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RIM’s PlayBook Tablet To Sell For Under $500

by Sean P. Aune | November 11, 2010November 11, 2010 8:00 am PST

Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the pricing for its PlayBook tablet, and it’s pretty obvious that the company is ready to do what it takes to try to take on Apple’s gargantuan tablet, the iPad.

RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie finally gave some details on the PlayBook while giving an interview in Seoul, South Korea the other day, and it looks like we can bet on a first quarter 2011 release date with a price somewhere under $500. Of course, this could mean $499, but we’re guessing it will be somewhere lower than that.

Considering RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones are the darlings of enterprise users, it is expected that the PlayBook will follow a similar trend where as the iPad is very much about consumers.  We’re not sure if this will work out well for the company as Apple’s tablet is making its way into many boardrooms already, so unless RIM’s tablet is just spectacular in some way, it may not be able to carve out much market share for itself.

Here’s what your “under $500” will buy you in part.

RIM PlayBook

  • 7″ LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support.
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing.
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor.
  • 1 GB RAM.
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording.
  • Video (video) playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV.
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA.
  • HDMI video output.
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n.
  • Bluetooth (Bluetooth) 2.1 + EDR.
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts.
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe.
  • Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java.
  • Ultra thin and portable.
  • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm).
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g).
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

Again, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, this love affair with a seven-inch screen may be part of why companies will have trouble catching up to the iPad.  No matter what you have under the hood, the physical appearance will win over a lot of people.  Apple’s larger screen may continue to be a winner for a lot of people.

What say you?  Will the PlayBook have any legs to it?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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