Updated PlayBook passes through the FCC in LTE and HSPA+ flavors
If it isn't the BlackBerry PlayBook once again, continuing its return from the dead. Although the Sprint-destined WiMAX "4G" PlayBook was cancelled, two new versions of the PlayBook have shown up at the FCC with a couple of improvements over the current versions.
As confirmed by the filing, the "new" PlayBook will come with NFC, GPS, and either LTE or HSPA+ cellular connectivity, and could support Verizon, AT&T, and possibly T-Mobile. It is also rumored that the updated tablet will include a new 1.5GHz dual-core processor, but that is still unfortunately unconfirmed. Otherwise, the tablet will likely be mostly unchanged cosmetically from the previous version, retaining the same simple design and 7-inch display, the latter of which would hopefully be increased to a 1280 x 800 resolution.
On the plus side, the new tablet should be shipping with PlayBook OS 2.0 which fixes almost all of the problems with the original PlayBook. Between this and the newly added Android application compatibility layer, the new PlayBook is looking like it could be a very compelling device. QNX, the base of PlayBook OS, was already very good the first time around, and by now it should be even better.
Rumors set the projected release date at sometime this summer, but we don't have any real information concerning when the tablet will actually ship. Price is also unknown, but whichever carriers have the tablet will likely subsidize it to at least a $200 price point to match the WiFi only version.
I skipped picking up the first PlayBook due mostly to the questionable software, but now that most of those problems have been fixed, I am seriously interested in the new version. Between the faster processor, NFC, fast data, and of course the new software, the "PlayBook 2" seems like just what RIM needs to get back into the tablet market.[Geek Mobile]