Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is shaping up to be one of the most exciting devices in the coming months.
What surprised the most about the demonstration is just how well suited the PlayBook is to media. RIM has been positioning the device as a more business-oriented alternative to the iPad, but from the looks of it, the PlayBook also handles music and video effortlessly as well.
RIM’s new operating system — based on technology from QNX software, which RIM acquired earlier this year — looks absolutely modern with zippy touchscreen response, and overall more polish than the best Android tablet on the market right now, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. The tablet also juggled multiple applications seamlessly in the demonstration, looking even better than the iPad’s recent multitasking update. One thing’s for sure, RIM needs to get this new OS on its phones as soon as possible.
The RIM representative also demonstrated the PlayBook’s touch sensitive bezel, which gives all four sides of the device’s bezel extra functionality. The top bezel will be left open to application developers — meaning users can swipe down from the top of the tablet to reveal application menus, or other options. The left, right and bottom bezels are reserved for system functionality. Swiping from the right bezel while a full-screen video was playing instantly minimized the video. It also looks like swiping up from the bottom bezel reveals the PlayBook’s software keyboard, which the rep confirmed is multitouch capable — meaning you can type on multiple keys at the same time.
RIM says it’s actively working on universal search capabilities, but it doesn’t sound like it will be available upon the PlayBook’s launch. The company is also now accepting PlayBook apps from developers for its BlackBerry App World store.