BlackBerry Tablet to Cost Less than $500

Paul Lilly

According to a Bloomberg report , Research In Motion (RIM) plans to sell its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in early 2011 for less than $500, which can be viewed as an attempt to sweep the legs out from under Apple's iPad.

The cheapest iPad available runs $499, which gets you the Wi-Fi only version with 16GB of storage, or you could spend as much as $829 for the flagship model with 64GB and 3G baked in. Samsung's Galaxy Tab so far is the only tablet to really challenge the iPad, but it too is pricey, especially if you don't commit to a 2-year service agreement.

First run PlayBook devices will only come with Wi-Fi, but its sub-$500 price tag could spark a price war among tablet makers, of which there looks to be many.

"There's going to be a lot of tablets on the market so I think pricing is going to start coming down," said Matt Thorton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC in Boston.

Like the Galaxy Tab, RIM's PlayBook is a 7-inch slate, compared to the iPad's 9.7-inch screen. It will come ARMed with a Cortex A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, 3MP front-facing camera, 5MP rear camera, and 16GB or 32GB of storage. Other features include HDMI, microUSB jack, 1080p playback (via HDMI), and Bluetooth.

Image Credit: RIM

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