RIM readies a Tablet -

Research In Motion is about to release a Slate before it starts to lose more ground to the consumer orientated gear from Apple and Google.

Word on the street is that RIM is testing a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard.

The beast will run on a new version of the BlackBerry operating system and users can swipe through screens and expand images with their fingers.

It also has a universal search bar that lets users scour all the phone's data and some data online.

It seems that RIM wants the tablet to serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry phone.

Tech rumour rag the Wall Street Journal, quoting a bottle of unnamed sauces that something will be out by the end of the year.

RIM has been getting a little worried lately. Although its gear works much better with company networks, users have been leaning on their IT departments to get them something a bit more shiny and expensive.

RIM still sells more smartphones globally than any company besides Nokia and last year grabbed 19 percent of the world market but there is a feel that it should do a little more to engage the great unwashed.

RIM is also readying a new Internet browser that renders web pages much faster than the current browser, and allows users to access more than one web page at a time.