Research in Motion, a leading maker of smartphones for business users, said on Thursday that it would ensure that battery life of its forthcoming BlackBerry Playbook tablet will be long enough for comfortable work. The company denied allegations of an analyst that the battery life of its slate was compromised in favour of performance.
Analyst Shaw Wu from Kaufman Brothers said earlier this week that that the BlackBerry Playbook slate from RIM “needs to improve its relatively poor battery life of a few hours compared to 6 hours for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and 10 hours for Apple iPad". Mr. Wu suggested "a larger" battery or some re-engineering may be required to improve battery life of the tablet.
RIM said that it would ensure long enough battery life of its tablet, but admitted that the issue was present on early "beta" versions of the device.
"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM 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," the official statement from the company reads.
BlackBerry PlayBook is based on a dual-core ARM microprocessor and features 1GB of memory, an unknown amount of flash storage, dual HD cameras (5MP rear facing and 3MB front facing), Wi-Fi - 802.11 a/b/g/n (3G and 4G models to be available in the future), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, microHDMI as well as microUSB connectors and so on. The product fully supports MP3, full-HD video playback (1080p, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV) as well as WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java. The slate features 7" screen with 1024x600 resolution and weighs less than a pound (400g).
But while RIM BlackBerry PlayBook offers better specifications amid lower weight compared to Apple iPad (which has bigger 10" screen), everything is not that simple. First of all, RIM does not sell content, hence, customers will have to acquire it from other companies, which will hardly be a real problem as companies like Amazon or Barns & Noble will likely offer both e-book and multimedia applications for the device. Secondly, at least initially the PlayBook will rely strictly on BlackBerry smartphones as initial version does not support WWAN of any kind. Thirdly, it will only become available in Q1 2011 and by that time competing products may offer even better functionality. In fourth, at least initially there will be few applications for BlackBerry slate compared to tablets based on Google Android or iPhone OS. All in all, while RIM BlackBerry PlayBook seems to be a very advanced device now, its actual market success will be determined by the quality of competing tablets (that will naturally not require a BlackBerry phone).