RIM to sell external PlayBook keyboard

Owners of Research In Motion's PlayBook now have another choice for an external keyboard, although an expensive one. The company said Tuesday it is accepting pre-orders for the long-awaited US$119.99 Blackberry Mini Keyboard, a case that includes a netbook-sized keyboard and a touchpad. Actually, given that a PlayBook is narrower than a netbook, the keyboard is smaller. You can see a video demo of it here.
Canadians can also order it online from The Source.
RIM [Nasdaq: RIMM] says that combined with Citrix Receiver, which gives remote access to a Windows desktop PC, the Mini Keyboard lets users on the go do almost anything.
The keyboard has 128-bit encryption for secure Bluetooth connectivity, and the rechargable battery lasts up to 30 days. The touchpad can be used instead of a mouse — a single tap simulates a mouse click, while a two-finger tap means right-click.
The Mini Keyboard will be in The Source stores March 23, which is also when RIM will start shipping orders. It will also be sold direct to enterprises.
Alternatives include the Hip Street 3-in-1 PlayBook Case (similar in size to the RIM version, but no touchpad $89.99 this week at Best Buy) and the $39.99 Hip Street Bluetooth Keyboard (even narrower than a PlayBook, no touchpad).

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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