Over six months after Apple (AAPL) introduced the iPad, rival mobile companies are racing to introduce tablet computers of their own.

On Monday, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIMM) unveiled its new offering, the PlayBook -- an odd name given that it's aimed squarely at the company's bread-and-butter corporate clientele.

The PlayBook joins a rapidly growing list of devices that seek to combat the iPad. Ten says ago, Samsung announced the first major tablet featuring Google's (GOOG) Android mobile operating system, the Galaxy Tab.

"RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world's most robust and flexible operating systems," Mike Lazaridis, RIM's President and Co-CEO said in a statement.

RIM said the PlayBook -- which at seven inches is considerably smaller than the iPad -- will hit shelves in early 2011. The device will have front and rear cameras. RIM said the device can serve as an larger monitor for an existing BlackBerry, which can connect the tablet to the Internet.

More details from Engadget.

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