Research In Motion, also known as RIM, announced on Tuesday March 22nd that its iPad-competing tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will launch for a $499.00 starting price on April 19, 2011 which matches Apple’s iPad. The BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi will be available starting at $499.00 for the 16 GB model, same as the Wi-Fi only iPad. This could become quite competitive for Apple, but the PlayBook will only sport a 7-inch touchscreen display, compared to the iPad’s 9.7-inch display. The remaining PlayBook prices will also match Apple’s, where the 32 GB will cost $599.00, & the 64 GB will cost $699.00. The BlackBerry Playbook will be available in all Best Buy & Future Shop stores across Canada & the United States on April 19th. Both RIM & Apple will start accepting pre-orders on Tuesday, March 22nd.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is said to be one of the biggest iPad competitors on the tablet market. It certainly does have a few features that the iPad definitely lacks. For example, the rear facing camera on the PlayBook is 5 MP, compared to the iPad’s .92 MP rear facing camera. RIM’s definitely trying to make gaming a big part of the PlayBook, but that’s a little hard since the iPad dominates in the section. In conclusion the iPad is more about gaming, whereas the PlayBook focuses on business. It will be exciting to see what will happen to each of the tablets.
The official BlackBerry PlayBook specifications are as following:
- 7″ 1024×600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen
- Ultra-portable at less than a pound and less than one-half inch thick: 0.9 lbs (425g) and 5.1” x 7.6” x 0.4” (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)
- 1 GHz dual-core processor
- BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
- MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback
- Support for high-resolution video playback (H.264, MPEG4, WMV)
- 1080p HDMI output
- Dual 1080p HD cameras for video conferencing and video capture (3MP front and 5MP rear)
- 1 GB RAM memory
- Up to 64 GB internal storage (16, 32 and 64 GB models)
- GPS, Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), 6-Axis Motion Sensor (Gyroscope), Digital Compass (Magnetometer)
- Stereo speakers and stereo microphones
- Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) connectivity
- Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support
The BlackBerry PlayBook & tablets like it were mocked by Steve Jobs last year, when he made fun of competitors having 7-inch displays on their device. He called them inadequate for most users. Steve Jobs even quipped that makers of tablets with smaller form factors would need to ship sandpaper with their devices, so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.
Let’s see what the PlayBook will have to offer. Remember, you can pre-order as soon as Tuesday, & purchase the device on April 19, 2011.