PlayBook, by BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, is among the strongest contenders to the Apple iPad throne. It will be launched in the United States on April 19. The cheapest 16 GB, Wi-Fi version costs $499. Two other versions with 32 GB and 64 GB capacity will cost $599 and $699 respectively.
The Playbook features a 7-inch screen, smaller than the iPad but similar to the first Samsung Galaxy Tab. It also features front and rear cameras for taking photos and video conferencing.
The front and rear facing cameras of the Playbook are of much higher resolution than the iPad. The rear camera is 5 mega-pixels, while the front camera is 3 mega-pixels.
Unlike the iPad, PlayBook features a USB connection as well as a dedicated HDMI video output port.
Another feature, missing from the rival iPad, is the support for Adobe Flash to play some online video and games. The PlayBook plays it with ease using a powerful processor.
The tablet does not feature the Google Android operating system, but uses a new operating system developed on the QNX platform. Though, the PlayBook will support Android apps later this year.