BlackBerry’s Playbook tablet showed up on BestBuy.com early this morning with a $499.99 price tag for the 16GB WiFi model, and a pre-order option all lit up and ready for your clicking. Canadian customers may also order the 16GB PlayBook for C$499.99, though they also have the options of laying out $600 for the 32GB model or $700 for a top-shelf 64GB PlayBook. Turns out there’s a BestBuy-linked pre-order splash page live on BlackBerry’s own site, too, as well as an official press release listing retail channels for the tablet in the U.S. and Canada.
What’s interesting about that retail channels list is that AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are listed while T-Mobile’s not. Maybe BlackBerry knew something ahead of time about that AT&T-Mobile deal? Nah, they probably just yanked T-Mo from the list late last night before pushing the press release out. Either way, no ship date is given for BlackBerry’s first-ever tablet, but it can’t be too far off since they’ve authorized Best Buy to take your money for one now.
Between PlayBook’s 1GHz dual core processor and new tablet OS, its 7″ high-res display, and those dual 1080P HD cameras, BlackBerry’s first tablet has a ton to offer. But I’m still not sure about the whole BlackBerry Bridge tethering system that requires you to have a BB smartphone within Bluetooth range for email and messaging. No matter: The Great Tablet Wars of 2011 are heating up anew! Who’s in for a PlayBook? Why or why not?