Rim has officially unleashed its 7 inch tablet into shops in the US and Canada today.
The PlayBook boasts a 1GHz dual-core processor with true multi-tasking on its QNX operating system, along with twin cameras (5 megapixel on the back, 3 megapixel on the front).
Prices start at $499 for the basic 16GB model with wi-fi – a 3G version isn’t yet available, but is expected to come at a later date. That goes up to $599 if you want 32GB of storage, and $699 for 64GB on board, the exact same pricing as the iPad 2.
Although how Rim’s slate will fare against the hot-selling Apple tablet is questionable. The launch has come off a bit of a damp squib, with the lack of an email client (and calendar/address book apps) putting some off.
Those with a BlackBerry smartphone will be fine, as they can link up with their tablet via bluetooth and use the handset’s apps. But of course, not everyone will be able to do that, and it’ll be some time before the PlayBook will be upgraded with a full email client.
Critics have also laid into the tablet for being lacking in apps, and suffering from bugs as if it’s been rushed out to compete with the iPad 2.
There were certainly no queues around the block for the launch, in contrast to the iPad sequel’s opening day. Reuters noted a distinct lack of enthusiasm in New York, with only three PlayBooks being bought at a mid-town Office Depot, and “not a soul” outside a nearby Staples.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is due to come out in the UK in June.