RIM unveils Blackberry PlayBook

2011-03-22 21:47

Montreal - Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) announced on Tuesday that its iPad rival, the PlayBook, would go on sale next month at a price identical to that of the hot-selling Apple tablet computer.

The BlackBerry PlayBook will be available at Best Buy and other stores in the United States and Canada on April 19, the Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said in a statement. Orders can be placed online as of Tuesday.

RIM is offering three models of the PlayBook. A version with 16 gigabytes of storage will cost $499, a 32GB model will sell for $599 and one with 64GB will cost $699. The prices are the same as for comparable models of the iPad.

The PlayBook features Wi-Fi connectivity to the internet while Apple sells both Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the iPad.

"Tablets are becoming a bigger part of our business everyday and the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook will heighten the level of excitement in this category," said Scott Anderson, head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile.

RIM describes the PlayBook as the first "professional-grade" tablet and has stressed its integration with its BlackBerry smartphone, a favourite among many business users.

The PlayBook is RIM's first foray outside the mobile phone realm.

BlackBerry users can pair their handset with the PlayBook using a Bluetooth connection to view their e-mail, calendar, documents or other content.

The PlayBook has a 17.8cm touchscreen, smaller than the iPad's 24.7cm, and also plays Adobe Flash video software, which is banned from the Apple device.

At less than 425g, the PlayBook is lighter than the iPad 2's 590g and is also thinner.

It features front- and rear-facing cameras for video conferencing, a feature which was added to the iPad 2 which went on sale in the United States on March 11.

Apple sold over 15 million iPads last year and scores of other companies have been scrambling to release their own tablet computes in a bid to grab a share of the fast-growing market.

  • Chris - 2011-03-22 22:02

    Don't touch it RIM produce rubbish I am 15 months into a two year contract and have been without my phone for 30 weeks. 5 times it has broken - Bold 9000 trackball jamming - Bold 9700 that was supplied by MTN to replace the unreliable 9000 has now broken!!! No sound when it rings unless you press the screen! RIM you dump rubbish on the South African Market!

      munchies - 2011-03-23 07:52

      Your right Chris, I've heard that 20% of all blackberry's have problems. Although I love my bb. It serves its purpose and keeps me connected. Definitely the best phone I have ever had. But I then again I haven't had problems :P

  • Lekker Jan - 2011-03-23 04:22

    It syncs with the Blackberry phone. My iPhone can create its own personal wifi hot spot - so any wifi device can connect to it.

      munchies - 2011-03-23 07:56

      But then you have to pay for the internet. BB you won't.

      Lekker Jan - 2011-03-23 10:07

      @munchies. No, I don't pay for the internet, I don't live in SA anymore, thus don't have things like "caps" here. Simple 4g plan for my iPhone @ the equivalent of R220/pm, unlimited data.

  • Stephan - 2011-03-23 16:11

    I must admit that i have a very simple 8520 and when you think about it, BB is a business tool. I implemented a BB server at our offices and we were 2 BB users and in 2 months grew to almost 20 as the BB enterprise server realy unleashes the phones true potential. I ave been waiting for this launch since it wa anounced and family and friends all bought IPads and galaxys but i believe my Playbook will reign supreme. I am pre-ordering two for me and my wife and we will also upgrade to the BB 3G models upon delivery of our playbooks. JOB DONE WELL RIM!

  • pages:
  • 1