One of Sprint’s market directors has accidentally let slip in a personal blog that they’ll be selling the 16 GB Wi-Fi only BlackBerry PlayBook tablet starting this Sunday. That’s not a huge deal since it’s already been out for awhile, and most folks are interested in when they’ll be launching the 4G WiMAX model, but it’s a start.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is RIM’s first tablet, and does pretty well in the hardware specs. It has a 1024 x 600 display, a dual-core 1 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM, plus twin 5 megapixel and 3 megapixel cameras, each capable of capturing 1080p video. On the software side of things, the PlayBook is running a brand new QNX-based OS, which excels at multitasking, and has a slick, gesture-driven user interface. App selection is improving, but still isn’t remotely comparable to what’s available on BlackBerry smartphones, let alone Android or iOS markets. That may change soon enough as the PlayBook adds support for Android apps. Our full review of the pre-launch PlayBook is over here.
A big selling point for the PlayBook is that you can share a data connection freely with a BlackBerry smartphone thanks to Bridge, but there’s a bit of worry that Sprint will take the opportunity to charge $30/month for it. It’s still unclear if that’s referring to Bluetooth tethering (which is a separate function altogether), but I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Pricing will sit at $499.99 for the 16 GB PlayBook, which you’ll likely be able to find in Sprint’s online store soon, hopefully with some promotions to sweeten the deal.
Update: A recent statement from Sprint on the matter suggests that we may not even see the 4G WiMAX PlayBook launch this summer…
Update 2: Aaaaaaaand it’s official. Luckily Sprint confirmed that Bridge wouldn’t cost extra.