Smartphone vendor, Research in Motion (RIM), has jumped on the tablet bandwagon with the release of its new Blackberry PlayBook.
Apple's iPad was released in April and since then a number of vendors have launched their own tablet device.
The device is aimed at the business market. RIM claims it is “enterprise ready” and suitable for large organisations with compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
It has a 7-inch multi-touch LCD screen with 1024 x 600 resolution and runs on the vendor’s new Blackberry Tablet operating system. The Playbook is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and supports symmetrical multiprocessing.
Unlike the iPad, the PlayBook has direct flash support with a built-in Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
The device also has two high-definition cameras for 1080p HD video capture and video conferencing.
Connectivity features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n.
The Bluetooth feature might offer another enterprise-ready capability, since it will allow a user to pair a BlackBerry smartphone with the PlayBook, using the larger tablet display to securely view any email or document stored on the smartphone.
When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the data remains on the phone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet, subject to what an IT shop decides.
RIM Co-CEO, Mike Lazarides, said the PlayBook is "enterprise ready" because it is compatible with 250,000 BlackBerry Enterprise Servers deployed mainly in larger corporations to provide IT shops with more control and security.
It will be available in the US with a software development kit for third-party developers that is expected to be released in the next few weeks. Developers can register at www.blackberry.com/developers/tabletos.
The Blackberry PlayBook will be available in the US in the first quarter of 2011.
RIM was unable to say when the PlayBook tablet device will reach Australia, or what the expected local pricing will be.
Matt Hamblen contributed to this story