One of the last great mysteries surrounding the initial batch of Windows 8 tablets is how much they’ll cost. That mystery appears to have been partially resolved with a leaked Asus roadmap.
The resolution of this pricing mystery probably isn’t what most people would have wanted. If Asus’s leaked figures are to be held as gospel, then it means Windows 8 tablets are going to be expensive.
Starting at $599 for an entry-level Windows 8 RT model, we’re talking a fair bit more expensive than an iPad. Windows 8 RT tablets will bear the closest resemblance to existing tablets, with similar processing chips and a tightly curated Microsoft app store. The Asus Vivo Tab RT will sport a 10.1-inch Super IPS display and a Tegra 3 CPU.
Further up the scale we have full Windows 8 tablets, which are effectively notebooks squeezed into a slate format (though with optional keyboard docks). According to the leaked internal slide reported on ZDNet, the Asus Vivo Tab will set you back $799. This gets you an 11.6-inch IPS touch display and an Intel Atom CPU.
Finally we have an unusual hybrid device that features dual 11.6-inch Full HD touch displays, a keyboard and Bang & Olufsen IcePower audio technology. The Asus Taichi will cost an eye-watering $1,299 – the price of a modern ultrabook.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer recently spoke of a sweet spot for computer devices of between $300 and $800. Asus would appear to be operating at the very top end of that sweet spot with its early Windows 8 tablet efforts. Here’s hoping Microsoft swallows some of the evident expense with the Surface and takes the lower or even middle ground.