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RIM says PlayBook battery will be just fine

Canada’s Research in Motion has responded to a report that battery life in its forthcoming PlayBook tablet would be just a few hours, compared to the six to ten hours enjoyed by tablet devices currently on the market. RIM maintains its battery development is on schedule and that the PlayBook will enjoy battery life “comparable” to other tablets. It further chides the report of low battery life in the PlayBook as having to have been conducted without RIM’s knowledge on early, pre-production PlayBook. Those units, presumably, won’t be representative of the shipping product.

“Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented,” RIM said in a statement distributed via email.

Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu claimed the PlayBook’s battery would last “a few hours,” citing unnamed sources. We also speculated that RIM me have to delay the launch of the PlayBook to incorporate a larger battery or take other actions to address battery life issues.

The PlayBook, announced in September, is designed to be a high-performance Internet-capable tablet device, featuring robust media capabilities, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and support for HTML5 and Adobe AIR application technologies—and, unline Apple’s iOS, it’ll support Flash. RIM sees the PlayBooks as a companion device to existing BlackBerry smartphones: BlackBerry owners will be able to link the tablets to their phones to use the larger display for browsing, email, and more. RIM is building in support for enterprise-level security and device management—sure to appeal to corporations and organizations built on BlackBerry services—although the device runs an operating system derived from QNX, rather than RIM’s own recently-revised BlackBerry OS 6. The initial PlayBooks will be Wi-Fi only, although RIM says it is planning 3G and 4G models further down the road.

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