In a move uncharacteristic of the BlackBerry-maker, Research In Motion (RIM) has decided to offer its own extended warranty to new owners of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet PC.
RIM doesn't usually sell BlackBerry smartphones or tablets itself; it counts on its carrier- and/or retail-partners to do the actual selling of its handhelds. So it's a bit of an odd move for the Canadian company to offer extended warranties for PlayBook--RIM is also selling the tablet through third-party retailers and wireless carriers.
The BlackBerry PlayBook warranty offer from RIM will cost you $129, and it extends the standard one-year warranty to two years. Damage covered by the BlackBerry Extended Protection Plan includes "accidental damage from handling," such as "drops, spills and cracked screens."
And RIM claims PlayBook owners who choose to extend their warranties won't see any hidden charges or deductibles. One catch: You must purchase the extended warranty within 30 days of activating your PlayBook.
SquareTrade, another company that offers extended warranties for the PlayBook and other gadgets, offers similar PlayBook protection for three years for about $110. That means you'll get roughly the same extended PlayBook protection from SquareTrade as you would from RIM, but for an extra year. And for a cheaper price.
However, many PlayBook owners may feel more comfortable going through RIM for an extended warranty, which is probably one of the reasons RIM decided to offer such a warranty option for its first tablet.
Personally, I'm all set with the standard one-year warranty that came with my PlayBook, but if you're the rough type or work with the PlayBook in harsh environments, an extended warranty from RIM or SquareTrade could be a wise investment.
After all, the PlayBook's seven-inch display is made of glass. And glass, you know, breaks. Just check out the video above if you need proof...or if you simply want to see some guy randomly trash a perfectly good BlackBerry PlayBook.
Visit RIM's PlayBook extended warranty frequently asked questions page for more details.