It's 16GB, not 8 GB. The rest of your comment has been said many times of the TouchPad as well, I'm sure. The difference is that HP took the comments seriously and tried to make it happen by dropping the price down to $99, whereas RIM still has faith in its product.
Originally Posted by NorbB
Hardware: Excellent (build quality). Front and rear-facing cameras. Really solid-feeling device. The power button is tiny, but you can wake the device up by up-swiping on the screen rather than pressing the power button so it's not a deal-breaker. This is good because it's quick, but potentially bad for battery life because it means the touchscreen must always be powered...effect on battery life remains to be seen.
Display/Video: It has HDMI output. It handles YouTube video @ 1080p better than the Transformer and on par with the TouchPad. The display quality is excellent, at least on par with the TouchPad, and arguably a bit better. It renders text and images better than the TouchPad from my experience so far. It's a bright, beautiful display.
Touchscreen: It's more responsive and accurate than the TouchPad and Transformer touchscreens. In accuracy, ease-of use, responsiveness I'd put it on par with the the iPad.
User Interface: The user interface is VERY fast in stock form despite the slower processor speed. It's very similar to WebOS in the way you navigate the interface, but everything is faster and it handles the multitasking even better (eg. can leave a 1080p video playing while browsing other cards -- video pauses once another card is maximized, though). To change between open 'cards' you don't have to minimize the card, first. Just go ahead and swipe left or right and the adjacent 'card' will be brought onto the screen and made active.
Browser The browser is very fast as well, and the only complaint that I have is that you can't set your user agent to 'desktop' and use the desktop versions of some websites by default. This means that I'm stuck with the mobile versions of Gmail and Google Calendar, for example, as defaults (still can then choose to load the HTML or desktop version). It handles Java content better (faster, smoother) than the TouchPad and Transformer.
Software, Updates, Android Support: This month there's going to be a major release that adds native email and calendar apps (currently only available if linked to a blackberry phone) as well as support for installation and running of Android apps. It comes with Docs to go pre-installed and, of the versions I have tried, is the only mobile document reader/editor that renders documents (particularly powerpoint files) exactly as they are on my computer screen -- better than the Transformer which was, in turn, better than the TouchPad.
App World: This is where, believe it or not, the TouchPad actually has the one-up. The blackberry app store (App World) is still in its infancy and surely has fewer apps than even the HP App Catalog. The ones that I have tried so far, though, are pretty good. They're both behind the Android Market and iTunes stores, though.
Sound: Again, the TouchPad is the winner, but I give the Playbook a solid 2nd-place finish in this category. The iPads and Transformer are nothing to write home about in this regard (IMO).
Accessories: It paired up with my HP bluetooth keyboard without issue. The tablet comes with a sleeve-type case, and I bought a blackberry convertible case for it (acts as stand as well as case). Both are very nice quality.
I think the price drop is to build buzz again, so that they can then release their big software update amid the buzz and have people see that the Playbook is actually a worthy tablet. If they just went ahead and released the update last week then only the blackberry faithful who bought the Playbooks ('cause that's pretty much the only people who seem to have bought them) initially would know about it. This way, they're getting new customers (2 local bestbuys were already sold out last night when I checked) and a bit of new buzz.
I didn't get one initially because, in my opinion, it was overpriced for a tablet that couldn't act as a standalone. Needing to have a blackberry phone if you want to use non-browser-based email and calendar services is ridiculous. If this month's update lives up to expectations then the Playbook will be much a very good tablet.
Of all of these devices (iPad, iPad2, TouchPad, Transformer and Playbook), the Playbook actually looks and feels the most 'professional.' This month's update will, hopefully, make this tablet a real contender (assuming the new pricing also holds).