RIM has announced UK pricing and availability details for the BlackBerry PlayBook, and customers who pre-order now can expect to start receiving the device from 16 June.
Pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only tablet are available from Best Buy, Dixons, Currys, PC World, Insight, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U.
Insight offers the entry-level 16GB PlayBook slighter cheaper than other resellers, and RIM is encouraging businesses to pre-order from the online retailer. Prices for the 16GB model start at £395 compared to the standard £399.
The 16GB and 32GB editions cost £479 and £558 respectively, making the PlayBook the same price as the hugely popular iPad 2.
The announcement comes just 24 hours after RIM admitted that it shipped 1,000 faulty 16GB devices in the US. It remains to be seen whether this incident will have an impact on sales.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is one of the most hotly anticipated non-Windows 7 tablets to target the enterprise. The device runs RIM's QNX-based operating system, which has been designed from the ground up for tablets.
The 425g 7in device sports a 1,024x600 capacitive touch screen, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM.
RIM ships the PlayBook with a WebKit browser, which supports HTML5 and Adobe Flash. Micro HDMI, micro USB and charging contacts are incorporated into the shell.
A front-mounted 3-megapixel camera and rear-mounted 5-megapixel camera offer video calling and HD capabilities, and the tablet supports 1080p HD playback.
RIM has said that the PlayBook will support Android apps as a stop-gap measure while the firm builds its QNX ecosystem. The company also plans to release 4G models in the US this summer.
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