Phones 4u has opened the order books for RIM’s forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, just as it goes on sale in the US, although it isn’t yet sharing the exact release date or pricing.

If you want to be one of the first to bag one, get along to the Phones 4u pre-registration page.

Earlier this year, RIM announced that the PlayBook can also run Android apps.

Original press release:

The professional-grade BlackBerry PlayBook brings to the fore a tablet for those who want the absolute best in class.  The high-performance BlackBerry PlayBook is about professional quality and performance, but that doesn’t mean it’s for ‘professionals’ only – the PlayBook is for those who MEAN business, not just those IN business.

With 56% of people loving BlackBerry smartphones due to the great browsing experience they offer*, one thing that will set the PlayBook apart from other tablet devices is uncompromised mobile browsing.  With Adobe Flash Player 10 and a 1GHz dual-core processor, you can engage in faster web browsing as well as access the WHOLE internet, wherever you are on a high resolution, professional quality, capacitive touch display.  With its compact size, it provides a true, ultra portable desktop experience on a tablet device.  Offering a full HD multimedia experience, 1080p video recording and playback, and micro HDMI output, you can watch your favourite movies, TV shows, video content and view HD photos on a crystal clear 7” LCD screen.

The BlackBerry Tablet OS and the ultra reliable QNX platform makes for ease of navigation and a true multi-tasking experience.  With the BlackBerry PlayBook, gone are the days of closing down your email to read an SMS, or having to stop playing that game to listen to your fave tune.  With the PlayBook, you can switch quickly and smoothly between watching a movie to reading an email without having to close down ANY applications.

With the unique BlackBerry® Bridge™ you can even wirelessly connect your new PlayBook tablet to your BlackBerry smartphone.  Bluetooth pairing allows you to indulge in an enhanced experience core BlackBerry services such as access to your full email inbox, calendar, address book and more!

“With 69% of 16-25 year-olds owning a BlackBerry smartphone*, along with the arrival of RIM’s unique BlackBerry Bridge feature on the PlayBook, we’re thrilled to be offering a professional-grade tablet device that will enhance the user’s mobile experience.  Our customers are always after the latest and greatest in technology, and the BlackBerry PlayBook is setting a new standard for the tablet category,” said Russell Braterman, marketing director for Phones 4u.

Additional features of the PlayBook include fast access to the BlackBerry App World™ Storefront, stereo sound and MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback for a high quality music experience, and magnetometer and 6-axis gyrometer for true augmented reality gaming. Outside a wireless hotspot or Wi-Fi® connection? You can even use your PlayBook tablet as a wireless modem for high speed web browsing and social networking almost anywhere you like!

Key stats:

  • 7” LCD WSVGA capacitive touch screen display
  • Size: 5.1” x 7.6” x 0.4”
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1080p HD video with HDMI video output
  • Dual HD cameras (3MP front-facing and 5MP rear-facing)

* Figures based on a survey of 400 people in March 2001 via Phones 4u’s consumer panel, uBar.


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