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(Pocket-lint) - The phrase iPad killer was touted around a little too much in 2011. And one tablet that was Flashy in its approach to Apple's crown was the BlackBerry PlayBook, that went on sale last year with plenty of RIM fanfare behind it.

But now, following reports of poor sales, a massive sale has kicked off on Research in Motion's website on the other side of the Atlantic. The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models are all available until 4 February for just $299.

Why anybody would choose the lesser models when the top-dog is the same price is anyone's guess but one thing is for sure - this is a fire-sale in all but name.

$299 for a tablet that previously cost $499, $599 or $699? There's more than a slight whiff of desperation going on here.

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Back in September it was revealed that RIM was struggling with sales of its 7-inch tablet, with just 200,000 shipped to shops in the previous quarter. The following month the Canadian phone giant took action by offering free PlayBooks in the US and Canada with a buy two get one free deal.

Over here in Blighty, there's no sign of the massive price-cuts across the board, although the 16GB one is £169 at PC World and you can nab a free PlayBook through the Carphone Warehouse if you sign up for a £30 a month deal for a Blackberry Curve 8520.

On Monday it was reported that the Sony Tablet S price has been slashed in the US as well. It's a tough job being an iPad assassin it seems.

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Writing by Paul Lamkin.