Before you go and drop a couple of Benjamins on a Kindle Fire from Amazon or $250 on a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, there's something you should know. Research In Motion is slashing the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 at Best Buy, Staples, and a bunch of other popular retailers, putting it in direct competition with the two aforementioned tablets.
RIM made the announcement earlier today via Twitter.
"The #BlackBerry #PlayBook is at select #US & #Canadian retailers starting at $199. Limited time. http://t.co/WQGvO3Cm #HappyHolidays!," @BlackBerry tweeted.
Over on RIM's website, a list of participating retailers include all the ones we mentioned above, plus Wireless Giant, Office Depot, Office Max, RadioShack, and Walmart. That's all the details that are currently available -- RIM didn't say when exactly the new pricing will kick off, how long it will last, and whether or not this is a Black Friday-only promotion.
Regardless, a $199 PlayBook throws an interesting wrinkle into Amazon's and B&N's plan to attack the lower-cost tablet market with Android devices. Whereas both of those beefed up eReader devices lack certain hardware features found on more expensive tablets, the PlayBook still lacks some important software features, like native email, for instance.