…and they’re SERIOUSLY overpriced. Let’s take a quick look at what this really means.
It was recently announced on ZDNet that a leaked ASUS roadmap indicates that the hardware manufacturer will be releasing three Windows 8 based tablets. The tablets will be making an appearance near the 2012 Holiday buying season. Pricing for the tablets is a bit on the unreasonable side.
The entry level, Windows RT based ASUS Vivo Tab RT (TF600T) starts at $599. The mid-level ASUS Vivo Tab (TF810C) starts at $799. Both the TF600T and TF810C can make use of a keyboard based docking station for an additional $199. The high end ASUS Taichi is a tablet/notebook hybrid with a dual screen and attached keyboard that starts at $1299.
With Android tablets, like the Kindle Fire HD starting at $299 for the Fire HD 7″, and the well-established, market leader, Apple iPad 2 starting at $399, ASUS’ has priced itself out of the market. Regardless of how awesome these devices may be, there’s no way they’re going to gain any traction. Unfortunately, they’re going to be non-starters if these prices stick.
With ASUS’ Windows 8 offerings effectively non-players, Microsoft’s Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets become increasingly more relevant. The tablets are set to be produced and sold at a loss; and while MS can afford it, other OEM’s like ASUS can’t. ASUS is an untried business brand, and these devices, especially the dual functioning Taichi, aren’t priced to compete.
ZDNet’s Larry Dignan thinks that “consumers will balk at these tablet prices and either opt for a laptop or go with a cheaper tablet such as Apple’s iPad or any variety of Android.”
I totally agree. The technology here is pretty cool, but Windows RT and Windows 8 in and of itself, is supposed to be targeted at a much lower priced device. Consumers aren’t going to pay $599 for an untried, MS-based tablet, competing in an Apple dominated market.
The roadmap that was leaked was preliminary and the product offering, specs and prices of the devices are totally up in the air. It could all change before Windows 8 is made available in about 5 weeks or so, as of this writing. However if it doesn’t , not only will the devices be short lived, but it’s going to shorten the relevance of Microsoft’s Windows 8, and in the long run, that’s not what MS wants to see.