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BlackBerry PlayBook goes on sale six months after unveiling

updated 09:00 am EDT, Tue April 19, 2011

RIM ships BlackBerry PlayBook to stores

RIM on Tuesday began shipping its long-in-coming BlackBerry PlayBook. The seven-inch tablet should now be at Best Buy, Staples, and other stores. Only Wi-Fi versions are available so far and cost $499, $599, and $699 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage respectively.

PlayBooks will start shipping with 3G and 4G in the summer for Sprint and other carriers.

The slate has had a long and at times rocky history on its road to launch. RIM unveiled it over six months ago in a bid to get early developer support but drew flak for how it marketed the device from the start. Almost all of the early promotion was spent attacking the original iPad and touting the PlayBook's faster performance and dual cameras despite it being months away. By shipping time, the iPad 2 had already launched weeks earlier and eliminated a large part of RIM's arguments.

The design has been given mixed reviews from the outset. Praise has been given to the fast hardware, build quality and much improved tablet interface with real multitasking. Criticism has been leveled at the lack of native e-mail, contacts, and calendars on launch, all of which limit the audience. Battery life is also less than promised and lasts for about seven hours rather than the 10 or more achievable on the iPad 2.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I Always Buy Tablets at Staples ...

    ... and $499 is a phenomenal deal for 16 billion sheets of paper. I'm so there.

  1. royjg2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Avoid Best Buy

    I pre-ordered March 15th to find out yesterday that my order was filled to ship snail mail

    The should learn from Apple store

  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's it

    Apple should just shut down in the face of this competition. It's a sad day.........

  1. royjg2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Best Buy OK

    Canada Post has improved, Playbook just came in, looks great, update being installed

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More like an Adobe Tablet !!!

    Just judging by the list of applications on the screen (it's not like there are lots of apps for it to download anyway), they have Adobe products on there, that we barely have for Mac (i.e. they're ports of Windows products which suck badly). They've also got full Flash support, and their whole API and SDK is based on Adobe AIR (which is a Flash repackaged with a new name).

    So all in all, it's mostly an Adobe software stack, running on RIM hardware. I'm not sure if Adobe makes a good [reliable] partner these days. I'd be careful, if I were RIM.

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