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BlackBerry PlayBook 3G Specifications

3G+ BlackBerry PlayBook
By Adam Zeis on 26 Jan 2012 10:52 am EST
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While we're all anxiously awaiting the release of PlayBook OS 2.0 in February, it looks like RIM is already hard at work on a refreshed version of their tablet. The rumored 3G+ BlackBerry PlayBook will be sporting some upgraded hardware in addition to OS 2.0. According to a leaked slide, the 2nd tablet from RIM looks to feature a 1.5GHz processor, 42Mbps HSPA+ Connectivity and NFC. We're not sure just what else the new tablet will be packing, but this is a pretty good start. Look for more on this in the coming weeks.

Source: BGR

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook 3G Specifications

108 Comments

Outdated yes, but personally, I don't think it's worth the upgrade. I really don't think this is a good idea for rim to update the playbook with such a small incremental update for todays standards, when the first one basically tanked.

Au contraire!

First, we don't know yet whether the new one will replace the old one, or just accompany the existing WiFi version.

Second, and more important: A new product means a new round of reviews. And that is a good thing. OS 2.0 looks nice so far, there are quite some Apps available and App support will only get better when all the Android repackaged ones are coming. Yes, some tech sites will hopefully look at OS 2.0 on the first device as well, and that will transform the current negative attributions of PB (I think it's a great device) into a positive "looking forward" kind of feeling for the next PlayBook hardware. RIM will finally get the credit for PlayBook that it deserves.

Yes, our PBs will be oudated harware-wise. Was bound to happen sooner or later.

NFC apart, we'll be ok software-wise.

not really, the cpu increase isn't much and NFC still didn't take off, I bought my pb for $200 a week ago, this one will probably be a full priced tablet ($400+), so I really have no regrets and am happy with my current pb :)

bro .. I think the current PB is hardware wise pretty good and what we are lacking is software .

Thanks
Manoj

It is only A RUMOR, it's not to be taken seriously until it is released or announced. So don't get your pants tied or twisted, don't get your hopes up and I don't completely trust BGR either.

I'm with you ... IT'S RUMOUR ONLY...

RIMM has a lot of thing to do before releasing a new PB...

There is not even a FULLY operational OS "digne de ce nom" I'm on 2.x beta and feature that should be there from day one are always missing...

So these are RUMOR ONLY (URBAND LEGENDS) that Rimm Fanboys like to spread and take for grant...

I think that there's no need for 3g feature if there's already blackberry bridge (no need for paying double plan monthly), just RIM could make the bridge better (more features in notification and broadcast)
I also don't think the playbook lake to the speed and need to be dual 1.5 CPU
there's a problem with the software it self when playing a game (i.e fly squirrel fly 2 game) the game shut down when I go to further stages (with no save.. kinda annoying), and browser shutdown when opening more than 6 tabs without history (it never happens with less featured devices), so you couldn't come back to them! this problem not because of the Ram or CPU, it's the software that need to be upgraded, I don't know if the same problem would be in OS 2.
overall, getting a device that's so good at opening online videos, flash player and BB bridge, with a descent screen is fair at this price.

looks like another of RIM's baby step updates. they'd make a bigger splash if it were 1.5ghz quadcore and at least 2gb ram. i was playing kingdom rush on my playbook and the amount of application ram remaining was around 100mb.

I'm actually ok with it still being dual-core, but I totally agree with you that the RAM should have been upped.

2GB would be great (perhaps not justifiable $$-wise), but even 1.5GB would be perfectly fine with me.

The new CEO said one of his main priorities is to hire a new CMO and that he's looking for top notch talent. We all know that with the new additions coming to OS2, the only thing missing is effective marketing. Hopefully with a new CMO, that will not be the case and the PlayBooks and other devices will sell well.

Was thinking of buying another 64 gig tomorrow now I'll just wait to see if they drop further in price and wait for new OS

Seriously? So with the 1.5 Ghz chip (given it's the same gen chip), 3g and NFC enabled we can expect a 3-hour batterylife?

I love the fact that data connectivity is coming to the PlayBook. My only concern is why not make it LTE as opposed to HSPA+.

If the BB10 phone can be LTE let the PlayBook be LTE as well.

Just an opinion.

Probably becuase if they did that they would have had to make there battery bigger instead of having made it smaller. This PB is coming out B4 the BB10 phones (which are late due to waiting for intergrated low powered LTE chip)

Besides, despite all the media complaining about the Playbook not having 3G ect. 80% of all the iPads that Apple sells are wifi only models. I don't know what it is for Android Tablets but I bet they sell even less 3G tablets.

Most people don't want to pay an extra $100 for a tablet & then $30 a month just to use that tablet online when when not around wifi....especially as you can always mobile hotspot (even better, BB users Bridge their PBs ;) )

I agree. I upgraded to the 9900 to make use of the faster "modem" for the bridged PB and I'm very happy with it. My data package is almost used up each month and will probably up that too.

My PB is still faster at loading webpages via bridge than my 3G iPad.....mind you, could be the carrier the pads connected to.

No interest in this new PB....my generation 1 unit is kicking butt as is!

Who is to say they aren't also doing an LTE model too, if this model is intended for europe rather than the states then LTE would be adding to the cost for zero gain.

i wonder how big of a difference .5 Ghz wil make? i wouldnt really care though. i just want the 2.0 updates.

This is a nice little surprise. I think we all suspected that the 3g version would be identical to the original PB. Can't complain about a little spec bump!

Haha! All the doom and gloom talk the Playbook driving rim into the ground, and they are hard at work all this time to release another one. Good show rim!

Great specs!!
Do you think RIM would accept trade-ins when this is launched??
I think this might seal the deal for those still unsure if they should go for a Playbook.

I feelca little worried and a little passed. I was hoping RIM wouldn't follow the Apple approach of releasing an slightly updated tablet each year.

As long as each generation runs the same OS and the same software, with the exception of hardware based things such as NFC and HSPA+ most of us will probably not be too upset.

But for the most part I hope an 16GB will not be priced at $499. Pricing needs to be competed.

yea, been wondering that too (seeing as there are rumours of a 4G one coming out just B4 Christmas that is 10"

.....though if they didn't release this people would talk about how their specs are below the iPad3.....it also shuts up all the talk of them abandoning the Playbook, so all in all I think this is a good thing.

Mmmm now that's interesting! While I don't think I will be purchasing this 3G version, this however brings up a thought-provoking conundrum concerning both wifi and 3G tablet prices. RIM could possibly introduce the 16G 3G pb for $449 US/CAN and sell the wifi version at perhaps $299.

Perhaps RIM had figured out how to incorporate your BBID and/or 'tether' your phone's current data plan onto the 3G pb version with no additional charges? It's also highly possible that you will enjoy 3G speeds while bridged! Just imagine the possibilities! Your pb and bb will be perfect companions!

Just don't knock the 3G version yet! Wait for further specs to be released!

LOL, they already are perfect companions. Hahaha.

With mobile hotspot, it is pretty nice to connect to 3g+ using the 9810 running 7.1 already. However, there are benefits to having it's own 3g+ and new processor speed.

____________________________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

I utilize my 4G mobile hotSpot (Unlimited Data) if I can't find a free WiFi connection. The 3G+ is just another unnecessary bill created to be paid to greedy mobile carriers. I have the 16GB Playbook and I dig it as I anticipate the release of OS 2.0. I use "Box" cloud storage which offers Playbook users 50GB of storage space if you set it up via your Playbook tablet.

When will we start seeing some useful everyday NFC applications? So far notthing good. You can buy the little tags so when you set your phone on it bluetooth is enabled,etc. Who cares. I want to be able to use my phone as my credit card at all major POS.

this is exactly what ipad did when it originally launched, came out wifi only, then refresh came out with 3G, i think this is a good move for BB, launch 2.0, get everyone hyped up about it, then release the updated hardware with HSPA+, and let us decide if we will upgrade hardware or not

personally i dont see the need to change, NFC is not a big deal to have in my PB, and HSPA+ is not really needed since i have mobile hotspot on my 9900, why would i pay for a second data plan or shared data plan when i can use my 6GB plan for free via wifi + mobile hotspot?

but overall, good move, good work RIM!

2 things I don't like. Why isn't BB going for Bluetooth 3.0? It would VASTLY improve the desirability of having both a PB and BB10 phone together, with much faster bluetooth speeds. Of course, this would mean incorporating BT 3.0 with BB10, which I would say is a must.

Second thing - why is there still only 1 GB of RAM? RAM was one of CB Kevin's major complaints with the original PB when it first came out. Upgrading this would have really helped the multitasking experience - RIM's bread and butter. Seems like a missed opportunity to change 2 little things that would have made a major difference.

I'd much rather give up NFC (Useless to me thus far on my 9900, in Canada) for BT 3.0.

Actually the Playbook has BT 4.0 --- let's see if the bluetooth keyboard is going to use BT 4.0.

Anyone else happy that RIM is being honest enough to call this tablet "3G+" and not a 4G tablet (considering it's only HSPA+)? Yes, AT&T/T-Mobile, I'm looking at you.

Labeling it as 3G+ seems to add another indicator that this isn't intended for NA markets since the carriers in Europe don't bother with the fake 4G naming schemes.

1. - If you have a BB with 7.1, use Mobile Hotspot on your existing PB and save the additional subscription fee.

2. - Are we getting another free one at BB World this year? That would be sweet!

ummmm.... am i missing something here ?

"The rumored 3G+ BlackBerry PlayBook will be sporting some upgraded hardware in addition to OS 2.0."

Although the title for the post did not include the word "Rumoured", the follow up clearly did.
This is not a RIM release.... or has everyone accepted this as fact ?

Even if it is true... i sense this will take some time to make it to market.... haven't seen that many RIM products go from "Rumour" to market all that quickly..... and hopefully the real specs are more than what is rumoured... not a lot here to warrant an update...

I must be living on another planet. I learned many years ago that you buy what you need today and don't look back. This is especially true for high tech devices.

There is always something new coming out next week, month, year and for a lower price. If you're always waiting for the next best thing to come out, you'll never buy anything. And if that's the case, you likely didn't need it in the first place.

Looks good, but I'm not going to pay for a separate data plan. This will work for others (non bb users / folks with deep pockets, etc) though. I choose to use Bridge / WiFi and will get the 64GB playbook for 299.
I know that this new version will cost more and for my needs, 299 for the 64GB is a great deal! I'm glad RIM is coming out with this option. With this and 2.0, a non bb user can pick this up vs some of the other tablets on the market now. The boost in cpu and nfc doesn't justify me taking a chance to miss out on the 299 deal right now. The road map for this new tablet says Q1 2013. I can't wait that long since I'm in the market to buy a tablet now

remember many companies are gonna buy pb for their employees for POS and other stuff....and having a stand alone pb is necessary for many uses...maybe not your personal but i can see this very handy for manyyy companies, restaurants, ect ect ect...

They already have.... my original one sucked... but the PB 16gb I just pickup has the power button razed like it should have been.

Unless the cellphone companies allow shared data plans between phones and tablets this is totally useless. Almost all smartphones have some kind of mifi or you can simple use the Bridge with a BB. I don't know of many people who would add an extra data plan so they simple don't have to connect to their cellphone.

dont really need the on/off button. frankly, im kinda glad the RAM and bluetooth are still the same. if those had gotten a huge upgrade, i would hate my playbook now. =[

I think instead of big bang software upgrades RIM should target application and OS specific upgrades every 2-3 months . This will keep it in news for all the good stuff coming at regular intervals .

Thanks
Manoj

Personally I don't care about 3G or 4G or anything that would make me pay ATT for another data plan. I'd love to have a WIFI version with the upgraded specs though.

Here is a suggestion for those that feel their current PB will be outdated. Give it to a relative and buy the new one.

I actually have been purchasing PB every time they go on sale. My first two I got on day one. Then I got one for my dad, then one for my brother, then one for my sister.

Basically, my whole family can video chat now. With all the kids we are pretty happy to get video chat on such a portable device.

Go RIM!

Until I find my mobile needs outpace the current capalities of my current playbook, I'm not too fussed about having the "original" playbook.

My bb 9900 paired with my playbook will be a great/sufficient combo for what I need it for.

But nice to see RIM is thinking ahead and is demonstrating a longterm committment to the playbook's product life.

Folks harping about "it's not 4G or 4Gs" should ask themselves if they or the majority of the public at large buy a new computer or car each year when new models or cosmetic changes come about. Most don't probably.

I knew it was going to be outdated, but wasn't expecting it to be outdated in less than a year..I feel bad for people who paid full price.

what do you mean? The origional Playbook was released in April of last year. This minor update probably won't be out B4 Feb so at the earliest it will be 11 months...that's close enouph to a year for me..

Ok, so what changes from Playbook 1? For me, i dont need another data plan to add to my bill so ill keep my 2.0 but what stops someone from getting a playbook 1 at a cheap price with 2.0 then a new one (full price) and 2.0. Sure wont be NFC

The average consumer is dumb. They buy things that are easy and cool. Sure NFC is great but how any people do you know walk around talking about it that are 150% tech junkies?

Apps, all the cool ones. Promote the hell outta them if you got them.
Easy buttons, plz change the power button it was a disaster.
Easy to use, easy to play and simple.

Market it properly. Playbook advertising was terrible and a joke to say the least. Running ads a week before its released wont cut it, you have to keep advertising about all the cool things it can do.

How long before we can buy it at 50% of retail?

I wonder if this version will still be able to use a Blackberry Smartphone for data as well? Or have they closed down this feature due to all the phone companies complaining.

They had better not of!!!!!!!!

That being said I don't think they have. They seem commited to Bridge...despite AT&T & co hating it becuase they can't ripp of their customers. Why do you think there are reports of sales people putting down customers when they walk in the store & as for a new BB? It's becuase their managers have told them, "try to make people switch to an Andriod or iPhone"

In former times I've used only samsung phones... for a lot of years! Than a friend shows me his Pearl 8100... And suddenly I was fed up of waisting money and hunting every quarter of year to purchase the current flagship of samsung... I've discovered that there is no need for ongoing device-upgrading if you have an outstanding, solid, long-established, scuffproof BlackBerry with a good and timely performance. Now I have to notice that RIM began the same way... to many different devices and announcements.... but nearly allways half-hearted developed and backward resp. contemporary. Glitches, issues everywhere and allways the need (and wait for) necessary upgrades and fixes... In the past RIM stands for constancy beside the mainstream... Now RIM seems to be a in panic acting fashion-geek... Than its better to purchase the korean original.

They have had a LOT of different devices & announcements over the past 12 months. I think that is due them trying to deflect attention from other stuff that was going on & to keep up sales of OS7 devices. People like to buy the latest & the greatest. Also it fills the shelves at the store & gives people more choice on what BB to buy.

That being said. by the looks of it that is going to change with BB10. Next year they are going to have 3 phone models:
High end - Querty
High end - Slider
High end - Slab

OS7 phones will still be around but aimed at entry level markets.....eventually they will have to come up with a BB10 vs of the curve...but I don't think we will see that for atleast a year.

The only new slider rumoured for this year was then confirmed as canned, so it might actually just be two high end models this year, which is probably a better amount really. You could have bb10 showing up before xmas on the qwerty and slab, then 6 months on they do a bb10 slider.

I think we are probably more like 18 months away from a bb10 curve, you just can't see dualcore being a reasonable price for low end models before then.

This is awesome! It really does not matter to me if it is just an incremental update (especially for what I paid for my Playbook!) =0)

I'm left surprised, I honestly thought the Playbook OS would be dead.. I'm glad to see It's still around, sadly already sold my Playbook.. Maybe It's for the best.. Better to let Playbook grow and then buy instead of making the jump IMO..

For the less Tech sauvee

Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimetres. Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi.[1] Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a "tag".[2]
NFC standards cover communications protocols and data exchange formats, and are based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) standards including ISO/IEC 14443 and FeliCa.[3] The standards include ISO/IEC 18092[4] and those defined by the NFC Forum, which was founded in 2004 by Nokia, Philips and Sony, and now has 150 members. The Forum also promotes NFC and certifies device compliance.[5]
NFC builds upon RFID systems by allowing two-way communication between endpoints, where earlier systems such as contactless smart cards were one-way only.[6] Since unpowered NFC "tags" can also be read by NFC devices,[2] it is also capable of replacing earlier one-way applications.

HSPA+ provides an evolution of High Speed Packet Access and provides data rates up to 84 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device. Technically these are achieved through the use of a multiple-antenna technique known as MIMO (for “multiple-input and multiple-output”) and higher order modulation (64QAM) or combining multiple cells into one with a technique known as Dual Cell.
The 84 Mbit/s and 22 Mbit/s represent theoretical peak speeds. The actual speed for a user will be lower. In general, HSPA+ offer higher bitrates only in very good radio conditions (very close to cell tower) or if the terminal and network both support either MIMO or Dual cell, which effectively use two parallel transmit channels with different technical implementations.
HSPA+ will support up to 168 Mbit/s theoretical peak rates. This is achieved by using multiple carriers with MultiCell and MIMO together simultaneously. [1][2]
The technology also delivers significant battery life improvements and dramatically quicker wake-from-idle time - delivering a true always-on connection. HSPA+ should not be confused with LTE, which uses a new air interface.

I don't care about a 3G+ connection when I can already tether the HSPA connection from my phone in areas without wifi.

Cool, this new PlayBook will be awesome.

I don't understand how a person with the current playbook would consider it "outdated", when the device is still really good. that feeds so perfectly into the "cyclical consumption" and "planned obsolescence" driven world of business, where a consumers mind is perfectly exploited.

It is only you who controls whether your own perception of a device is "outdated" or not. It simply cannot be based on the release of new products, otherwise you will drive yourself completely insane trying to keep pace on the hamster wheel of new triknology. Mental non-sustainability.

There might be like 3 PlayBook versions released before the original one is no longer useful, even then, it would still be useful in a number of capacities.

Try not to let the release of new products get you down, make you depressed, or feel unworthy. LoL, not worth it.
__________________________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

A lot of people will be using the original playbook for another couple years. There is plenty of market share RIM can acquire by refreshing the current playbook like they are. Great move.

For those who've worried they have an outdated device, stop. Not worth worrying. Original PlayBook is awesome and will be for quite some time.

There are folks using 9700's who find them completely useful, but we have seen 3 new bolds since it came out, do they feel inadequate? Nope. Should they? Nope.

LoL, by the time a person with the original playbook needs a new tablet, well then at least rim is making newer versions.

___________________________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

My PlayBook is already 3G+ with mobile hotspot. It is not like I am going to be leaving my 9810 at home when I go out with my playbook, they're both always with me. Anything I can't do on the PlayBook, I can do on the 9810 and vise versa...

Don't get me wrong, I am still gonna try and buy this new PlayBook because I want every version of tablet RIM makes, because I'm OCD like that.
__________________________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

I don't understand why it wasn't announced at the CES show.

RIM seemed to focus on a yaer old product boasting a new OS.

Maybe not to hinder the firesale on the overstock..

They probably wanted to avoid the mistake of recent years where they announce something that is then delayed, this new model seems like it is clearly intended to come out at some point after os 2.0 on the original playbook so they get some positive attention at ces for os2.0, some more if it launches on time and then as that dies down some more from this new playbook which leads things in nicely towards the bb10 devices later in the year.

I refuse to believe that they would upgrade the processor and not the RAM. The processor currently tears through everything that I have thrown at it since launch, which is a LOT. Now the RAM is what seems to be lacking.

Since this is from BRG though, I am not concerned at all.

Does anyone ever wonder why these leaks always seem to come from BGR first instead of Crackberry. If someone at RIM is the source of these leaks, why are they not sent to Kevin et al first? As many times as BGR reports negative rumors regarding BB's or RIM, you would think the leaks would dry up. I'm just sayin.

Instead of HSPA+, where's the LTE version? No VZW love again, huh!

IT'S RUMOUR ONLY...

RIMM has a lot of thing to do before releasing a new PB...

There is not even a FULLY operational OS "digne de ce nom" I'm on 2.x beta and feature that should be there from day one are always missing...

So these are RUMOR ONLY (URBAND LEGENDS) that Rimm Fanboys like to spread and take for grant...

I'd still be interested in the pb if there was an ipad 5 coming out because the combination of size and power of the pb makes it a better device for me to take everywhere with me unlike my ipad which I only tend to use at home.

ill give you some points on size but 0 on power.
ive had playbook since day one and its my biggest disappointment in 2011

Power was more in combination with the portability, its more than quick enough that it is not a compromise to be using the smaller device.

BlackBerry is good for push e-mail with BES. PlayBook can't do it by itself so it's useless for business. I wanted to buy about 10 PBs 3G and waited for 1 year...
BlackBerry is loosing appeal for the business market and is not a home user specialist.

If my PB runs as smooth as it does right now then i can only imagine what another 500mhz on 2 processors would do :) Looks like a nice device. Ill wait for PlayBook 3 to upgrade though.

Thats what i thinking too..is it bbm avaible on this 3G playbook?..
With 1.5ghz+nfc i dun think this set will be worth to buy..
I still feels our current playbook still kicking..dual core proc chip still quit strong..
Hope rim release latest os2.0 as soon as possible..maybe rim can make bbm avaible on next update after os 2.0 release..

I will definitely be getting one of these should it be released. Really intrigued as to how this is going to work... Will a BIS subsription be necessary and so forth?

And for those complaining about the RAM... What is that all about? I run plenty applications similtaneously and still have some RAM to spare. Truth is, unused RAM is wasted RAM.

This will also serve as a test bench for their Blackberry 10 radio stack.