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First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook Bluetooth Keyboard in BlackBerry Leather Case - the ultimate SuperTablet setup?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Sep 2011 02:33 pm EDT
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What's this? A BlackBerry PlayBook? And a BlackBerry Bluetooth Keyboard (+ mouse!) made specifically for the BlackBerry PlayBook?! Oh wait, and there's a BlackBerry PlayBook Leather Case made to fit said PlayBook and Bluetooth Keyboard perfectly?!! Yep... that's what we're looking at here in this CrackBerry exclusive hands-on accessory first look.

We've seen the rumored PlayBook Keyboard show up before on some leaked PlayBook accessory slides, but no word on availability or anything like that as of now. All I know is that PlayBook owners would LOVE to get this setup... it's the ultimate combo of accessories for the PlayBook. We need to see it get released. ASAP. It turns the your boring old tablet into a... wait for it.... SuperTablet!!

See More BlackBerry PlayBook Accessories

Reader comments

First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook Bluetooth Keyboard in BlackBerry Leather Case - the ultimate SuperTablet setup?!

92 Comments

This is Awesomeee!!!!!! I was about to go shopping for a Apple BT keyboard or generic... Great timing!!

I want one now!! How much $$ ???

Ian
Torch 9800 & PlayBook 64GB Wifi

Very cool. If it was able to allow the power supply to be connected at the same time it would be perfect!

Tim

Congratulations. You invented a laptop.

Don't kill me. I do own and enjoy my own PlayBook. I just had to say it.

True, it would be very helpful for those business people that get stuck on very cramped and very long plane trips all the time. Or for people that just hate typing on the screen.

Blackberry Part Number or it didn't happen :P I don't care if the video says otherwise!

Hopefully they sent it in some kind of package that accidentally had the Part number on it!

what a nonsense...
this is a netbook (or even a laptop) but not a tablet, sorry kevin, but sometimes you are TOO enthusiastic about things that are just not special or will improve the experience...
get a laptop in the first place if you want a keyboard, the end!

Or get this combo, and have the choice of tablet or netbook. This is a super awesome thing here, if you don't like it... Oh well... Lots of us do, and Kevin's enthusiastic tone is great for this product.

There are times when you don't need the keyboard, and times when you do. So, if you're going to be mobile you can leave the case and keyboard at home, but if you need it for a long plane trip, you can bring it with you. choice... isn't it wonderful?

It looks beautiful... But.. I'm leaning towards "now it's a smaller and useless (by comparison) laptop" instead of "yay supertablet".. Sorry Kev :(

I'll prolly buy it anyway though, I'm a sucker for pretty things, and that really does look pretty.

That looks really good to me. Yes, it makes the tablet like a netbook, but a small one that you can carry around in your hand like a big paperback book. Plus, you don't *have* to use it. When you won't be needing the keyboard, like when you're laying in bed reading a book at night, don't use it.

Also, the build quality of that setup looks nice. You know, classy.

it's NOT COOL for me..the reason why i purchase this tablet is its portability compare to those 10 inches..i suggest if external keyboard will be used it should be built-in on the leather case, a ultra thin keyboard where the key is not bulging..i guess you have seen this type of keyboard in the market, the one which you can fold..

What the hell kind of video is that???

Tell us what we all want to know, how did the king of cell phone keyboards do with this keyboard.

It is a definite must have. I would not use it day to day, but travelling to a conference or on vacation, yes.

And to the point above. Yes I want the keys buldging. I want a premium keyboard feel above all, this is RIM's trademark and I want them to nail the keyboard.

That looks really sweet!!!...OH BTW...THIS video PLAYED for me!!!...SO ODD since I had to go to youtube B4...whateve!!!...HA...that case tooks SOLID and not flimsey leather like other laptop cases!!!

Good start, but this make no sense. I agree w/ the comments ...Ideally any accessory adding this much bulk defeats the purpose of a Tablet. It should be Flexible/soft/thin close to silicone keyboard. If you carried around this much bulk better to have a laptop, which is thinner by comparison

Nope. As I said above ... this is RIM... make it premo keyboard. YOu don't have to carry the keyboard all the time, so make it a good one even if it adds a little bulk.

And the whole package still looked pretty portable to me.

I cant believe how many posts I just read saying "OMG you just made a laptop!" or "this destroys the portability of a tablet"

Are you kidding me?! I've been waiting so long for something like this and I know others have been as well. Just because you attach a keyboard to your tablet it doesn't make it a laptop... The iPad has all sorts of sh*t like this.. does that make it a laptop too?

Also what the hell.. if you want portability just TAKE IT OUT OF THE CASE! Isn't that the idea? that you can have both a keyboard when you need it and a super-portable tablet? You don't have to carry the keyboard with you all the time no one is forcing you.

I'm just as excited about this as Kevin is. Oh whats that? Can you take just the screen off a netbook and use it as a tablet? I dont think so...

It's all about choice - that's the beauty of this case. I find I use my Playbook all the time, both work and play.This is just another option (read transformation) from a slim slick tablet to a portfolio with keyboard. It is still portable no matter what the transformation.

Wouldn't something called the "Ultimate Supertablet" be able to do spell-check. Just saying.

But yes, an official Blackberry Bluetooth Keyboard for the Playbook is an accessory I would buy. I wonder if it will come out in 60 days, the summer? LOL :)

I actually saw a prototype of this in person at a PlayBook launch event in April, and it really isn't very bulky. The rep I spoke to say October release, and that was back in April - so who knows when it will finally be out, but it's definitely a cool little device.

Looks good. I actually like typing on the screen and would feel weird with that.

This is also further proof that Kevin and the CB staff know a lot more than what we see on the blogs and forums. SPILL THE BEANS ON OS 2 FOR THE PLAYBOOK. I know you know something.

TARGUS was the best case IMO till this. I will buy this ASAP. same package size, PLUS a BT Keyboard!!??!! I am so all over it.

Sexy packaging!!

To me the Playbook is not as portable anymore. I like throwing it in my jean pockets with the neoprene sleeve or leather pouch, with that case that's no longer possible.

Whenever it launches, Amazon is gonna have to ship two my way - one for my PB, one for the wife's :)

Did anyone notice that the keyboard is removeable. Guess not from all of the dumb post about how it is now damn laptop/netbook. You would not have to carry both all the time which makes it even better. I love this and need it like yesterday .

I'm SOLD!!.....Crackberry Kevin: When does this go on Sale? & How Much??..Please let the CrackBerry Nation know ASAP!!

Sincerely,
JerseyKurt

If RIM doesn't soon ship a Bluetooth keyboard program for the Blackberry PHONES so I can use the BB keyboard, I'll take two!!!

SWEET!!! Can't wait to get one, all we need now is a way to print e-mail/docs out and I will be a happy man!

It will definitely have it's place, for those business travelers (on planes, maybe trains, etc.) I can see them utilizing this for sure. Me on the other hand I don't really seeing a need for it, though it's definitely a cool idea.

If it hits in the $50 to $90 range, then I think it should sell nicely.

I was hoping you could say something about the weight, thickness, and battery lifetime on the bluetooth keyboard/trackpad. How does this affect portability?

if this case is released, that asus slider thing will be crushed!! best accessory i've seen for the playbook since..... THE PLAYBOOK!

I think it is just GREAT. Specially when you travel or need to write lots of things.

Smaller than a laptop, and you can still use the PB without the keyboard wich is cooler than a laptop.

I think I won't use it at all at home, I prefer to stay at the sofa or bed just looking webs/apps, but if I need to work with the PB is just ESSENTIAL.

Good job RIM, just let this accessory hit the market soon please!

Perfect application.
I did notice that of all the skeptics that posted, they are forgetting one major factor of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and that is the BlackBerry Bridge.
I have been in the middle of Bum F**k Ontario and needed internet service to check on some things, and presto, a 7" flash playing, internet connected, portable power house that does so much at once I can't keep up with what I have open and running.
This just keeps getting better

Hey, here's a wild idea (that may or may not have been mentioned, I'm too lazy to scroll through these comments); why not allow us to use the keyboards on our BlackBerry devices as BT Playbook keyboards? Wait, that makes too much sense.

I contacted RIM on the playbook keyboard and this is what they said....."We would like to inform you that, the playbook keyboard might launch in January or February 2012."..... :(

January? February? - AH come on! It's a keyboard! It should have been one of the first accessories released!

Where is this already?!?!?!?!
There are a ton of PlayBook sales on the market right now, if only this was out already :(

I had a chance to see this keyboard in person. Unfortunately, I was not able to test it out as it was not linked to a PlayBook.

I have notice it has a micro USB port for charging on one of the sides. As the video shows us, same size as a PlayBook. It is thin and light witch I liked very much. I was very impressed. Will go well with my new PlayBook :D

I have heard that the release of this keyboard might be arround the same time as the PlayBook OS 2.0 this coming February. Hope this is true!!

Happy 2012!

So this thing is arriving either this or next month together with Playbook 2.0 upgrade?! Life would be even more beautiful! But why does it take so long?

doubt it will ever be released since rim has already lost so much money in playbook hardware. doubt rim will release any hardware for the playbook for a long time

I've been using the Motorola bluetooth keyboard a little bit, and while it's bigger than the playbook, I like it a lot. I ended up going with it instead of some of the compact/portable/travel bluetooth keyboards (like the Freedom Pro), specifically because it was bigger, and closer to the ultrabook-sized keyboard on my now dead laptop (that the PlayBook replaced). I do wonder how usable this BlackBerry keyboard will be, considering now small it is.

I've been using the Motorola bluetooth keyboard a little bit, and while it's bigger than the playbook, I like it a lot. I ended up going with it instead of some of the compact/portable/travel bluetooth keyboards (like the Freedom Pro), specifically because it was bigger, and closer to the ultrabook-sized keyboard on my now dead laptop (that the PlayBook replaced). I do wonder how usable this BlackBerry keyboard will be, considering now small it is.

So many people have been waiting on this! With the update to OS 2.0 and Bridge, a case like this would be the piece de resistance! Does anyone know if there is some way to get notified once this is released? I of course will keep my eyes peeled here on CrackBerry ;)

The reason he didn't demo it is because it doesn't work. RIM has a bug in the Blackberry Playbook with regard to the bluetooth keyboard. The damn thing won't stay connected. That's the reason it's taking forever to get to market.

The Source in Canada has the new RIM Playbook Keyboard/Case combo for $99 online orders only so shipping is extra
I was thinking about buying one then I figured Amazon will be selling them for $75
in a couple of weeks and shipping will be included.
Is anyone else buying from the Source??