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RIM unveils new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook

The fightback has begun for beleaguered RIM after the Canadian firm unveiled its brand new BlackBerry PlayBook yesterday.

The tablet’s headline feature is its support for 4G LTE networks, allowing for connectivity on the go. By sporting a 7in display it has the unenviable task of taking on the likes of Google Nexus 7, another 7-inch slate that has taken the market by storm.

Perhaps worryingly for the new PlayBook, a quick glance at some respective spec details shows its 1,024 x 600 screen resolution trumped by the Nexus 7’s 1,280 x 800 display, while the latter’s quad-core processor also outstrips the PlayBook’s dual-core.

RIM has not yet revealed the new tablet’s price tag, but it is questionable whether it can afford to match Google’s remarkable sub-£200 pricing for the Nexus. If it ends up costing substantially more, then the knives could be out on the PlayBook and critics will be lining up to highlight more spec comparisons that put RIM’s model in the shade.

But the PlayBook’s new OS 2.0 software should provide a notable upgrade from its widely-criticised predecessor. Other weapons in its arsenal include front (3-megapixel) and rear (5-megapixel) facing HD video cameras, stereo speakers and microphones, and 32GB of built-in memory storage. RIM will be banking on its eye-catching 4G LTE capability to really pull in the punters however, with the device able to automatically revert to an HSPA+ network if 4G connectivity is unavailable.

The tablet is given a native launch on 9 August, meaning Canadians will be getting their fingertips acquainted with the slate as early as next week. The rest of the world, including us Brits, have to wait a little longer, with RIM promising its widespread release “in the coming months”.

Can the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook revive RIM’s fortunes? Will you be buying one? Let us know in the comments section below, while we keep tabs on more pricing and release date rumours.