RIM preps BlackPad for November launch

Posted by TRENT NOUVEAU

RIM (Research in Motion) is reportedly prepping a tablet computer dubbed "BlackPad" for its November debut.

According to Bloomberg, the device is expected to "roughly" feature the same dimensions as Apple's iPad, which boasts a slick, 9.7-inch diagonal screen.

In addition to cellular connectivity, the "BlackPad" also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and BlackBerry tethering.

"With the success of the iPad, RIM faces an uphill battle," analyst Robert W. Baird William Power told Bloomberg. 



"RIM really has yet to demonstrate that it can roll out touchscreen technology to match the leaders in the space, most noticeably Apple."

The BlackPad - which apparently includes front-and back-facing (video) cameras as well as a 1Ghz processor - is slated to be priced "in line with the iPad" at approximately $500.

Yes, $500 is definitely a reasonable price point for all that hardware, especially if the BlackPad's purported tethering capabilities actually do coalesce.

However, Barron's Eric Savitz thinks the feature sounds a little too good to be true.

"Uh-oh, I'm having flashbacks to the ill-fated Palm Foleo," wrote Savitz.

"[The Foleo] was sort of [a] mini notebook that was supposed to connect to the Internet by tethering to a Palm phone. It died a miserable death."