by Al Sacco

New BlackBerry PlayBook Videos Tease Tablet Before CES 2011

Jan 04, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium Business

RIM has released two new video teasers for its much-anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet PC, just in time for CES.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) this morning released two new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet teaser videos: one focused on the PlayBook’s upcoming multimedia, online-gaming and social-network functionality; and another meant to show potential BlackBerry tablet developers RIM’s current crop of PlayBook development tools.

The two videos, posted on RIM’s Inside BlackBerry blog and its official developer blog, come just days before the start of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where tablet computers are expected to be one of the event’s major focal points.

The first “web fidelity” video (posted above) shows off the PlayBook’s ability to play streaming HTML 5 video and display full Flash videos on YouTube, as well as Facebook chat and play popular Facebook-based online games, all in the PlayBook browser. (It’s no coincidence that Apple’s uber popular iPad falls short in these areas. Check out RIM’s PlayBook/iPad comparison video.)

The second clip, posted below, is developer-focused, and in the video RIM touts its lineup of PlayBook developer tools, or the BlackBerry Tablet OS software development kit (SDK), with various Adobe AIR tools and the PlayBook simulator tool.

Since the PlayBook’s initial unveiling last September, RIM has teased the tablet by releasing new video clips and small bits of information every couple of weeks or so—but the Canadian company has not yet set a release date for the device. RIM has only said that it hopes to launch the tablet in “early 2011.”

This week’s CES in Las Vegas seems like the perfect place to build PlayBook awareness outside of developers and CrackBerry enthusiasts, and RIM will very likely have a PlayBook-centric area of its BlackBerry booth. But it remains to be seen whether or not RIM will give CES attendees access to “live” tablet demo units—something the company has not yet offered. In the past, RIM has kept all demo units under glass or in the hands of RIM employees, so very few outside of RIM have actually gone “hands-on” with the device, at least that I know of.

RIM recently shot down rumors that it was struggling with poor PlayBook battery life, and the company claims it is “on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life.”

Again, no official PlayBook release date has been set, but all signs seem to point to a mid-February to early-March release. RIM’s sure to share some new bit of PlayBook-related information at CES this week, and this blogger is hoping for a concrete launch date—and some hands-on time with the PlayBook.

Read more about the BlackBerry PlayBook on RIM’s website or check out my list of 10 key features and facts to know about RIM’s first tablet.


Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at