The BlackBerry Playbook which was announced in the end of last year has been given a launch date of June 16 and is available for pre-order, reports said.

The BlackBerry Playbook varies in price according to its specifications. The 16GB model is priced at £399 ($648.85), while the 32GB version will cost £479 ($778.95). A 64GB version will also be available for £559 ($909.04).

This is the exact price which an Apple iPad with specifications of 16GB with 3G and Motorola Xoom currently sells at, making the competition tougher. The device, to some extent, is cheaper than the HTC's Flyer.

The Playbook processor is a 1 GHz dual-core which makes it more powerful, while its 1GB RAM is also the standard in all tablets now.

The device has a 5 mega-pixel rear and a 3 mega-pixel front camera, which supports 1080p HD video recording, making it stand apart in the race for the best tablet cameras. One area where the Playbook receives a blow is the 7-inch touch-screen, compared to its rivals’ 10-inch screen. This, however, makes it compact and easier to carry.

“Initial feedback about the BlackBerry PlayBook has been outstanding,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and Co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion). “Our strategic decision to invest in groundbreaking performance, web fidelity and an open web-based development environment is resonating extremely well with customers and developers,” he wrote on the company website.

The Playbook supports both Wifi and 3G and can perform as a bonding device for sharing connection with other devices. Unlike other tablets in its genre, the playbook will have its own mini-HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port.

“The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia,” Lazaridis added.

The company intends to work on 4G models in the future.