Asus showed off its Windows 8 tablets earlier this month but there was no information available on the pricing up until now.
Asus Windows 8 Tablet To Be Priced High, Speculations On Windows 8 Tablet Pricing On The Rise
Asus showed off its Windows 8 tablets quite recently in the market but declined to comment on pricing. Now an internal roadmap has leaked that exposes the pricing details for the Asus Vivo Tab RT that we reported about last week.
According to the leaked roadmap, the Asus Vivo Tab RT will be priced at $599 (this will based on an ARM chip) and the Intel-based Atom-powered Vivo Tab will be priced at $799. This roadmap was published by ZDNet who cite their own contacts as the source. These tablets are both transforming models the come with optional keyboard and trackpad docks. These docks will come for $199 according to the leaked documents. So if you want the full deal, the Vivo Tab RT will be setting you back by about $800 and the Vivo Tab will set you back by $1000. That’s pretty steep for tablets, especially when compared to the market leader iPad. The iPad’s higest model, the 64GB WiFi+Cellular model, costs $829 when purchased directly from the Apple Store. There are places online where it can be had for somewhat cheaper.
Now there’s no telling if the roadmap published by ZDNet is the real deal or not but they have a good track record for such thing. They would not have published it if they did not have good reasons to trust its authenticity. However, there are some points that do not completely jive in with the marketing material published by Asus. The official press material seems to suggest that the keyboard docks are essential to the tablet’s workings and will come with the tablet. Asus’ announcement states “Key to the Vivo Tab’s recipe for Windows 8 is the supplied mobile dock.” (emphasis added to original text)
Similar text is repeated in the description for the Vivo Tab RT – “The Vivo Tab RT also has the same innovative Transformer design as the Vivo Tab and is supplied with its own mobile dock that provides a QWERTY keyboard, track pad, USB port and built-in battery.” (emphasis added to original text)
Of course, by supplied they could very well mean that it is available for separate purchase. Hopefully Asus does not believe in misdirecting advertisements. Having the keyboard dock come with the tablets will not only help them to sell these tablets but it will also raise the overall perception of Windows 8 tablets as dual-functioning devices.
The prices mentioned here are also inconsistent with what manufacturers have talked about. Lenovo talked to Bloomberg about the pricing of similar tablets and their prices were significantly lesser. According to a statement given by Lenovo’s David Schmoock (Head of North America Operations, Lenovo) to Bloomberg, the Windows 8 tablets would be costing between $600 and $700 with the Windows RT tablets coming in at $200 and $300 lower than the regular ones.
In fact, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer have a similar indication of Windows 8 tablet pricing to the Seattle Times earlier on last week. He said the $300 to $800 range is the “sweet spot” for the tablet market. And he also gave out these figures as the tentative pricing for Microsoft’s own Surface Tablets running both on Windows 8 and Windows RT. And there’s more to it.
Microsoft’s own Surface Tablets might look like the regular Vivo Tab from Asus but they will be using Intel’s Core i5 processors, which are more expensive and powerful than the Atom processors that are to be found inside the Asus tablet. Asus is also using an Intel Core series processor in one of its Windows 8 products. It is a hybrid notebook device called Transformer Book and it will be priced $1399 according to the leaked roadmap. So there’s something essentially strange about the roadmap. Either it is not revealing a major component of Asus products that we are not aware of yet or it is quite erroneous about these figures and perhaps is an older version of the roadmap.
Besides, it is quite unlike Asus to offer such expensive products when its strategy so far has been to undercut the competition while offering competitive hardware. And with so many manufacturers going after the Windows 8 tablet market, it is going to be a quite large competition for Asus. So a higher price tag might push Asus out of the picture completely.