Computing was invited to take a first look at RIM's much-anticipated PlayBook tablet device, expected to be launched "some time in Q2", according to the company.
The device comes equipped with 7-inch screen and a dual-core 1GB processor. There will be 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions available at launch. The tablet has a micro-HDMI output as well as micro-USB connectivity.
The tablet runs on the QNX operating system, which is entirely gesture-based; the only buttons on the device are volume controls and a power button.
RIM claims that the tablet is ideal for business users, citing one feature in particular - BlackBerry Bridge - as likely to attract them. BlackBerry Bridge offers a secure connection between any BlackBerry smartphone and the PlayBook, allowing the user to view their calendar, email and BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service on the tablet.
No information is cached on the PlayBook device, and data on the BlackBerry smartphone can be wiped remotely - RIM hopes that this will allay security concerns for IT departments.
However, there are no similar additional security features for Android, Apple or other non-RIM smartphones being used in conjuction with the playbook.
However, business users may be pleased to know that SAP is currently developing concept apps for the PlayBook aimed at enterprises.
The device also supports Flash, which RIM claims will make it popular with enterprises, as well as the four million-strong Flash developer community.