A leaked roadmap of Asus tabs running Windows 8 reflect some very premium prices. Will they be indicative of what’s to come for devices running Microsoft’s new OS? For the sake of consumer wallets, please no.
According to the lineup, Asus’s Vivo Tab RT will come with a starting price of $599 (optional docking station comes in at $199). For those keeping track, that slots in at $100 more than Apple’s cheapest iPad 3. Not exactly a way to lure consumers over to the Windows 8 side but, if we were to go off the company’s IFA announcement, buyers will get 32GB of internal storage at that price (that puts it on par with the 32GB iPad 3).
Asus’s other Vivo Tab might start at a suggested price of $799. Again, not an ideal starting price, but this one is designed more as a laptop (it runs full Windows 8), rather than as just a tablet. You do, however, need to splash down $199 extra for a keyboard dock, which puts the price up to a grand. At that price, you can get a MacBook Air, which comes with 4GB memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a 1.7GHz dual-core processor.
Finally, the Taichi slots in a $1,299. The 11.6-inch dual-screen device acts as both a notebook and tablet, with a flip up screen that comes with two displays in one package. That’s certainly an innovative feature, but are consumers willing to adopt such a technology at that price point? Unlikely. Not many have $1,300 lying around.
A manufacturer such as Asus has expertly navigated the line between affordable and innovative in its Transformer line — but that was in the Android camp. Windows 8 is entirely different beast, and market, so it’s discouraging to see prices starting so high. Probably not what the OS needs to attract consumers en masse. ZDNet notes that the above roadmap is preliminary, so prices aren’t yet set in stone. Let’s hope Asus rethinks its approach just a tiny bit before these actually come to market.