Add one more tablet to the growing list of devices set to take on the iPad. Eventually. "Sources close to RIM" have reportedly confirmed to Betanews that the BlackBerry maker will release a 7" tablet with a 1GHz Marvell processor under the hood. There's no word on what sort of resolution we can expect from the 7" screen, which gives up nearly three inches to the iPad's display. We can probably look forward to a device that sits somewhere between the iPad and Dell's 5" Streak, at least in terms of overall size.
The upcoming BlackBerry tablet is said to have hardware-based Flash acceleration, although it's unclear whether that's a feature of the device's Marvell processor or something provided by auxiliary silicon. At the very least, I'd expect that hardware acceleration to extend to HD video playback. Dual cameras also look to be on the menu, and given RIM's corporate clients, robust video conferencing support is probably a safe bet.
There's no confirmation on when BlackBerry will dip its toes into tablet waters, but previous rumors have pointed to a December release. By then, the market should be teeming with tablets based on Google's Android OS and perhaps multiple flavors of Windows. iPad alternatives remain frustratingly few and far between at the moment, though.