updated 12:55 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
$120 Mini Keyboard for PlayBook coming March 23
RIM, well known for its hardware QWERTY keyboard-equipped smartphones, has now introduced a keyboard dock for its touchscreen PlayBook tablet. The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard sports a full QWERTY keyboard and an integrated touchpad. Its included case doubles as stand for the tablet as well.
The touchpad supports the same gestures as the touchscreen of the tablet, along with traditional mouse and touchpad gestures found on notebooks. Another benefit of the keyboard is that the usable space on the small seven-inch screen is opened up, as the virtual keyboard is no longer needed. A 128-bit encrypted Bluetooth connection keeps the keyboard and tablet paired together.
The keyboard is just 6mm thick, and its battery is rated at up to 30 days. It uses the same micro USB charger as the tablet to power back up.
The BlackBerry Mini Keyboard can be pre-ordered now for $120, with products due to arrive on March 23. In Canada, The Source offers the accessory for $100 CAD until April 11, after which date it goes up to $120.