Ever since the BlackBerry PlayBook first launched, we’ve been wondering about the chances for seeing a couple other variants on the model. The first, one that would be cellular-enabled, rather than relying on a WiFi connection, looks like it’s nearly about to become a reality, and may launch as soon as tomorrow. The other change would be to introduce a larger version of the tablet, and so far this one’s only been in the rumor stage. Back in February, we heard that such a 10-inch PlayBook had been spotted, but no imagery of the hardware emerged. Today we get out first full-on look at the tablet, sizing it up against its smaller sibling.
The first thing that strikes us is the change in aspect ratio; instead of the original PlayBook’s 16:9 screen, this 10-incher appears to go with a more traditional 4:3 layout. Like the 4G PlayBook refresh, there’s also a SIM slot here, so we’re almost certainly talking about a similar level of wireless connectivity. Just which bands it might be tuned to, though, is anyone’s guess.
The big question is what RIM might be planning for the tablet. There were some rumors earlier this year that, despite initial hopes to launch this plus-sized PlayBook, RIM might have changed its mind about the release. If that’s indeed the case, this might be one of the few times we ever get to see this prototype hardware. On the other hand, maybe RIM still has hopes for the model, and we might see it released closer to the holiday season. If RIM does take that route, it had better make sure the ten-inch PlayBook gets the same kind of processor upgrade we’ve heard tipped for the 4G version.