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BlackBerry PlayBook starts at $499, same as iPad 2

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    In this March 22, 2011 product image provided by Research In Motion Ltd., the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook is shown. Research In Motion Ltd. says its tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will start selling in the U.S. and Canada on April 19 for $499 to $699. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Research In Motion) NO SALES
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NEW YORK >> Research In Motion Ltd. says its tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will start selling in the U.S. and Canada on April 19 for $499 to $699.

RIM said Tuesday that customers can start pre-ordering the gadgets — its answer to Apple Inc.’s popular iPad devices — through Best Buy. The PlayBook has a 7-inch screen, smaller than the iPad.

It runs BlackBerry software and can connect to a phone, acting as a bigger screen for it. RIM calls it the first "professional-grade tablet."

The iPad 2, which went on sale earlier this month, also starts at $499. The $499 PlayBook comes with 16 gigabytes of memory. For $599, you get 32 gigabytes and for $699, 64 gigabytes.

RIM reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Thursday.

 

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