Analysis by Patrick Avenell (Follow me on Twitter)

SYDNEY, NSW: Toshiba will be launching its imaginatively named Tablet (AT100), powered by Android Honeycomb, by the end of June for RRP $579. This is exactly the same price as the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook, the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 and the Acer Iconia A500.

Of all the major tablet releases so far this year, the only comparable products not released at this price point are the Asus Eee Transformer (RRP $599) and the Motorola Xoom (RRP $840).

The similarity in price points for these similar products highlights the growing paranoia suppliers feel when setting price points. Suppliers neither want to be seen as being too expensive, alienating consumers, or too cheap, alienating retailers. By simply copying the first to market (Apple), these tablets provide points of difference in everything by price.

But these points of difference are becoming increasingly limited. Save Apple and BlackBerry with their own operating systems, the Motorola, Acer, Asus and now Toshiba tablets are all indistinguishable to the average consumers. Of course, there are difference, some more pronounced than others (such as the Transformers’ dock option), but it is important to not underestimate how saturated this market is now becoming.

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The new Toshiba Tablet is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, has a multi touch 10.1-inch HD screen (1280×800). There are USB and SD card slots for input and memory expansion, and a full size HDMI port (which, admittedly, is a good feature). The rear camera is 5MP and the front camera is 2MP.

Preloaded Toshiba software includes a media player that can stream music and videos to a DLNA, Wi-Fi enabled television.

UPDATE: Toshiba has confirmed that the Tablet has a 16GB memory, expandable through SD and USB. It is a Wi-Fi only tablet, though there are plans to release a 3G version during Q3. The Tablet will only be sold through retailers, with a spokesperson saying Toshiba has had no discussions with telcos. According to Toshiba, the dimensions of the Tablet are 273x177x15.8 millimetres and it weighs 726 grams.

Talking up the points of difference with the Toshiba Tablet is local MD Mark Whittard.

“The Toshiba Tablet provides a range of choices,” Whittard said. “Users can customise the way their Tablet looks with a number of stylish removable back covers.  They can also easily watch movies on a big screen TV through the full size HDMI port and also view photos by simply placing their SD card straight from their camera to the Toshiba Tablet.

“Importantly the removable back cover allows easy battery replacement for extra battery life when required,”

Accessories also announced today include colourful covers (RRP $29 each), a removable battery pack (RRP $79), a multi dock with HDMI (RRP $89) and a portfolio case (RRP $49).

The new Toshiba Tablet will be out by the end of June.