Why You Shouldn't Pay Full Price for a PlayBook Tablet

Straight and to the point, if you're paying full price for Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you're paying too much. Don't worry, we're not about to wax critical about the tablet's lack of native email, calendar, and contacts support, all of which reportedly will be addressed in an update next month. The reason you shouldn't pay top dollar for a PlayBook is because it's on sale all over the place.

If you head over to Staples, you'll find the 16GB Wi-Fi model selling for $299 instead of $499. That includes $100 in instant savings, and another Benjamin in the form of a mail-in-rebate (pre-paid Visa card). Office Depot is offering a near identical deal, only instead of a pre-paid Visa card, you'll receive a $100 Office Depot gift card.

Head north of the border and you'll find Best Buy's Canadian portal selling all PlayBook models at a $100 discount, a sale price that lasts until October 6, 2011. Other Canadian retailers have the PlayBook marked down, too.

BGR, which first reported all these sales, says it's heard from multiple readers that Walmart is selling the 16GB tablet for $250, even though it isn't advertised as such. It isn't clear if there's any kind of rebate involved or if that's outright pricing. What we do know is that Walmart normally sells the PlayBook for $498.

So what's going on? BGR asked RIM that very question and was told that "The official retail retail price of the BlackBerry PlayBook has not changed. However, as mentioned on the Q2 earnings call on September 16th, we have a number of promotional plans in place for the fall with our retail partners that are intended to drive sell-through and increase adoption of the BlackBerry PlayBook. We are already starting to see some of these promotions being implemented in the form of instant rebates and gift cards within the consumer channel, and expect these promotions to continue into the holiday season."

There you have it. If you plan to pick up a PlayBook, be sure you're getting a discount of some sort.