Meet RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

Research in Motions heats up the tablet wars with BlackBerry PlayBook that aims to outshine Apple and Samsung when it comes to business appeal.

Research in Motion announced a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Monday that will do battle with Apple's iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab early next year when it becomes available. The BlackBerry PlayBook debuted at the BlackBerry developers conference DevCon . PlayBook will have an immediate advantage over the iPad and Galaxy Tab when it comes to wooing business users who already are familiar with the BlackBerry mobile operating system.

Follow along this slideshow to learn more about what RIM hopes will be the BlackBerry PlayBook's competitive advantages.

Specs: Ready for Work or Play

* 7" LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen, multi-touch/gesture support

* BlackBerry Tablet OS w/support for multiprocessing

* 1GHz dual-core processor

* 1GB 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

* HDMI video output

* Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

* Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts

* Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)

* Weighs 0.9lb
* RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

The BlackBerry PlayBook Core Features

The BlackBerry PlayBook Core Features

* Supports Adobe mobile version of Flash

* Multitasking

* Dual-core processors

* Enterprise level security

* Face-to-face video conferencing

* Support for multimedia (games, video, and music)

Two Cameras for Real Time Video Conferencing

RIM says the BlackBerry PlayBook sports dual HD cameras for both capturing video and video conferencing. On the side you'll find a HDMI-out port for presenting on external displays. No word on whether the BlackBerry PlayBook supports video conferencing on 3G networks. RIM would only say in its press material today "RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future."

BlackBerry Messaging

Here is a look at BlackBerry PlayBook's BBM messaging capabilities.

BlackBerry PlayBook Calendar

BlackBerry PlayBook can be paired with your BlackBerry smartphone (running device software v5 or higher) via Bluetooth so you can sync e-mail, calendar, BBM, tasks, and documents.

Interface and Multitasking

The BlackBerry PlayBook sports the QNX mobile operating system, which RIM acquired last spring. Naturally the tablet has an on-screen keyboard and allows you to run multiple tasks at the same time.

Image Gallary

Organize your digital library of pictures and videos on the BlackBerry PlayBook with utilities such as this content viewer.

Speed and Security

The BlackBerry PlayBook touts support for 1GHz dual-core processors allowing for, as it says, "highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experience for apps and content services."

The tablet is compatibale with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, meaning help desks will already be familiar with the tablet. Using an encrpted Bluetooth connection, RIM says, the tablet can communicate securely betwen devices. It adds: "When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls)."

BlackBerry PlayBook: A True Business Tablet?

RIM is billing the BlackBerry PlayBook as "professional-grade" tablet perfect for businesses. It has a point. What the BlackBerry PlayBook may lack in fun apps it makes up for in business appeal (security, links to back office resources, and syncing with BlackBerry smartphone). With its close ties to its BlackBerry smartphone cousin (already extremely popular among office workers) the PlayBook might just find a welcome home at work.