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BlackBerry PlayBook on sale today, but not from haters at O2

The BlackBerry PlayBook is available to buy in the UK, but O2 has refused to stock the tablet, suggesting it has software issues which degrade the user experience.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has finally landed in Britain and is available to buy today -- but it's already made one enemy. O2 has decided the 7-inch tablet doesn't offer an impeccable user experience and so has refused to sell it, Engadget reports.

O2 customers who had signed up for information about the PlayBook's availability received an email stating there were "some issues with the end-to-end customer experience" which meant it wasn't in the network's best interests to sell the tablet.

The company hasn't ruled out selling this or future PlayBook models at some point in the future. Perhaps when it gets more apps and its own email client it will seem more attractive.

This isn't the first time O2 has acted as judge and jury over a gadget's fate. It finally released Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play from its shackles after a number of software bugs delayed its launch.

We've already warned all but the most hardened BlackBerry fans not to buy the PlayBook, primarily because you have to pair it with a BlackBerry handset via Bluetooth in order to get the full experience. It might suit some, but there are good reasons that we only awarded it two stars.

We reckon most people would be better off getting a less restrictive tablet. Check out a comparison with the Motorola Xoom, iPad 2, HTC Flyer. Other options include the reasonably priced Galaxy Tab or perfectly sized Galaxy Tab 8.9, or you could hold your breath for the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

If you really want a PlayBook, there are plenty of places to pick one up, including several well-known high-street chains and online retailers. In fact, we can't see any advantage in buying direct from a network operator. You can pick up a PlayBook for between £400 and £560 (depending on storage) and continue nursing your BlackBerry habit on whichever network you choose.