RIM PlayBook production in full swing

Production of RIM's upcoming and hotly-anticipated PlayBook tablet PC is reported to be in full swing.

Taiwanese news service Digitimes says Quanta's factory on the island is now pumping out the gadget at a rate approaching some 200,000 units per month

Shipments will be ready to bung on a boat to the US as early as February, according to sources at local component suppliers.

All PlayBook tablets are being built in Taiwan, Digitimes reports, in order to avoid designs falling into the hands of white-box copy-cat manufacturers on the Chinese mainland. It is hoped the tactic will help keep the final specs of the device under wraps.

Quanta is keeping schtumm on the matter but confirmed it has enough capacity in Taiwan without having to use its mainland factories.

The PlayBook is shaping up to be the first serious contender to Apple's iPad. More business-oriented than the iPad line it will also pack more punch; expect HDMI output, 1080p video playback, end-to-end encryption and device control options, and a true multitasking real-time operating system based on QNX.

The device is expected to launch in three flavours: 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. Pricing for each, at $399, $499, and $599 respectively - or around £250, £320, and £380, according to the latest leaks.