The tablet market has become increasingly crowded this week, with new pricing plans for the Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry Playbook announced by Optus and Harvey Norman, respectively. Both tablets are expected to compete directly with the Apple iPad 2.
One thing's for sure, if you're thinking about buying a tablet, it's no longer a one horse race. Here's a quick overview of each product.
Optus adds Motorola Xoom to its tablet fold
Optus has announced pricing and mobile phone plans for the Motorola Xoom, ending an exclusivity deal with Telstra that had been in effect since the tablet's Australian launch in May.
The Motrola Xoom is now available from Optus.
Optus is offering the Android 3.0 tablet on a 24 month $29.95 plan, plus $20 monthly tablet repayments. This plan is the cheapest offered by Optus and includes 4GB peak data and an additional month of free access. Other options include $39.95 per month over 12 months with 8GB peak data (plus $41.58 monthly repayments), $59.95 per month over 12 months with 10GB peak data (plus $33.25 monthly repayments), and $59.95 per month over 24 months with 10GB peak data (with no tablet repayments.)
You can also elect to buy the Xoom outright for between $360 and $649; depending on which plan you go for. For more details on pricing, visit Optus' Motorola Xoom product page.
Boasting Full HD video playback with 3D graphics acceleration, two cameras (a front-facing 2.0-megapixel webcam and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera), 720p video recording and a bevy of hi-tech sensors, the Motorola Xoom is a feature-packed alternative to the Appe iPad 2. Read our hands-on review of the Motorola Xoom tablet here.
Playbook pricing announced
RIM has announced pricing for the BlackBerry Playbook tablet in Australia, which will be available from today starting at $579. (Not coincidentally, this is also the starting price of the Apple iPad 2.)
BlackBerry Playbook: buy it outright from Harvey Norman.
The business-focused tablet device can be bought outright from Harvey Norman in three iterations: 16GB (RRP: $579), 32GB (RRP: $689) and 64GB (RRP: $799). Visit the Harvey Norman PlayBook product page for more information.
The BlackBerry Playbook tablet will also be available on a variety of plans from Telstra, with Optus and Vodafone expected to follow suit. We'll keep you posted with annoucements as they happen.
The WiFi only PlayBook is intended to be tethered to a BlackBerry phone for internet access as well as real time access to email, calendar, address book and even BlackBerry Messenger. It runs a new tablet-specific version of BlackBerry OS and comes with a 1GHz dual-core chip, 1GB RAM, a 7in HD multi-touch screen and a pair of cameras with 1080p video capture support. Check out our first impressions of the BlackBerry PlayBook here.
Apple iPad vs Apple iPad 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs Motorola Xoom