RIM slashes BlackBerry PlayBook prices in UK - again

With RIM’s next-generation BlackBerry devices still months away, the company is stuck peddling a lot of fairly unremarkable products, perhaps none more so than the unloved BlackBerry PlayBook, which has proven to be a major disappointment for both the company and its customers.

A few days ago, we reported on a significant – albeit temporary – price cut on the PlayBook in the US, with all models available to buy for just $299. Now, RIM has similarly slashed prices on its tablet range in the UK, for the second time in three months.

When the PlayBook launched in the UK last June, the 16GB version retailed at £399 ($620 USD / €480 EUR); by October, RIM had dropped the price to £250 ($390 / €300); today, Tom's Hardware reports that you can pick up the entry-level PlayBook for just £169 ($260 / €205), a drop of 58% on the original retail price in less than seven months.

Unlike in the US, where all models are currently selling for the same price, you’ll have to pay more in the UK if you want a PlayBook with larger storage capacities – the 32GB version is going for £199 ($310 / €240), while the 64GB model is selling for £329 ($510 / €400).

Even at these prices, though, will anybody want to buy one? With a flurry of new tablets set to be announced at CES, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire also expected to land in the UK soon, British buyers might want to save their pennies for a more capable device on which to splash their cash.  

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20 Comments

thealexweb said,
It's approaching Touchpad prices xD Is it still nessacery to have a BB to get the most out of it?

Yup im afraid so, still needs tethering to a BBerry.
We have a couple in use alongside ipads and in all honesty, its crap, its like a late 90s "tabletPC"/cheap chinese Android tablet,so chunky and heavy compared to the ipad (and im not an ipad lover) not even same league tbvh.
I really wonder wtf RIM were smoking when they thought of these......never mind releasing to market. Its a fancy external display for your blackberry...........pointless!

Fact: it's lighter than an iPad 2.
Fact: you don't have to tether it to a Blackberry.

Stop spouting false information - it's no wonder people don't want to buy them!

Mando said,

Yup im afraid so, still needs tethering to a BBerry.


I don't have a blackberry and my playbook functions just fine?

Mando said,

Yup im afraid so, still needs tethering to a BBerry.
We have a couple in use alongside ipads and in all honesty, its crap, its like a late 90s "tabletPC"/cheap chinese Android tablet,so chunky and heavy compared to the ipad (and im not an ipad lover) not even same league tbvh.
I really wonder wtf RIM were smoking when they thought of these......never mind releasing to market. Its a fancy external display for your blackberry...........pointless!

wtf are you talking about? It does not weigh more than an Ipad, it does not need a blackberry to "take full advantage of it", it does not feel cheap AT ALL, in fact far from cheap. It feels way more comfortable to hold and use than an iPad. The OS is far more capable than iOS, and has a far superior app handling, multi-tasking system. The front facing stereo (iPad only has one) speakers are also way better. It has both front-facing and rear-facing cameras. The list goes on. The only thing its lacking is native email/calendaring and some of the big well known apps like netflix, kindle, etc. There are no shortage of games on the playbook though.

mscrivo said,

wtf are you talking about? It does not weigh more than an Ipad, it does not need a blackberry to "take full advantage of it", it does not feel cheap AT ALL, in fact far from cheap. It feels way more comfortable to hold and use than an iPad. The OS is far more capable than iOS, and has a far superior app handling, multi-tasking system. The front facing stereo (iPad only has one) speakers are also way better. It has both front-facing and rear-facing cameras. The list goes on. The only thing its lacking is native email/calendaring and some of the big well known apps like netflix, kindle, etc. There are no shortage of games on the playbook though.

Missing native email/calendar and other features will be available in the next version of the OS which will be launched in February.
And best of all, Android Player bitches! I'm currently testing the OS2.0 beta with Android Player which runs smooth as silk! For the email client I'm using Kaiten Email... other Android apps: IM+, Skype (no video chat for now), Dolphin, Es File Explorer, RepliGo Reader, Evernote, Winamp.
It's also nice to see the Android Player interacting with the main OS... it's not just an isolated emulator.
The Playbook has a lot of potential at a decent price... finally something at a decent price from BlackBerry!
And don't forget... has Full Flash!
Something that sucks though is the sound card or maybe the sound driver... dunno for sure... but music sounds crap and there's always this loud hissing noise when a sound event starts... hopefully it's a software bug that can be fixed.

Mando said,

Yup im afraid so, still needs tethering to a BBerry.
We have a couple in use alongside ipads and in all honesty, its crap, its like a late 90s "tabletPC"/cheap chinese Android tablet,so chunky and heavy compared to the ipad (and im not an ipad lover) not even same league tbvh.
I really wonder wtf RIM were smoking when they thought of these......never mind releasing to market. Its a fancy external display for your blackberry...........pointless!

You're full of it. I have a Playbook and use it with my PC without any problems. I even can use it with my Wireless router as well. If you don't know what you're talking about then STFU.

I've seen the device out and about but I've never had the chance to really sit with one and see how it is... So is it a decent device? Worthwhile to get one if its even cheaper then this price?

It's a nice device but of course most people on here are either Android or Apple fanboys so they will never say that and just bash it.

It has HD cameras, does hdmi out, and the software is good. Just needs the email client that's suppose to be coming in the next update and more app support.

matt4pack said,
Just needs the email client that's suppose to be coming in the next update and more app support.
In February I'm not missing a native email client personally. I just use the mobile sites for gmail and hotmail.

Spyder said,
In February I'm not missing a native email client personally. I just use the mobile sites for gmail and hotmail.

My provider also has a webmail site for its email accounts as well. I haven't used a client in months on my PC either.

Even at these prices, though, will anybody want to buy one?
yes they will. the first batch sold out extremly quickly at Futureshop, Bestbuy, Staples and Walmart when they dropped the price in December. I bought a 16gb for 150. Its a fantastic little device.

Getting more into the hands of people just increases their user base

The way I see it. These one purpose tablets shouldn't cost more than $299.99 anyways. Especially when I can get a more than capable netbook for the same exact cost.

Why spend $300 for a device I have to buy all new apps for, when I can get a netbook for the same price, and just use the apps I already own?

Until Windows is avail for tablets this year, I refuse to waste money on anyone offering right now.

My lil notebook is just as mobile as a tablet and its more versatile.

I managed to pick one up for £169 between Xmas and new year, and so far I've been extremely impressed. I had a few problems with accessing my e-mail, but have managed to use it by redirecting my emails from my Sky account to my Google one. Hopefully, the dedicated email client due next month will resolve this.

Video playback is pretty good - have managed to transfer a 7Gb 1080p MP4 file across via USB, and it played back smoothly. I might see about investing in the micro HDMI cable...

So far, the only app I've purchased is an eBook reader (for the substantial price of £1). I certainly find the 7" form factor more comfortable to hold and read, compared to the iPad.

Now, I'm not prepared to blast the iPad just because I find this little tablet impressive. For web browsing and the quality of the apps, then the iPad wins hands down. But considering I got this for less than half the price of an entry-level iPad 2, plus the browser has full Flash support (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 all play without any major issues), I'm very satisfied.

Not being funny, but they've been this price for quite a few weeks now It even made me buy one. I was going to get the Transformer Prime. But this for £169...... Just had to buy it. Its truely amazing, don't see why more people dont have one. Bring on February for the Update. !

It is not a bad device. I think the fact that it is small and has flash is great. I used one the other day and it wasn't bad. The swipe functions were confusing at first, but you get the hang of it.

derekaw said,
I will wait till they start giving them out free when I leave my film to get developed.

You still use film? Does your phone have a rotary dial as well? Sounds more like you're a cheapskate.

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