As expected, Research in Motion (RIM) has announced its first tablet computer during the keynote address at its DevCon developer conference in San Francisco.

The new device, which is expected to compete with the Apple iPad, will sport a seven inch touchscreen (1,024 x 600 pixels), a 1GHz dual-core processor, a gigabyte of RAM, and will run on the QNX operating system.

Additional features of the tablet include: a 5 MP rear camera; a 3 MP front camera; HTML5-capable browser; 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR; Adobe Flash 10.1 support; MP3/AAC/WMA audio playback; H.264, MPEG4, and WMV, HDMI video output; Micro USB, Micro HDMI, and DLNA media streaming.

While the Playbook will has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, RIM says the device will needs to teather with a Blackberry smartphone in order to access a cellular network.

No price was divulged for the Playbook which will go on-sale in January.

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