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BlackBerry PlayBook available for UK pre-order from £399

The 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is set to hit stores on 16 June and is available for pre-order now, starting at £399.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has been given a UK release date and pricing. It's set to hit stores on 16 June and is available for pre-order now, starting at £399.

Several UK retailers are taking pre-orders, including Carphone WarehouseBest BuyPhones4uPC World and Currys. They're all pricing the Wi-Fi tablet -- there's no 3G version -- at £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 32GB version and £559 for the 64GB device.

Those are the same prices as for the equivalent iPad 2, even though the screen on Apple's tablet measures 9.7 inches, compared to the PlayBook's 7 inches. That said, the PlayBook is cheaper than the 7-inch HTC Flyer, which costs £480 for the 16GB model and £600 for the 32GB version. The Flyer does, however, include 3G connectivity. 

As luck would have it, we posted our in-depth review of the PlayBook earlier today. We found the tablet has much going for it, including a solid and subtle design, a nifty operating system, speedy multitasking capability and a powerful dual-core 1GHz processor. We were also rather chuffed with its mini-HDMI port.

But it's not all good news. You need a BlackBerry phone to make use of many key features of the tablet. For example, the PlayBook has no email client -- you have to connect it to your BlackBerry phone over Bluetooth to see your emails on the big screen. That makes for greater security but means the PlayBook probably won't suit you unless you're absolutely dedicated to the CrackBerry ecosystem. 

Will you pre-order the PlayBook, or would you rather immerse your head in a pan of boiling milk? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall.