RIM Reveals Pricing for PlayBook Tablet

Dennis Faas's picture

Less than a month before its launch date, we now know a little bit more about the PlayBook tablet from Canadian tech firm Research in Motion (RIM).

PlayBook Tablet Similar to Apple's iPad 2

According to recent reports, the device will be smaller than Apple's iPad 2 but will come in at a similar entry price: $499.

The 7-inch PlayBook, which is set to launch on April 19, actually comes in several versions, each packing a different price point.

For instance, the 16GB version ships for $499, the 32GB for $599, and a 64GB version for $699. When it comes to pricing, RIM's device isn't much different than the major competition from Apple. (Source: eweek.com)

PlayBook Smaller, OS New

However, there are a number of things that set the PlayBook apart.

For one, there haven't been any official announcements on a 4G model, though the company has said that at some point a model using this technology will be available. For now, however, we're stuck with connecting to the web via WiFi. (Source: time.com)

There's also the tablet's size -- just 7 inches -- which sets it apart from the 9.7-inch iPad 2. In this regard RIM appears to be shooting for comfort and portability.

PlayBook also has its own operating system (OS) that is distinct not just from the iPad's iOS but also that used on most BlackBerry smartphones. Although this fact might raise eyebrows among long-time RIM fans, the Waterloo-based firm says the PlayBook will easily sync with RIM phones for accessing email, contacts, calendars and even BlackBerry Messenger.

Questions Remain on Tech Specs

At the same time, there are a number of question marks about the PlayBook. For one, we don't yet know how long the device's battery will last. RIM says battery life won't be any worse than the iPad, but it hasn't provided hard numbers to back up that claim.

We also don't know what kinds of applications (or how many apps) will be available for the PlayBook once it's released.

Gamers will be pleased to hear that the device comes with Need for Speed Underground and Tetris pre-installed (thanks to an existing agreement with Electronic Arts), while book junkies will like the pre-loaded Kobo e-reader software.

Still, it's unclear if PlayBook owners will have access to hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of apps in the next couple years. Unfortunately, RIM hasn't even yet showed off its app store, making some critics leery.

We'll have more on the PlayBook when it ships next month.

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