CES 2012 wasn’t all about hardware, but also software and since RIM didn’t bring any new hardware to Las Vegas, at least they had a new OS with them. I’m talking about the BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS, that was showcased on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show. This update will be released sometime this month according to the people from RIM and the images were provided thanks to a hands on experience with the OS from BGR.

They seem to be impressed by this UI and as you know, the platform now has all the needed functions, stuff like email, calendar and contacts are here, without the need of a BlackBerry smartphone. Apparently, RIM now provides the best email and calendar experience on a tablet, according to the people who tested the associated apps. All of the applications seem to integrate these features beautifully and the layered UI used by RIM in the email is also a big hit.

The email app features a unified inbox, with a list of messages on the left side and the body of highlighted messages to the right. You can perform searches, apply view filters, drill down to individual accounts and much more. The calendar and contacts app work in a similar way, with layers of panels that slide to the right. Integration of contacts is tight, with these being linked to meeting entries for example, in the calendar. BlackBerry Bridge is not needed anymore to provide email, contacts and calendar, but now it offers extra functionality like a remote control feature allowing you to control a PlayBook tablet using a BlackBerry smartphone.