BlackBerry Mini Keyboard: Putting PlayBook Back in Action?

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The next line of BlackBerry smartphones is not expected until autumn. However, meanwhile, Research in Motion (RIM) keeps working on new ways to make its enhanced PlayBook tablet even more attractive. In this effort, RIM has officially launched its long-awaited BlackBerry Mini Keyboard, a new and exciting accessory for the PlayBook.

Ultra portable, the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard comes complete with a convertible case that also acts as a stand for the tablet, allowing it to work as a laptop. The new accessory comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and also comes with an integrated touchpad, allowing users to easily navigate and control the PlayBook. Moreover, the tablet’s virtual keyboard will remain hidden when the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard is active, thus freeing up the entire display of the tablet.

“Whether you’re typing email, creating documents, surfing the Web or using other apps, the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard and its integrated carrying case is an ideal accessory,” said Advanced Accessories Director James Poulton.

In addition, the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard comes with an array of great features to maximize its functionality, creating a whole new experience for the PlayBook user. It measures less than 6mm in thickness and is lightweight, which makes it extremely portable and convenient.

Multi-Touch Control

The new accessory comes equipped with a powerful touchpad, able to support PlayBook gestures, and also allows gestures resembling the standard mouse and touchpad controls on a laptop. Users can click with a single tap, right-click with a two-finger tap and scroll vertically by swiping two fingers up and down.

Security

Users can connect the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard to their PlayBook tablets via a Bluetooth connection, and a 128-bit encryption ensures that the data shared between the keyboard and the tablet remains secure.

Easy and Long-Lasting Charge

The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard uses the same micro-USB charger as the BlackBerry PlayBook, thus eliminating the need for carrying another charger. On a full charge, the keyboard battery can last up to 30 days.

Third-Party Apps

Aiming to enhance productivity, the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard works with BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Messages, Contacts and Calendar apps, and Documents to Go. Furthermore, third-party apps such as Citrix Receiver work as well, allowing users to remotely access their Windows desktop directly from the tablet.

The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard will begin shipping on March 23, but is now available for pre-order internationally at www.shopblackberry.com, at a price of US$119.99. Pre-orders for Canada are available exclusively at www.thesource.ca.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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