RIM to launch PlayBook on April 19 starting at $499; screen is just 45% as large as iPad’s

“Research In Motion Ltd. said its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer will go on sale in the U.S. on April 19 through retailers including Best Buy Co., as it seeks to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPad,” Hugo Miller reports for Bloomberg. “A version with 16 gigabytes of memory will cost $499, a 32- gigabyte model will retail for $599 and a version with 64 gigabytes will cost $699, RIM and Best Buy said today in a statement.”

MacDailyNews Take: In a journalistic dereliction of duty, nowhere in Miller’s story does he report that RIM PlayBook’s screen is just 45% as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. Let’s ask him and his so-called editor why:

Click to email Bloomberg reporter Hugo Miller and the editor responsible for this story, Peter Elstrom

Miller continues, “The prices for the three different PlayBook models, which come with Wi-Fi connectivity, are exactly the same as for comparable iPad models, making them ‘very competitive,’ said Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. He has a ‘top pick’ rating on RIM.”

MacDailyNews Take: Mike Abramsky is obviously a crap analyst. Here are some actual facts as to why the PlayBook is a “top pick” for depositing into landfills:
RIM PlayBook will ship without email, calendar; not a fully standalone device, requires BlackBerry – January 17, 2011

Miller continues, “RIM has shown the PlayBook to a ‘significant’ portion of Fortune 100 companies and interest in the device is ‘very high,’ Jim Tobin, senior vice-president, software and business services, said in an interview last week.”

MacDailyNews Take: More likely, Jim meant that you have to be “very high” to be interested in RIM’s tiny-screened, overpriced, pretend iPad.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Curiously, but predictably, RIM’s PlayBook spec sheet completely omits battery life! This whole thing is Palm-esque. RIM ought to just erect billboards that blare “Somebody, please buy us out!” and be done with it.

Related articles:
Analyst: RIM’s expensive, flawed PlayBook tablet will be poorly received – February 1, 2011
RIM PlayBook will ship without email, calendar; not a fully standalone device, requires BlackBerry – January 17, 2011
Analyst: RIM’s ‘PlayBook’ tablet battery woes due to QNX OS, Adobe’s piggish Flash, poor power mgmt – January 04, 2011
RIM claims to be on track with its schedule to optimize BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s battery life – December 30, 2010
Analyst: RIM may be forced to delay BlackBerry Playbook tablet due to poor battery life – December 28, 2010
RIM half-CEO Jim Balsillie: ‘PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do’ – December 17, 2010
Analyst: RIM’s ‘PlayBook’ tablet expectations may be too optimistic – November 30, 2010
RIM ‘PlayBook’ to sell for less than $500; 7-inch screen only 45% as large as Apple iPad’s – November 10, 2010
RIM shares fall on ‘PlayBook’ tablet reaction – September 28, 2010
RIM unveils 7-inch PlayBook tablet, plans ‘early 2011’ launch – September 27, 2010


  1. From a sincerely objective perspective: one must have a very specialized requirement or be pathologically anti- Apple to buy a tablet today that is not an iPad.

      1. So true… I have a friend that simply despises Apple. He has a new Android phone every few months it seems, and an old ThinkPad. You know the one… With a red joystick thing in the middle of the keyboard.

        Almost everyone around him is using Apple everything, and it’s starting to get weird when he makes anti-Apple remarks. It’s become obvious how terrible the shit he uses is.

        He’s got that “Cognitive Dissonance” thing going on.

        1. Yeah I know someone who has a Google TV, a Google Chrome laptop and just recently got a Xoom tablet. He posts pictures of all this stuff to his Flickr photostream. Lat night he managed to get Flash onto his Xoom so now he can play Cityville full screen!

        2. The funniest thing I’ve noticed about the “Thinkpad” is my friend uses 1 & when I saw it I said to myself “what a shame she uses such an outdated laptop!” Then I saw the ad for the new ThinkPad & said to myself “damn!! That thing looks just like my friends! (exactly like it in fact!!)”. I then realized that her laptop could easily be only a few years old, but Lenovo/IBM are just stuck in the 90’s! Really sad!

  2. Usually I consider these stories harmless, but this is clearly more a press release than a news story. Otherwise, why omit the two details most interesting to users, screensize and battery life.

  3. As always MDN puts the pro-apple drivel on. Screen size is not the lone factor on if / why a tablet works. Is this is pissing contest?

    – Double the memory
    – Better camera on both sides (HD), iPad 2 is pathetic VGA
    – Flash – like it or not still widely used and not just for Ads / video
    – True multitasking
    – full enterprise intergration
    – SDK / Java / AIR development options

    Playbook is a solid option and finally competition to Apple the battery life will be close to iPad which is amazing considering it has real multitasking and Flash support. The difference is you have the CHOICE to use the device as you wish.

    BTW no special dongle needed

      1. I agree with you, no one spending his own money will buy this POS. There are unfortunately still many Neanderthal-era CIOs who will set them as their standard “tablet” JUST because it doesn’t have the Apple logo on it.
        This CrapBook might prolong the life of RIM for a few more months, but IMHO RIM is a dead-company-walking!

    1. Other than the BB email – that requires a tethered BB phone, what full-enterprise-integration does the PlayBook have that iPad does not?

      The iPad has very very impressive features in this regard.

      Oh, and iPad has true multitasking.

      Flash? It’s a minus not a plus. It’s a battery drain.

    2. Playbook DOA

      — RIM has no real software or OS strength. Had to buy QNX, — QNX was originally designed for PLUGGED in devices like onboard car navigation systems NOT mobile devices. this has resulted in
      1) plenty of trouble for Rim, that’s why it’s taken over half a year since it was announced (sept 2010) to sale date. This 7 month delay hints at MASSIVE internal issues. (anybody want to be a guinea pig and use a ‘frankenstein’ OS cobbled together from ‘car navigation’ systems by people with no real Os experience? not me )
      2) a PLUGGED in OS means total suck of battery life. That’s why its still not on phones.

      — Playbook requires Blackberry to function properly. No native email, messaging or other PIM functions. What’s this is about ‘not needing a dongle’.. this is worse than a dongle.

      — very few apps. they are so desperate for apps that said they might try to run (malware infested) android apps in (performance sucking) EMULATION mode (can’t do it natively as they are frightened of oracle lawsuit).

      — 45% of ipad screen
      — all that for the same price as an ipad except without iPads cool industrial design.

    3. Uh, Mark, you forgot to add another big “advantage”: The Praybook MUST be used in conjunction with a Blackberry. You read right. A Blackberry.

      That means throngs of iPhone, iPad, Android and other users will immediately ditch their products and race to Best Buy to talk to a clueless minimum wage commissioned salesjerk begging for their Praybook. Like that’s going to happen.

      Oh, and don’t forget to add the plethora of apps available for the Praybook too.

      I tell ya, Steve Jobs must be terrified – NOT. It’s a product that only a heel-clucking IT Nazi would love.

    4. Mark Texas from Canada, I’ve got news for you. Streaming HD video Facetime is really hard on the data limits and the battery. Except for the stuttering frames, it does not look any better at the other end as well. A HD camera facing the user is not a feature.

      Flash on a tablet is a battery killer not a feature.

      True multitasking is a battery killer not a feature.

      A 7″ screen is a pain to use for everything but widgets.

      Full enterprise integration, just like iPad 2.

      Double the RAM? It needs double the RAM with that bloated OS. Not really a feature, a necessity.

      Apple’s iPad SDK is second to none.

      So far, you have a better forward facing camera and what looks like a 2.5 hr battery life with all the software and hardware mistakes they made. Battery conservation is king.

      You can get a 5 MB camera for $50. Save your money.

    5. iOS has “true multitasking” and has for awhile now.

      Getting tired of this complaint. It’s like hearing PC people *still* citing the Mac’s “one button mouse” as a reason to buy Windows.

    6. If you have to resort to a spec sheet then truly your product is damned. The vast majority of people don’t care how much memory it has or what the camera’s resolution is or if it can do “true multitasking”, whatever that means. They only care about two things when it comes to tablets. Is it easy to use, and does it work well?

      You’ve addressed neither.

      And, oh boy! Java, Flash, AND AIR? WITH MULTI-TASKING? Yeah, I’m sure the battery life will be just as stellar as you say it is. Running several horrifically inefficient virtual machines at the same time won’t drain its power like mad, no way.

  4. I notice he also omitted the fact that you need a Blackberry phone to really use the tablet to it’s fullest. Only old out of touch people have Blackberry phones now.

    1. “Only old…people have Blackberry phones now.”

      They said that on Tosh.0, which I found hilarious.

      I’d like to think it’s true, but surprisingly, Blackberries still exist in great numbers on college campuses (just graduated in December). That being said, most are just waiting until their upgrade eligible to switch to iOS or Android.

      1. HAH! I don’t actually remember that and I watch Tosh.0 religiously. I probably saw it though and it stuck in my head.

        I would imagine that if they’re on college campuses it’s because students get some kind of discount or something. It might also have to do with what part of the country you are in. Here in CA I rarely if ever seen any college students with one. I could be wrong though.

    2. You are kidding, aren’t you? So they only sell playbook to BB users? Why do they limit their own potential customers? That’s really a weird thought, isn’t it?

  5. ‘battery life will be close to the iPad considering it has real multitasking and Flash support’ If that is so, I wonder why they aren’t publicising that very important factor, they must be the worst marketeers ever.

      1. Once activated the iPad, the “PC” is no longer required per se, you can use it autonomously. CrapBook requires a CrackBerry to read emails, sync calendar and address book. You only need to connect it to the “PC” to update the OS and back it up

    1. Ahhh the Apple faithful hold onto the few strands left.

      Blackberry Bridge is require for Blackberry / BES services. So if you want to use your BIS / BES email you will tether your Blackberry to display it. This has consumer and enterprise benefit as you have one data plan to manage and no risk of data extension (and needing to secure it).

      The Playbook is functional without Blackberry bridge and all web based email works. But I guess all Mac users use Mail still as their primary email client? Do people still use thick client?

      BTW battery life is being marketed as 10 hour continous usage. So another straw you grasp just broke. Hey at least you have special dongles!

  6. Too small to be convenient.
    Too large to fit in your pocket.
    No apps.
    Arm-twisted tethering to another BB device.
    Super late to the party.
    Same price point.
    Apple can double their memory and capacity at any time.
    Buy a camera if you desperately need photos for other than the web.
    This is not a true competitor…was hoping for more.

  7. Could someone please say it has a slide-out/flip-out qwerty keyboard. At least the crappy Torch has one, which gives the faithful a lousy excuse to buy one. Let’s see, crappy screen, software, interface, battery with no apps and no ecosystem and at ridiculous price. The RIM co-tards have just pulled another “Torch” on the Playbook. After much pimping and hyping, they give consumers another Torch.

  8. MacDailyNews Take: More likely, Jim meant that you have to be “very high” to be interested in RIM’s tiny-screened, overpriced, pretend iPad.

    Classic MDN take – I love it

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