RIM’s answer to the iPad, the BlackBerry PlayBook, is available now. The 16, 32 and 64GB models are priced the same as the WiFi-only iPad models: $500, $600 and $700. Its 7-inch display is quite a bit smaller than the iPad’s 9.7-inch one. However, while I feel the smaller size is a plus, I wonder if consumers in general will feel that a device with a smaller display should be priced less than a device with a bigger display. The PlayBook’s other quirk is that it has a symbiotic relationship with the BlackBerry phones. It depends on the phone for email an calendar features, for example.

BlackBerry PlayBook now on sale in the US and Canada, starting at $500 with 16GB of storage

And, oh yes, it appears to have one more little issue if you try to use it with a BlackBerry phone on AT&T.

BlackBerry Bridge not available on AT&T… AT&T Blocking It Due to Free Tethering via BlackBerry Bridge?! (CrackBerry.com)

Yes, that is correct. You can’t (easily) pair a BlackBerry phone on AT&T with the PlayBook.