More pricing details for Windows 8 tablets are revealed, turns out the tablets will be insanely… expensive

In August a rumor generated buzz about the possibility of seeing Windows RT tablets — specifically the Windows RT Surface — for as low as $199. A few days later Lenovo stoked the rumor by publicly saying Windows 8 Pro tablets will sell for $500-$700 and Windows RT tablets will be “$200-$300 less”. However, a few days ago Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer cleared the air (aka crushed our hopes and dreams) by hinting that Windows RT tablets will be priced like the iPad while Windows 8 Pro tablets will obviously be more expensive. Now we have more details supporting the theory that Windows 8 tablets, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT, will not be cheap. In fact, they will be expensive.

First we have a leaked “holiday roadmap” from ASUS which lists a Windows RT tablet as starting at $599 while two Windows 8 Pro tablets start at $799 and $1,299:

Before you throw your hands up in defeat and run out to buy an iPad, do realize that the above is a leaked roadmap. Not only is it not official, but ASUS very well could modify the prices before releasing the above tablets and debut other, cheaper tablets. Another thing to note is ASUS has never been known for providing cheap hardware — they have always been on the expensive side. So we may still see cheap(er) Windows 8 tablets from other manufacturers. Like Acer.

A roadmap for Acer also leaked recently… so Acer came out and officially confirmed details on the tablets, details that include pricing:

Take note that

  • All three tabs above are Windows 8 Pro, not Windows RT, tablets
  • The above prices are in AUD (Australian dollars) and include tax

As Neowin points out, if tax is removed and the prices are converted to USD (United States dollar) then the most expensive of the above tabs, W700, comes out to $1260 (without keyboard) while the cheapest, W510, is $710 (without keyboard). Which means even Acer, a manufacturer known for making cheap tech, won’t be making cheap(er) Windows 8 tablets — at least not Windows 8 Pro ones.

This sucks. I really, really hope Google releases a Nexus 10 because at these prices I will likely never purchase a Windows 8 tablet. I’m sure many others are in the same boat as me. Feel free to lash out in the comments below.

[via Engadget, Neowin]

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10 comments

  1. mukhi

    forgot to mention…
    asus taichi seems to be the most BS design…
    # FHD in 12″? oh no, plz!
    # dual screen in single device? you could have reduced price a lot by using a single screen with swivel design.
    # who the hell in the world wants advanced audio tech in a “tablet”? come on, for great audio, we can use a high-quality headphone!
    # you cannot use these two screens side-by-side anyway, therefore, multitasking with dual-screen will be absent. duh!

    i wish they would pay me to be a designer for them, could do much better with less compensation… ^_^

  2. rikishi19

    Would just like to point out that those Acer prices are in NZD (New Zealand Dollar’s), which is different to Australian Dollar’s. Which means a straight conversion to USD makes them a little more expensive than mentioned, the cheapest model, W510, works out at around $830USD.

    However I should also point out that as that is New Zealand RRP’s, do not expect it to just be a straight currency conversion to work out what they will be released at in the US/UK etc. Here in NZ, tech is usually a lot more expensive (say up to an extra quarter).

  3. Peter

    @Jyo:
    The question is (IMHO): Who needs a tablet for private use? I’m happy with my dumb cell phone and use it at most three times a month (got fixed line too). In Berlin there`s a city map at every bus/metro station and I’ve got a printed one (onto paper (same as e-book, but without electric current)). So GPS is superflous. If something comes to my mind which I can’t explain, I remember it when at home and look at my encyclopedia (Brockhaus) or use my desktop PC to have a look in the w^3. If I do not remember the question when at home, it has been unimportant. I look at my mail when at home and try to answer it daily. I can’t follow a need for “instantness”.
    Most, propably more than 95% of the phone calls I hear from people in the city start with: “I am at (place x) ! Will be at (place y) soon.” And the so called small (tiny?) talk ends
    Who needs that [four-letter-word--censored-by-myself]?
    Tablet PCs are as superflous in my (49 year old) eyes as mobile phones but I won’t miss my Desktop-PC.
    Therefore: MS should offer a tabletized version of its OS but should keep the desktop users in mind.

  4. Jyo

    When this ends up being a disaster, maybe Microsoft will finally get the message and stop tablet-izing things. So a win for us in the long run… And who knows, if no one buys them, I’m sure they’ll run special clearance promotions.

  5. Mike

    If this proves to be the $ case, a major fail for consumers and Microsoft will lose out with them, in the end. The only possible success might be with businesses–and even with them, the pricing is so high that they might just decide to keep on going with the alternatives.

  6. mukhi

    i am not really understanding why companies are trying to make tablets that are going to serve the purposes of notebooks, and therefore, render them expensive. a tablet is a tablet is a tablet. it should have specs and functionalities that can do something which may not be done with ease by a notebook due to its form factor, period. why in the world should i look for a tablet with > $1000 pricetag when i can buy a much more capable notebook for the same price?

  7. Mick

    Windows 8 looks like an atrocity to me, personally. I’ve been on the bleeding edge for the last couple of releases… I didn’t even mind Vista as much as everyone else.

    But Win 8 just holds no interest, especially as a desktop OS.

    I had however (due to my intense dislike of all things Apple and the undue iconification and even deification of Steve Jobs) hoped that while Win 8 did not interest me, that Microsoft would put out something that would at least challenge if not replace Apple and the ipad.

    Looks to me like this will be similar to the Windows phone, and just be another blown opportunity to unseat Apple.

    Even if the OS is good and works well on a tablet (I am not familiar with tablets and my Win 8 experiment with the Consumer Preview was VERY short-lived), this pricing structure will guarantee that Win 8 will not see wide adoption and Apple will continue to thrive.

    Seems like a poor decision by Microsoft.

    :(