Asus Windows 8 tablet pricing comes in high; Demand likely low

Asus Windows 8 tablet pricing comes in high; Demand likely low

Summary: Asus' Windows 8 tablet pricing will start at $599 and run to $1,299. In other words, tablets will be more than laptops in some cases without any enterprise heft to justify a premium.

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Asus has a trio of Windows 8 tablets on deck for the holidays, but the pricing is so high---$599 to $1,299 for a hybrid---that it's going to be nearly impossible to compete in the marketplace.

We were leaked Asus' holiday roadmap and the slide below tells the tale.

asusroadmap-watermarked

The challenges here are obvious despite Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's talk of a sweet spot.

In a nutshell:

  • Asus isn't a business brand yet it is pricing its Windows tablet as if there were some enterprise secret sauce. Asus roadmap only highlighted upcoming products not the big sales pitch to differentiate these tablets.
  • Also included in Asus' roadmap are details about 12 and 13-inch laptops. What's truly odd is that one laptop is $549 and the next-gen Transformer is $1,399. The Transformer Book is billed as "one device for two personalities between tablet and notebook."
  • Consumers will balk at these tablet prices and a) either opt for a laptop or b) go with a cheaper tablet such as Apple's iPad or any variety of Android.

The roadmap here is preliminary in that Asus could change its pricing before the tablets launch along with Windows 8. But if the pricing sticks these tablets could have rough sledding ahead. Given the pricing fumbles of OEMs, it's no wonder that Microsoft has cooked up its Surface tablet. After all, Microsoft has the resources to lose money---just look at the billions lost in the search wars---in the name of market share.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Tablets, Windows

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147 comments
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  • If Office 2013 for iPad is released, the Vivo Tab RT is DOA

    Where's the upside unless you've got a mission-critical "Windows Store app" (AKA Metro-style app), and how could you have one of those now?
    matthew_maurice
    • How are you seeing that?

      The infrastructure supporting use of MSOffice does not exist in an iPad.
      and please don't try to leverage the iCloud. MSOffice users typically need offline acess far more than online.

      Not buying it (the concept).
      Next!
      rhonin
      • Doubts about actual price, seems too pricey

        These all seem about $100 or $200 too much. If they threw in the tablet dock for free these prices would be acceptable. But it looks like the Asus Taichi could be the best overall value here for me. 1080p ultrabook with a touch/tablet mode sounds good.
        cool8man
        • So it's too expensive compared to an ipad...

          So for the extra features, potential extra usability, and Office 2013 it's between $100 - $200 dollars too much. Pound for pound I'd say it might not be bad once we see some real life tests. True it doesn't have an Apple logo on it thus I can see where you'd knock off at least $100 dollars. If theres one thing Apple do best it's those $100 go-faster logos! Tell you what I'll sell you two legit Apple badges for $5 and I bet it goes twice as good!
          johnmckay
          • Is full-blown office included?

            The Tab RT says "Office 2013"
            The Tab says "Office trial"
            The Taichi doesn't say anything about Office.

            If they come with full Office 2013, then the prices aren't horrible; otherwise, ASUS is smoking something...
            kenaaa10
          • Based on a recent MJF article, does not include Office

            RT tablets include Office but the Windows 8 Pro tablets do not.
            toddbottom3
          • ken it dosen't matter if it comes with OFF-13 they're smoking

            something anyway.....$1.300 bucks is still big bucks........
            Over and Out
          • hey everbody.....did you all forget GAS is $4.25 a GALLON

            Have you nothing better to do with you money than piss away $1,300.00 dollars?'
            Over and Out
          • The thing is...

            It's the cheapest of them all that comes with Office, only Windows RT version (the ARM processor one) has Office included (Beta at first and upgraded to RTM when it becomes available).
            lepoete73
          • HD Display

            And that seems to be the only one with a Retina-style (HD) display. Sounds like $1500 with Office. Might as well buy an Air or choose from one of the many other competitors that will be around by Christmas.
            Photog7
          • Not "full-blown" Office 2013. Not even the release version.

            While things can certainly change, the Vivo Tab RT, like all RT tablets, will ship, at least initially, with the "preview" version of Office Home and Student 2013 for Windows RT. Whatever that is.
            matthew_maurice
          • It means

            Any Windows RT devices with the Office Preview (Home Office and Student) will be upgraded to Final as soon as it is available.
            hafenbrack
          • My thoughts exactly

            My thoughts exactly...
            VelvetFog09
          • Trial with free upgrade

            Finalized Office won't be finished by launch so it will launch with a trial version and a free upgrade to the final product in 2013. At least last I read that's what MS was saying.
            widow maker
          • If Microsoft was savvy . . .

            If Microsoft was savvy they would subsidize Windows 8 tablets with a free copy of Office 2013 until sales take off and economies of scale kick in to bring the tablet manufacturing cost down. The copy of Office could be linked to the particular machine. Microsoft would win in the long run because it would get there numbers for both Windows 8 and Office 2013 up which would promote their sales of desktop and laptop machines. They would not lose anything because otherwise most all tablet sales will be iPad or Android.
            annnon
          • The most expensive iPad is $829.

            How are the ASUS Windows tablets not competitive at the prices listed? And, the iPad has a smaller screen, and no practical ports to speak of. Also, the iPad and iOS are not compatible with things like mice and game controllers. That is, it can't reproduce a standard cursor on the screen. ASUS tablets can do all of those things whether it's running Android or Windows. And lets not forget the keyboard dock with extra ports and battery.

            ASUS is pricing it's windows hybrid tablets commensurate with getting two devices for one. You get both a tablet and a laptop. How many iUsers have an iPad and some type of mac laptop? A majority, I bet. What do you think the combined cost was of buying those two devices? Enough said.
            laequis
          • Not everyone cares about an ipad.

            I know I don't. I have a Tab 8.9 with the bluetooth keyboard case. Another 800 res tab, let alone a larger one, doesn't interest me. An 11.6 that doesn't even reach 1200 res like the Infinity does , and in a smaller screen no less, doesn't interest me either. I'll stick with android for my tablet until a windows tablet can better the specs I currently have or can get in an android tablet for a similar price and not less specs for more money.
            crogs
          • I've got an Android tablet...

            And it pretty much collects dust, they suck... all Android tablets suck.
            widow maker
          • Say hello to my little friend....

            asus.....Transformer.....Prime that is ..google it.youtube it.its a no brainer compared to an ipad...... 2 years ago i would have agreed with you but the best part about android is that steps it up every few months not to mention. Have an open mind and check out the new releases of android devices.
            BigGuy135
          • Say hello to my little friend....

            asus.....Transformer.....Prime that is ..google it.youtube it.its a no brainer compared to an ipad...... 2 years ago i would have agreed with you but the best part about android is that steps it up every few months not to mention. Have an open mind and check out the new releases of android devices.
            BigGuy135