Research in Motion has begun production for a 3G version of its popular BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, with a view to getting it on the market within the next few months, Gadget Helpline has learned.
Dubbed the ‘3G+ BlackBerry PlayBook’ by RIM, is said to look identical on the outside, but contain several upgrades inside. As the name suggests, the main addition to this version of the PlayBook tablet is a 3G radio, which is capable of HSPA+ speeds of up to 42Mbps. These sorts of speeds are currently being touted by UK network Three as ‘4G’, which will be launching in the UK this year.
RIM has decided to give the PlayBook a speed boost in more ways than one, throwing out the Dual-Core 1GHz processor, and replacing it with a theoretically much faster Dual-Core 1.5GHz chip instead. While we’re not sure exactly what the chip is, the 500MHz boost in speed coupled with HSPA+ should make this tablet seriously fast for mobile browsing.
We’re also hearing that RIM has decided to cram in a NFC chip (Near Field Communications) for wireless communications. This technology has been implemented in several of its new smartphones, such as the Bold 9900, but was strangely omitted from the original Wi-Fi-only PlayBook.
NFC will offer instant pairing with BlackBerry smartphones, allowing users to simply touch the two together in order to share files, contacts and more. The BlackBerry Bridge software that pairs a BlackBerry Smartphone to a PlayBook currently uses Bluetooth, but would be infinitely easier to set up if you could simply touch your two gadgets together to get things started.
There’s currently no word on either a price or a release date for the 3G+ BlackBerry PlayBook, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more information on RIM’s latest tablet.