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RIM Blackberry Playbook AvailableOn Preorder, Costs Same As iPad 2

Bestbuy has put the RIM Blackberry Playbook on preorder on its US webite and the tablet will be available in three different models with varying storage capacity (16GB, 32GB and 64GB) and varying pricing ($499, $599 and $699 respectively).

This matches that of the iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model, which leads us to believe that (a) the price of the 3G version will match that of the iPad 2 3G and (b) RIM is likely to do the same for the Blackberry Playbook in the UK.

Neither Bestbuy UK nor its strategic partner, Carphone Warehouse, have confirmed that they will be selling the Blackberry Playbook. We have received information though that the tablet will be available on 3 UK soon and that the Playbook will indeed be available in the UK in the first week of June 2011.

Not only will the tablet face a number of other rivals like the HTC Flyer or the Motorola XOOM (who will be available exclusively from Carphone Warehouse) but there's a real danger that the Playbook's message will be drowned by the influx of news related to the iPhone 5 which will be launched in June as well.

The tablet will be launched in the UK on the 19th of April in all the 20,000 Best Buy brick-and-mortar and mobile stores in the US as well as in Canada. Presented back in September 2010, the Playbook comes with a 7-inch WSVGA capacitive touchscreen, a dual core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, up to 64GB onboard storage, two cameras, GPS, Wi-Fi, HDMI output and much more.