RIM sort-of enters the netbook market

RIM has, in a bizarre attempt to save its Playbook, entered the netbook market – announcing a mini keyboard that users can dock to the tablet. 

Useful enough for giving the user more screen space and a quicker way to type up longer documents, as this RIM employee explains in a demo video.

As you can see, along with a Citrix case, the Playbook’s mini-keyboard turns the ill-received tablet into something resembling a laptop that you have to put together yourself. It even comes equipped with a touchpad. RIM’s demo, in which the Playbook runs Windows as a virtual OS, highlights exhilarating ‘new’ features like:

– Pressing CTRL+C to copy
– Pressing CTRL+V to paste
– Clicking or doubleclicking

We asked RIM what, specifically, makes the device any better than a laptop. We have heard nothing yet, but can tell you the official lines are:

– “Powerful multi-touch control” because the touchpad supports PlayBook gestures.
– “Ultimate portability” because it’s less than 6mm thick.
– “Security”, because, well, it’s RIM.

The keyboard also bridges to a Blackberry handset, which can then be used as a remote control device. RIM says this is handy for powerpoint demonstrations. 

To turn your Playbook into a laptop only costs $119.99, and it’s available for pre-order at shopblackberry.com.