When Research in Motion unveiled its BlackBerry tablet a few months ago, the company spelled out the technical specs, explained how the operating system would look, and described how the tablet could be paired with a BlackBerry smartphone to share data. The one thing nobody was talking about at the time was the price. Now Bloomberg has a bit of info on that front.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to sell for less than $500. That will put the tablet in striking distance of the Apple iPad, which starts at $499.
While the BlackBerry name is often associated with more business-like products than Apple’s consumer-centric phones and tablets, the PlayBook looks like it could be one heck of a platform for multimedia content. It has a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, support for 1080p HD video playback, and even an HDMI output. It supports Adobe Flash content and multitasking, and has both front and rear-facing cameras.
What the PlayBook doesn’t have at the moment is an army of third party apps designed to run on the platform. Since the PlayBook is based on QNX software instead of RIM’s BlackBerry software, existing BlackBerry apps won’t run. That means developers will need to write new apps for the device. Still, $500 or less for a 0.9 pound device which can surf the web, lay HD video, and sync with a BlackBerry phone for mobile broadband doesn’t sound like an awful deal.