RIM Bringing PlayBook Update to CES

by Jordan Richardson on January 10, 2012

The upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is set to kick off and it should be a dazzling affair for those looking for the latest and greatest in tech gadgets and products. There will be celebrities, like Snooki and Justin Bieber, and a keynote address from Steve Ballmer kicked things off Monday. Eliza Dushku will be there as a “CES Celebrity Ambassador” and rappers LL Cool J and 50 Cent will be there to promote their products.

Research In Motion is hoping to make a splash, too, with their PlayBook 2.0.

RIM has struggled with the PlayBook and has seemingly only been able to move units when the prices are dropped. The software update was delayed once already, but RIM says that it’ll be ready to roll in February and is hoping to generate some interest by presenting some of its features at the CES.

Some of the new features of PlayBook 2.0 include a native email app, new calendar functionality, some enterprise features, and the ability to type using the BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard.

“BlackBerry PlayBook is already recognized for delivering powerful performance, true multi-tasking, advanced web browsing and (high definition) multimedia in an ultra-portable design,” Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s founder and co-chief executive officer, said in a statement. “With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 we are building on this strong foundation, as well as leveraging our strengths in communications, social integration and productivity.”

The native email app is accessible through the messaging app and will include features like a unified inbox, search, rich text composition, and tabbed views.

Also announced is BlackBerry Video Storefront, a feature that lets PlayBook users download “thousands of movies and TV shows” that can be viewed as soon as downloading begins. Users can play their content on bigger screens through use of an HDMI connection.

Another feature set to be unveiled is BlackBerry Bridge. This lets users use their BlackBerry smartphone to control a docked PlayBook via HDMI. This includes media controls and the ability to create emails and messages on the PlayBook.

A lot of the features RIM is banking on for the PlayBook sound pretty basic to me. There’s very little remarkable about this rushed entry to the tablet front and very little that the Waterloo company is doing with this product that hasn’t been done in other incarnations. Is this the type of product to make a big splash at CES? Will it be enough to pull the Biebs away from his Vietnamese toy robot? Somehow I doubt it.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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