RIM isn't hanging around with the BlackBerry PlayBook; the 7-inch QNX slate is up for pre-order in the UK ahead of a June 16 release date. Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy have confirmed pricing for the PlayBook, which will kick off at £399 for the 16GB, WiFi-only model. That, unsurprisingly, matches Apple's 16GB iPad 2 WiFi in the UK.
The other models in the range also match the various iPad 2 price points. RIM's 32GB PlayBook will be available from £479, while the 64GB model will be £559. Still no word on when the 3G version might be released, so for now you'll be tethering either via a MiFi-style mobile hotspot, through a mobile hotspot app on your phone, or - as RIM would prefer - through your BlackBerry phone.
We found the PlayBook to be a promising little slate, certainly not short of potent hardware and a highly usable UI; however, the software experience feels somewhat half-baked, though RIM is working hard to push out frequent updates. More in our full BlackBerry PlayBook review.
BlackBerry PlayBook Arriving At The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy
Pre-order now available from www.carphonewarehouse.com and www.bestbuy.co.uk
LONDON May 17, 2011— The Carphone Warehouse and BestBuy today announced they will be stocking the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. In a move set to shake up the tablet market, BlackBerry PlayBook brings business and entertainment needs together in one stunning tablet computer.
Available to pre-order now from www.carphonewarehouse.com and www.bestbuy.co.uk, the new tablet with built-in Wi-Fi® support comes in three variations; a 16 GB model will be available from £399; a 32 GB model will be available from £479; and a 64 GB model will be available from £559.
BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to land in the UK on June 16 and features an ultra-portable sleek design and delivers industry leading performance powered by QNX technology. Multitasking heads the list of sophisticated features, making it possible to read an email, surf the web and chat with friends over BBM™[i] all at the same time. An industry first, this feature truly sets BlackBerry PlayBook apart from other tablets that have recently hit the market.
For Internet lovers, there’s support for Adobe Flash Player to give uninterrupted web browsing and video streaming using the in-built Wi-Fi connectivity, while for the business-minded, the preloaded Documents To Go® software lets users work with spreadsheets and Word files. Plus, BlackBerry PlayBook cleverly links up with BlackBerry® smartphones over Bluetooth with the BlackBerry® Bridge™ software, enabling people to respond to their BlackBerry smartphone emails in real time on the tablet's larger display.
Packed with HD multimedia capabilities, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet also comes with two cameras – a front facing 3 megapixel camera and a 5 megapixel rear facing one, each capable of recording 1080p HD video. In addition, there’s exceptional support for media playback and video calling, which can show callers in brilliant clarity on the tablet's high resolution display.[ii]
Graham Stapleton, Chief Commercial Officer for The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, said: “The BlackBerry brand is already highly regarded amongst our customers who are looking for excellent smartphones, and I expect BlackBerry PlayBook to be just as popular. The product packs in some fantastic features within a handy travel-friendly size and I’m sure will be well-received. With its speed, HD-capabilities and impressive multitasking BlackBerry Playbook has the potential to impact the tablet market in a significant way.”