RIM's LTE PlayBook tablet on sale next week

RIM's new BlackBerry PlayBook now comes with 4G connectivity

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet now comes with LTE cellular connectivity.

The struggling mobile device company Thursday announced that a 32GB model of the PlayBook will be available with an integrated LTE radio. Initially, it will be offered starting Aug. 9 in Canada on LTE networks from Bell, Rogers, and Telus. Other carriers in the U.S. and elsewhere "are expected" to add the tablet in coming months, according to a RIM statement.

RIM's demo of new BlackBerry impresses programmers, users

RIM didn't provide pricing, which is set by the carriers, according to a spokeswoman. Rogers currently offers a Wi-Fi version of PlayBook for just less than $300 (U.S.).

Apart from the LTE radio, RIM's tablet is otherwise unchanged: a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 pixel, capacitive multitouch display; an ARM Cortex A9-based, dual-core 1.5GHz CPU; 3 megapixel front-facing camera with a 5 megapixel rear camera; support for 1080p HD video; HDMI port; microUSB port; 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi; and Bluetooth 2.1. The tablet is 5.1- by 7.6-inches, 0.4-inches thick, and weighs about 0.9 pounds.

It also runs the latest version of the PlayBook OS, Version 2.0, introduced in February. It added native, BlackBerry email and calendar applications, which automatically integrates with your social networking contacts and calendar features; and a unified inbox that handles work and personal email accounts, along with updates from a variety of popular social networks.

The heart of Version 2.0 is the QNX real-time OS, which will also be the basis for BlackBerry 10, the next-generation smartphone firmware RIM had planned to release late in 2012. The company recently announced that the firmware, and the new smartphones running it, will be delayed until early 2013.

The initial release of PlayBook in 2011 was underwhelming, with mixed reviews and slow uptake by buyers, both consumer and business. In fall of 2011, RIM cut the price of all three models by $300, with the 16GB Wi-Fi unit starting at $199.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

Email: john_cox@nww.com

Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?