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New 4G LTE BlackBerry Playbook tablet to launch next week

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the launch of a follow-up to its PlayBook tablet released last year.

The 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is set to make its debut in Canada next week, and will feature built-in support for cellular networks; a feature that was notably absent from initial models.

The new tablet will also roll out to the United States, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in the coming months.

Original BlackBerry PlayBook criticised

The Playbook tablet has been met with criticism since its introduction in 2011, with a number of feature omissions meaning it lagged behind its rivals in the market.

Users complained of a lack of basic features such as email. Even a major software upgrade and large discounts failed to appease consumers.

The fact that RIM has only sold Wi-Fi capable PlayBook devices to date has also meant that demand for the tablet has been lacklustre.

BlackBerry 4G LTE PlayBook specs

Launching in Canada on 9 August, the next-gen PlayBook will be 4G ready (not that this means much to us in the UK just yet), as well boasting 32GB of memory.

We can also expect a 7-inch display, delivering a 1024×600 resolution, front and rear-facing cameras that offer HD video recording, plus an HMDI out and stereo speakers.

Under the bonnet the next-gen PlayBook is expected to be packing a 1.5GHz processor, while there is 1GB of on-board RAM.

With some decent specs, not to mention the LTE support, the 4G PlayBook could be the device that sets a new standard for RIM and BlackBerry.

It is also expected to be compatible with BlackBerry 10, the brand-new platform that is set to guide BlackBerry into the future. 2012 may be one RIM wants to forget so far, but with devices like this the coming months and years could be rather exciting.

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