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Research in Motion has announced via Twitter that they will be dropping the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 for a limited time. This is a significant price cut as the tablet originally launched with a $499 price tag earlier this year.
The list of participating retailers includes Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, Radio Shack, Staples, Walmart and the BlackBerry Store. RIM didn’t announce when the sale would begin or how long it would last and as of writing, none of the retailers listed above have cut prices yet. That said, it’s entirely likely that the $199 PlayBook could be sold as an unadvertised Black Friday special at said retailers come Friday.
We’ve seen RIM offer multiple sales on the PlayBook since its lackluster release. The most recent was in late September when several major outlets offered a $100 instant rebate on top of a $100 mail-in rebate for the tablet. This brought prices down to $299 for a 16GB model, $399 for a 32GB unit and $499 for a 64GB tablet.
CNET points out that Newegg offered the PlayBook for $199 over the weekend but it quickly sold out at this price. If Newegg’s sale is any indication, the PlayBook could sell out pretty quick at this price point which is right in line with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and $50 cheaper than Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Apple remains firm on iPad 2 pricing, starting at $499 for a 16GB model in white or black.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
The BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The sides of the PlayBook are coated with a soft-touch rubber that has a quality feel and provides some grip. A 3.5mm headphone jack is present as well, on the bottom of the tablet are three ports: micro-HDMI, micro-USB, and a three pin accessory dock connector.
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