RIM confirms ship date and pricing for PlayBook convertible keyboard case

BlackBerry Mini Keyboard with Convertible Case lrgBlackBerry Mini Keyboard with Convertible Case lrgOn Tuesday BlackBerry maker Research In Motion made the new BlackBerry Mini Keyboard with Convertible Case for PlayBook available for pre-orders through their online BlackBerry store. The new accessory is priced at $119.99 in the United States and RIM says they’ll start shipping their first keyboard cases on March 23rd, 2012.

RIM’s announcement today confirmed our report from yesterday where we told you the keyboard and case combo would start shipping on March 23rd with a retail price of $120USD. If you saw that post the only major change today is that RIM has opened their website up for pre-ordering, previously there was only one small Canadian retailer that was taking pre-orders for the new accessory.

In case you’re still looking for a reason to buy the $120 keyboard case combo…

Yes, the keyboard and case is more than half the price of the base $199 (16GB Wi-Fi) BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, but from the video available above you can see the keyboard is pretty nifty. And from what I understand you can’t just go buy any old bluetooth wireless keyboard and get the same benefits that you would with the official BlackBerry keyboard.

You can’t just use any keyboard because most other wireless keyboards don’t include multi-touch mousepads/trackpads like the official PlayBook keyboard does, and without the mousepad/trackpad you can’t control on-screen elements without touching the tablets screen if you don’t have a BlackBerry smartphone to sync to your tablet (select BlackBerry smartphones can be used to emulate the trackpad included with the PlayBook keyboard).

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