BlackBerry's PlayBook tablet matches iPad 2's pricing, available next month

It's been a long journey for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. But at last, the 7-inch tablet with a speedy 1GHz dual-core processor and a nifty smart bezel can be brought home next month for as low as $500.

For those in favor of tablet alternatives, it doesn't get better than the PlayBook. At CES, we found ourselves constantly going back to touch this multitasking beast — and that wasn't even the final version. RIM's officially blown the lid off pricing and availability for the Wi-Fi-only PlayBook and it goes as follows:

  • 16GB is $500
  • 32GB is $600
  • 64GB is $700
  • Availability: April 19 at U.S. Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile and Canadian Best Buy and Future Shop retail
  • Pre-orders: Available now at BlackBerry's website

All in all, it looks like the PlayBook is matching the iPad 2 in terms of pricing and storage, which is a good thing. For Apple, $500 has proven to be the right price-point of entry and RIM is clearly looking to replicate the iPad's runaway success.

I'm definitely considering one, because I absolutely adore the size and speed. Compared to the iPad 2's 9.7-inch screen, the PlayBook looks like less of a value, but you'd be wrong. The PlayBook's 1024x600 resolution screen is just slightly lower than the iPad 2's 1024x768 screen, but with dual 1080p HD cameras on the front and back, 1GB of RAM, stereo speakers and a built-in 1080p HDMI port, the PlayBook is actually a beefier tablet inside of a tablet that won't feel heavy in one hand.

BlackBerry, via BGR

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