Confirmed: BlackBerry Playbook 4G on August 9th

Posted on Aug 6 2012 - 3:32pm by Phalgun Shenoy

BlackBerry PlayBook is the first tablet to be launched by Canadian Research In Motion. It went on sale on April 19, 2011 in Canada and the United States. It has pretty good specs, but the company failed to sell this device in large numbers due to key software omissions at launch, such as the lack of a native email client. RIM faced losses due to this device up to a point that the company faced a $485 million hit last year because it was sitting on a huge inventory of unsold tablets.

After facing losses, RIM is trying to make a comeback by releasing a new version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and it’s called as BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE. As the name suggests, the tablet device comes with 4G LTE connectivity.

4G LTE networks can be seen expanding day by day and as a result, more and more devices supporting this new technology are rolling out very often. PlayBook 4G is a welcome addition to the gang. Speaking of hardware, the PlayBook 4G hasn’t changed much and uses the same 7 inch touchscreen, with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, the same 5 megapixel rear cam and 3 megapixel front cam and the same 1GB of RAM, but the processor is bumped up to 1.5GHz from 1GHz in the Wi-Fi-only model. Both front and rear facing are HD video cameras and HDMI out is also included along with stereo speakers. As far as software goes, the tablet boots the same Tablet OS 2.0 that is found on the regular version. The only thing that seems to have changed, or rather added, is the 4G LTE connectivity support. It’s worth noting that this tablet supports 1080p video playback and hence makes a great media device.

“The new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook offers a broad range of premium features, including a stunning 7-inch display, front and rear-facing HD video cameras, HDMI [High-Definition Multimedia Interface] out and stereo speakers,” Smith said in a statement.

The updated tablet device comes with support for 4G LTE networks and 32 gig of storage. It is anticipated on 9th August in Canada, via carriers Bell, Rogers, and Telus. The company has announced that it will releasing this device in the USA, Europe and other countries have 4G networks in the later part of the year. With the ever changing 4G situation in the UK, Ofcom has announced that they will be holding 4G spectrum auction early next year, and operators should be able to start their services later that year.
Since 4G LTE is fairly new technology, and hence it may not be available everywhere you move, however, RIM says that 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet can spontaneously adjust to connect on a HSPA+ network without any issue, which is great.
With the arrival of newer tablet devices, things have changed and the competition has just got real hard. Recently launched Google Nexus 7 that is priced at $199 and $249 for 8 gig and 16 gig version respectively has taken the tablet market by storm. It uses a quad processor and runs latest version of Android, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for a relatively very low price. Tablets like Google Nexus 7 have set a benchmark on how a budget tablet device should perform and feel like. With the Canadian launch date coming up so quickly, RIM is still mum on the price tag, however, if RIM does wishes to sell a lot of these devices, it better price it close to Google Nexus 7.

The original PlayBook was launched with a price tag of $500, however, you can buy one for yourself at a much cheaper price. RIM is going through a financial nightmare at the moment, and although it’s good to see something new from the BlackBerry manufacturer, this device isn’t going to help much for the given situation and we will keep our fingers crossed for BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry 10 has many new features that will make the operating system capable of competing with operating systems such as Android, iOS and upcoming Windows Phone 8. With the upgraded processor, this tablet may run BlackBerry 10 OS when it is launched, and if that’s the case, the device will surely attract customers as the next gen operating system from RIM looks very promising, nevertheless, price will be a deciding factor. What are your thoughts on this? Will BlackBerry Playbook 4G be on your shopping list? Let us know using the comment form below.

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