It looks like RIM will have their own 4G LTE tablet on AT&T to go head-to-head with Apple’s 4G LTE iPad. Yesterday, a new version of the BlackBerry PlayBook hit the FCC. The device won FCC approval for GSM bands 850 and 1900, WCDMA bands II and V, and LTE bands 4 and 17. These bands correspond to AT&T’s 3G and 4G LTE service in the U.S., a good indication that RIM and AT&T will soon launch the device.
The new PlayBook also won approval for NFC, a feature not offered on the current version of the device. It’s unclear what RIM plans to do with the PlayBook’s NFC capabilities, however.
Neither RIM nor AT&T has announced plans to release a 4G LTE version of the PlayBook, nor do we have any pricing or a release date for the device. However, yesterday’s FCC filing suggests that we will be hearing more very soon.
RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook was a half-a-billion-dollar disaster at $500, but for $200 maybe you can live without an email client. If that’s the case, head on over to Best Buy, where you can get a 16GB PlayBook for just $200. If you need a bit more storage, surf on over to NewEgg, where the 32GB PlayBook is $250.
Both etailers currently show the device in stock, but you’ll need to pay a bit extra for shipping if you hope to get your shipments before Christmas.
Source: Tech Bargains
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Playbook officially goes on sale today. Best Buy is currently offering the tablet online, although 32GB and 64GB versions of the device are backordered for 1 to 2 weeks, while the 16GB PlayBook is simply listed as “not available.”
There are a few reports on Twitter of PlayBook lines forming overnight, but this seems to be the exception. Many Tweets note the lack of any sort of line forming outside of Best Buy locations, although this may change by early tomorrow morning when the retailer opens its doors.
It will be interesting to see if the BlackBerry faithful make the device a success, or if negative reviews of the device have doomed the PlayBook even before it launches. We’ll likely only have to wait a few days before analysts publish initial sales forecasts for the device.
Best Buy recently published pricing and availability information for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Pricing for the device will range from $500 for the 16GB model to $700 for the 64GB model, with a $600 32GB model in between. All of these versions only offer WiFi – Best Buy is not currently offering 3G/4G versions of the PlayBook.
You can currently preorder the PlayBook directly from Best Buy’s website here. The device is expected to arrive between April 19th and April 26th, depending on the type of shipping you select. If you add on Express Shipping for $30, the expected ship date for the PlayBook is narrowed down to April 19th or 20th. No in-store pickup for the PlayBook is available at this point.
PlayBook pricing is somewhat competitive with the iPad 2, although the PlayBook’s screen is only 7”, compared to the iPad 2’s 10” screen. The PlayBook’s ability to integrate with BlackBerry phones is a key differentiator, although this may limit the appeal of the PlayBook to current BlackBerry users.
Well look what just made an appearance on the FCC. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, which is expected to launch on April 10th, won FCC approval today for its Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g/n functionality. Unfortunately, FCC filings made no mention of 3G or 4G capabilities, so it looks like this version of the PlayBook will be WiFI only.
Label pictures of the PlayBook show 16, 32 and 64GB versions of the device, above. That’s good news for those of you looking for a less expensive version of the device that’s price competitive with Apple’s 16GB iPad.
We still don’t have a confirmed release date for the PlayBook, but the short term confidentiality of RIM’s FCC documents will end on March 31st, suggesting that the PlayBook will launch shortly after.
We were pleasantly surprised by Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook when the device was unveiled at CES this year. The device ran smoothly on its dual-core 1GHz TI processor and 1GB of RAM, and multitasking was no problem for the 7” tablet. We were also impressed by the PlayBook’s multimedia capabilities – the device features dual HD video cameras, 1080p video out via HDMI and a rich 1024 x 600 display.
So when can you get your hands on one? RIM hasn’t provided an official release date for the device, but today BGR reported that the PlayBook will launch on April 10th – just slightly over a month away. According to BGR, this date has been confirmed by multiple unnamed sources.
Check out a video of the PlayBook in action at CES, above.