The Best Buy deal is a far cry from the $99 HP TouchPad fire sale that captivated the technology industry in late August. The new, discounted price of the 64 GB PlayBook is $549.99, $50 above the price of the 32 GB TouchPad that HP discounted on August 10.
The discount means that Best Buy is now selling the 64 GB and 32 GB versions of the TouchPad for the same price, or $549.99. Best Buy has discounted the 32 GB version for $50 off of the list price. The 16 GB model is still priced at $449.99, with no discount.
Following the TouchPad debacle, RIM's PlayBook appears to be significantly overpriced, as the buyers turn to good, cheap tablets. The PlayBook is still less expensive than the 32-Gbyte Wi-Fi-only iPad, however, at $599.99. Hewlett-Packard has also said that it will make one final batch of HP Touchpads, apparently to soak up additional components from its upstream suppliers.
Today RIM (Research in Motion) finally introduced the world to the BlackBerry Playbook. The Playbook is a 7-inch tablet that RIM hopes will be a healthy competitor to the Apple iPad, and runs its own custom version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The insides of this thing sound pretty good as well, and almost put the iPad to shame: a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, front and rear facing cameras that both support high definition, Flash 10.1 with hardware acceleration, HDMI out, USB, and HTML5 support. It’s got a widescreen 1024 x 600 display that supports multi-touch, and RIM was proud to announce that the Playbook will connect with BlackBerry enterprise servers right out of the box. Now, on paper this thing sounds powerful, but it’s really going to be the UI and user experience in software that will make or break this thing.
RIM says that the Playbook isn’t just for business, and that its OpenGL support is perfect for gaming. It also has e-reader capabilities, and a full web browser, as previously mentioned. Expect the BlackBerry App World to make an appearance here as well, along with in-app purchase integration that developers will be able to tap in to. RIM also says that the BlackBerry Playbook will be offerred in 3G and 4G models in the future.