The much rumoured “BlackPad” has been revealed. Last night at the company’s developer conference CEO Mike Lazarides introduced its Apple iPad rival.

We know little more than the tech specs right now but the preview video looks pretty cool. Price? Well that is mooted by the guys at PR News to be double an iPad, estimated to be between $1,000 and $1,300. That is a lot! When can we get our sticky fingers on it? According to an interview with BlackBerry’s Dan Dodge, it will be early 2011 in North America and next summer in the UK. That is a long time!

BlackBerry is keeping its focus on their enterprise market and the video above specifically calls the device “enterprise ready” and a “professional tablet”. They are clearly positioning the device in a different place to Apple’s iPad. But then why call it a PlayBook? Not sure an enterprise IT director would countenance deploying 1,000 PlayBooks across his organisation?

As with the iPhone and iPad before it, key to the BlackBerry PlayBook’s success will be the range of apps available and the speed with which they become available. Apple has a huge head start and my feeling is that this will simply be another device wealthy BlackBerry fanatics will buy to “play” with in airport lounges.

© BlackBerry “.BlackBerry Playbook- Preview” Video.

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