RIM’s New Bluetooth Keyboard Case for PlayBook: 5 Unique Features
RIM's brand new BlackBerry PlayBook Mini Keyboard will be released later this month for $120. Check out these five notable features that set the wireless keyboard and case apart from other comparable gadgets.
This PlayBook accessory isn’t just a Bluetooth keyboard, but it’s also a protective case with a stand on its rear side to prop the PlayBook tablet up while you’re typing or surfing the Web. It’s currently available for preorder on RIM’s ShopBlackBerry.com Web store for $119.99—or for $99.99 from TheSource.ca–and it’s expected to start shipping on March 23.
Considering you can get a 16GB PlayBook for around $200, the cost of this accessory seems a bit steep. But I’ve already requested a review unit, and RIM tells me I’m on the reviewers’ list. I’ll write up a full evaluation of the new PlayBook keyboard as soon as I can. For now here’s a quick breakdown of the most notable, and unique, features and functionality.
The PlayBook Mini Keyboard connects to your tablet via Bluetooth, and any all data that’s transferred between the two is secured via 128-bit encryption, according to RIM, which should please RIM’s security –conscious business PlayBook users.
In addition to mini “Chiclet”-style keys, the keyboard also features a mini “multi-touch” trackpad that lets you navigate around the PlayBook with your finger, access certain PlayBook OS gestures and even right click for more options—as long as you’re using RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 software. (Find a full review of the new PlayBook OS here.)
The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard has a built-in battery that can be powered up using the charger that comes with the PlayBook, and the device should last about 30 days on a single charge, according to RIM. And you can turn the device on and off with a toggle switch located on the side of the keyboard to conserve power.
When combined with the Citrix Receiver app for PlayBook, the new mini keyboard and RIM’s tablet provide full access to your Windows applications and other resources, making the PlayBook a versatile an functional mobile workstation. The Citrix Receiver app works without the new keyboard, but the addition of this new accessory really takes the app to the next level.
RIM’s BlackBerry accessories are typically high quality and very functional—check out my favorite RIM accessories ever here—so I’m anxious to get my hands on the PlayBook Mini Keyboard and Convertible Case.
Check out the video below for a look at the BlackBerry PlayBook Mini Keyboard in action, along with the cool Citrix Receiver PlayBook functionality.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.