$ 499 plus tax
The Blackberry PlayBook is RIM's first entry into the tablet market, and one the company hopes will compete with Apple's dominant iPad in the corporate and consumer spaces.
RIM wants the PlayBook to appeal to its smartphone customers as a standalone tablet, and an addition to their existing Blackberry handsets using bridging software to link the two platforms.
V3.co.uk has been putting the 16GB PlayBook through its initial paces to see what the Canadian company has done with the format.
While most of the market has gone with the 10in tablet design Apple's iPad has made popular, RIM has been one of the few companies to start building around a smaller form factor.
The PlayBook is 130mm x 194mm x 10mm and weighs 425g, making it very portable. The downside is that the 7in screen gives you a limited desktop, and this becomes noticeable the more you use the device.
PlayBooks are currently available with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage and Wi-Fi only at present. The tablet can set up a bridge with RIM smartphones running version five and above of the mobile operating system to allow the device to piggyback on cellular connections. The PlayBook runs a dual-core 1GHz processor and has 1GB of RAM, GPS built in, stereo speakers and a microphone.
The tablet has a 1,024 x 600 WSVGA LCD touch screen, which is sensitive across the whole front surface of the tablet, not just the viewing screen. This allows finger commands to open the main applications screen and software menus by dragging a finger. This keeps them off the screen, freeing up valuable space.
Connectivity is good with 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth built in. It has an HDMI port as standard, with a micro-USB slot for charging and transferring data, but no removable storage ports. The PlayBook also has a port to allow the use of a docking station which holds it upright like a display screen.
Cameras are positioned on the front and the back - 3-megapixel for the forward facing and 5-megapixel for the screen. Both are capable of reasonable quality video, and tests showed perfectly acceptable output, although some colours can look grainy.
Overall, the PlayBook, although small, has a very robust feel and the small form factor makes it possible to carry the device in the pocket. The format is a little limiting, but it's an interesting trade-off in comparison to larger tablets. Battery life in early testing was reasonable at eight hours.