Blackberry maker RIM’s first tablet PC, the PlayBook, is officially launched on Thursday in UK, which may give a tough competition to Apple’s iPad 2, especially over the starting price tag.

The 16GB Wi-Fi version will be available from all Phones 4u stores and online for £399.95. The 32 GB version will cost £479 and 64 GB will cost £559 respectively.

The tablet PC sports a 7in WSVGA capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels and has a 1GHz dual-core processor.

It has a micro-HDMI output as well as micro-USB connectivity, and it supports Flash.

The PlayBook has a GPS accelerometer, a six-axis motion sensor and a digital compass.

We have seen a strong demand for the BlackBerry PlayBook ahead of the launch, and pre-orders are already on target to sell out. Customers are getting excited about the potential that tablets offer and the integration with BlackBerry smartphones is a real plus point for business users, said Paul Bolt, marketing and partner management director at Insight