 4G network access will become available at a later date. Final pricing, battery life specifics, and other details like the number of applications that will be available via App World at launch weren't disclosed, but that information will certainly trickle out soon enough. For now, there's still plenty more to see at the Blackberry website.