BlackBerry PlayBook 8 GB Rumored to Cost only $399

Research In Motion (RIM) is gearing up for an all out tablet war against both Android and Apple with its BlackBerry PlayBook but it might have a trick up its sleeve—the Wi-Fi only, 8 GB model of the PlayBook is rumored to be priced at $399. The $399 price is a good hundred bucks less than what Apple’s cheapest iPad model (16 GB, Wi-Fi only) is selling for. It’s unfortunate that RIM won’t start selling its tablet until after the holidays are over but it’s better to release a finished project than a half-baked attempt to snag some extra sales.

MobilityInsider is claiming that it has an insider that tipped it off to the pricing scheme for the first batch of PlayBooks. While these prices have not been verified, they do match the sub $500 price that RIM already mentioned. So which three PlayBooks will launch first? An 8 GB model will go for $399, a 16 GB model for $499 and a 32 GB model for $599. These will all be Wi-Fi only but can tether to a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth for Internet on the go. RIM has already said that it will eventually offer 3G and LTE (long term evolution or 4G) models but the Wi-Fi ones will definitely come out first.

I was expecting the PlayBook to come in at about $499 in its most basic version so this is a bit of a surprise. While we will still have to wait for official pricing information from RIM, Mobility Insider did get its hands on the PlayBook before anyone else. Believe the tip if you want to—I’m leaning towards it being true.

The BlackBerry PlayBook features a dual-core processor running at 1 GHz, 1 GB of RAM and a 7-inch screen. The tablet is capable of playing 1080p HD video and has hardware acceleration for Adobe Flash. Flash will be a big part of the PlayBook and Adobe and RIM have teamed up to make sure that it’s the Flash enabled tablet of early 2011. The PlayBook also features a whole new operating system designed by RIM’s recently acquired QNX Software division which has experience building everything from the computer systems for power plants to consoles in cars.

What do you think of this $399 price tag being thrown around? Too good to be true? The PlayBook keeps gaining more appeal…

Tags: , , , ,