Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet (read our review) is now on sale for $299 in the BlackBerry Store, a price which applies to the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. This price will be available until February 4, and (at least as of this writing) appears to be a sale and not an across-the-board price cut - retailers like Best Buy are still selling the tablets at their original prices of $499.99, $599.99, and $699.99, while others (like Amazon) are offering different discounts. 

This move isn't quite reminiscent of last year's fire sale on the HP Touchpad, in which HP simultaneously announced its decision to stop selling WebOS hardware and dumped most of its existing inventory, but it does represent a similar opportunity for RIM to move some inventory, expand its user base, and, perhaps, to test the waters with some lower price points. At this point, most non-iPad tablets to sell in significant numbers (including the Kindle Fire and the discounted TouchPad) have had to undercut Apple fairly significantly on price.

The link to the BlackBerry Store is below. Note that if you're in the market for the 16GB PlayBook, Amazon's price is cheaper than RIM's by about $40, but the 32GB and 64GB tablets are both cheaper through RIM.

Source: BlackBerry Store

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  • shabby - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Tablet = fail
    Fire sale = fail
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Ahh witness the power of iTunes.

    Oodles have some form of iTunes library dating back as far as the original ipods.
    Oodles have tons of apps from way back in the days of iPhone and 3G.

    Oodles will prefer a laptop device that shares all that content they already own.

    Hence, iPad is "cheap" for them.

    Everyone else jumping on a Android and BB playbook, will be starting from scratch with all their media. Possibly some apps they have from their phones. But Tablets in the home are mostly toys for entertainment. No one has a BB or Android library of movies. No one has a library of music for BB or Android. Their's no hook for those tablets that was inherently built into the iPad over years of music/movie/app sales from other devices.

    The foundation for Apple's success lay in iTunes. Like it or not.
  • dawza - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    It really depends on what you are looking for from a tablet. If you have a BB handset, the Bridge browser lets you surf without tethering. With Boost Mobile, this means you have unlimited data access without having to deal with a tiny handset screen. The experience is not incredible by any means, but it is a pretty nice bonus.

    IMO, the PB feels more solid than the Fire, and the beta OS releases have been adding much-needed functions (that should have been there all along, admittedly). If the official OS update brings the promised functions, $300 isn't unreasonable.

    I also much prefer the QNX OS navigation to that of other tablet OSs I've tried. At the $200 price point, the 16 GB model was a great buy. $300 is a bit of a difficult sell for a 32 GB model, but for 64, I could be convinced.

    I'll be the first to admit that the PB lacks apps, a native email client, etc. But it works much better for informal surfing than a netbook due to its form factor-- 7'' is about perfect for lazily reading on the couch while watching a show. And for productivity, it works well enough as an auxilliary display for documents, PDFs, etc.
  • 3DoubleD - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    I read recently that root access had been obtained on the Playbook. I wonder what progress has been made towards installing Android on the Playbook. For $199, the combination of decent hardware plus a more successful OS makes it (IMO) an attractive buy. I know you can convert Android market apps to work on RIM, but that does not sound nearly as attractive as just running Android and running the apps natively. If you are using the Playbook to tether to your Blackberry, the it is understandably a different story.
  • ShadowWarrior1 - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    This is great news for "both" of the people who are interested in buying a PlayBook.
  • Kenazo - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    I'm a fan of the PB. Picked up a 16GB one at the $199 price they were at before Christmas. Best value out of any tablet I've tried.
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    My 32GB touchpad for $149 disagree's with your post :)
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    IMO - a iPad 2 for $449 (common price at Microcenter) or $419 ( refurbished) is a better deal. Better and bigger screen and way better Apps.
  • Souka - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Dang, I orginally read "All BlackBerry PlayBook Models On Sale for $99"

    I didn't doubt it....thought Blackberry was pulling an HP and getting out of the tablet market, perhaps even the smartphone market.

    For what its worth:
    I used to love BB, used to be a BES admin also, but with the birth of iPhone and Android OS I never looked back.

    Unfortunately my current IT job issued me a Blackberry device.... OMG, I can't believe how old-school this is now. My company is 5,000 plus exployees which used to have perhaps 3,000 BB users. But in past 2 years we're down to maybe 500 BB users and going to drop BB devices alltogether as their contracts expire along with our last BES.

    Just die BB.
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    I grabbed a couple Iconia 7" tablets on Black Friday for $189 (regular $250) and it's freaking awesome. Battery life isn't as good as a 10" tablet, but we can get between 7-8 hours with screen brightness down all the way (which is plenty bright for indoor use). Tegra 2 has got plenty of power to do everything we need too.

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