Blackberry Playbook launching April 16th: tablet pricing and availability announced

A lot of speculation about pricing and availability for the very much anticipated Blackberry Playbook has been laid to rest, finally.

Today, RIM and Best Buy announced the pre-orders, pricing and launch date for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi will come in three models, featuring 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage at $499, $599 and $699 respectively. It is scheduled to be available on April 19 from all Best Buy stores and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S., as well as Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada.  Customers in the U.S. and Canada can place their orders beginning today by visiting their local Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile or Future Shop store, or by ordering on-line On top of this there will be availability at more than 20,000 retail outlets including AT&T stores, Best Buy, Office Depot, RadioShack, Staples, and Verizon stores.

The Blackberry Playbook boosts some impressive features, including:

  • 7″ 1024×600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • BlackBerry® Tablet OS (based on QNX) with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 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

In the tablet wars this could be a major player. Tablets with similar specs are running hundreds of dollars more than the Playbook, and Blackberry’s already got a bit stake in the enterprise market where this tablet could really do well.

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