Asus Windows Tablet Prices Leak, Tech World Groans

The pricing for the Asus Vivo Tab RT is pretty steep. 

Yesterday, ZDNet got a hold of prices for the three upcoming Windows 8 Tablets. While on one hand the prices are fair in that they compete directly with the iPad, on the other hand, it could spell trouble for the fledgling operating system.

Starting at $599 (US) for the 32gb, 2ghz Asus Vivo Tab RT tablet is a pretty steep price for a tablet. Especially one that isn’t an iPad. To make matters even more serious, this price does not include the optional keyboard dock which looks to be priced at $199. This may end up causing serious problems for Asus as they try and market the new tablet with a brand new operating system and user experience.

Before you go and blame Asus completely for the pricing, remember that $85 of the price is what Microsoft charges OEMs for Windows RT. If you were to subtract out the Windows Tax the price drops to $517 which is very close to the typical top-end Android tablet pricing of $499 for a 32gb system.

I also can’t imagine that Asus has as integrated of a vertical as Apple. Also since they likely manufacture far fewer tablets than Apple, they don’t have the same advantage of economies of scale. They likely can’t negotiate prices with parts suppliers like the big A can.

However, none of these excuses matter in the end since ultimately consumers don’t care. They just want a good tablet for a good price. Pricing your tablet at $600 (+$200 more for the keyboard dock) will make that barrier to entry much higher since many people will wonder if they should buy this or a more capable and more powerful laptop for that price.

This is also more worrisome for news for Asus since we don’t have word yet on Microsoft Surface pricing, although rumors point to the device being priced much better than this. Microsoft also has the advantage that they have a much higher profit margin to play with when the pressure to make sales increases.

Is this pricing too high? What would have been a better price for the Asus Vivo Tab RT?

Kenny Larson
Onetime Apple/Android/Windows fanboy. Now a firm agnostic when it comes to OS. They all suck in their own special way.

"Be excellent to each other."
--Bill & Ted

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Ah, the unending discussion of non-Apple tablet pricing… Some say it’s silly for Android and others to charge what Apple charges, while others say it’s necessary.

    I used to be in the latter camp. But now I really have to change my tune. Apple has such an excellent ecosystem and market for the iPad, it really is worth more — at least until the other ecosystems improve. I think Windows 8 will really take off and make a good ecosystem, but right now it just doesn’t have it. Because of this, these tablets need to be cheaper than the iPad in order to be competitive.

Tell us what you really think.