Long-overdue BlackBerry PlayBook 3G+ goes on sale in UK

RIM has updated its nearly year-and-a-half-old tablet to include mobile data connectivity. But will the device be able to cut it up against newer, faster 4G devices?
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Research In Motion has released a 3G version of its aging BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an attempt to refresh the underlying technology and reinvigorate interest in the brand.

PlayBook 3G
The BlackBerry PlayBook 3G is out in the UK. Image: RIM

The company pushed out a Wi-Fi-only version of the tablet in June 2011 and followed this with a 4G LTE data-equipped model for Canada, but that model did not make it to the UK. Over the weekend, RIM updated its PlayBook in the UK, but instead of using the faster 4G speeds available on the UK's only national 4G network, the new tablet uses HSPA+ 3G.

According to the BlackBerry website, the PlayBook 3G+ can be ordered from either Insight UK or Misco UK, which have it listed for sale for £415 and £425, respectively.

Despite the long gap since the introduction of the PlayBook, it seems RIM has not given up on the UK market, or else it wants to make the most of what is likely to be a quiet holiday period with no new devices set to launch before the first quarter of 2013, at the earliest.

Unlike the Wi-Fi-only version, the PlayBook 3G+ is only offered with 32GB of internal storage and comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. Strangely, the PlayBook 3G+ ships with Bluetooth version 2.1, rather than the Bluetooth 3.1 found in the Wi-Fi only model.

The device will have its work cut out going up against newer, better specced and significantly cheaper rivals such as the Nexus 10, iPad Mini or Nexus 7 — not to mention recently arrived Windows 8-based tablets.

Editorial standards