The tablet landscape is about to get more interesting with the expected announcement of the iPad mini and the arrival of Microsoft’s Surface tablet in the coming weeks. We haven’t heard of the Surface’s price ever since it was unveiled back in July, though good old Steve Ballmer was quick to quash any hope of seeing it being priced to move.

Thanks to several retailers listing of the new Asus-made Windows RT tablet, we now get a better idea of just how much the “budget” line of tablets will be offered for. We say “budget” relative to the premium Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets.

The Asus Vivo RT tablet is now up on Staples, Futureshop, and other online retailers, and the first of the company’s Microsoft-flavored tablets can be pre-ordered for $599. The tablet boasts a 10.1 Super IPS HD display at 1,366 x 768 resolution, NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 32GB storage, microSD support, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front cam, WiFi b/g/n, HDMI output, and Bluetooth 4.0.

The price, naturally, doesn’t include the keyboard dock, which costs an extra $170 – at least from Staples.

With such pricing point, it’s apparent that Microsoft is not interested in pitting the Windows RT tablet against the likes of Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. The Asus Vivo Tab is also pricier than the latest iPad, which starts at $499. Shipments for the Asus Vivo Tab RT begins at the end of the month.

Bams Sadewo
Sade has an addiction, and it is incurable. Being as furiously addicted as he is mobile technology, it's only natural that he would want to work with the best Android site in the world. He scours the internet at all hours of the day and night to bring you the freshest, most interesting news on the rapidly expanding world of Android!
  • swwww

    The pricing is a big mistake. It seems like they’re priced to die. It could very easily become another Playbook. Great hardware, questionable software (untested, weak app representation). If you can’t circulate enough of these things early on, developers won’t be interested. When you gamble and enter a market late, sometimes you need to take a loss before you can price it higher. Xbox. Sometimes when you want people to use your stuff over something more established, you need to take a loss. PS3 (by sneaking in Blu-ray capabilities at a loss, it helped win the war over the HD DVD)

    The Intel version may have been justifiable at that price, but a windows RT tablet WITHOUT the keyboard (essentially something that can’t run legacy apps) at a price point higher than the iPad? Terrible idea.

  • swwww

    I actually kind of think Windows is approaching this wrong. Rather than license it out to third-party hardware companies like ASUS, they should have aimed to control the Windows tablet market. Like how Apple is the only one to offer iOS on a tablet, Windows could have structured it so that only Windows tablets offered Windows 8. What would have happened is they could have lowered the software license on their own tablets to 0 (don’t have to charge themselves anything) and would have been able to price their tablets at a competitive price. They could have sold it at a break-even price for a couple years to push it out on the market and capturing the app developer community’s attention. Once there are a lot of apps, they’ll be truly competitive. But given the current situation, Windows would be pressured to price their own tablets at a price point similar to ASUS. I’d be surprised (though pleasantly so) if the Windows tablet ends up being cheaper.

  • holy crap $600 for a RT tablet? Good luck with that.

    • Kassim

      Exactly, if the bottom of the range is at that price…what the hell will the full-bells-and-whistles version cost?! I shudder to think!!

      • all I can say is…
        Asus Vivo RT 32 GB for $599 <—– 32 GB of internal space w/ microSD upto 64 or 128 maybe + Skydrive
        Nvidia Quad Core with 8 Core Graphics <—– Look for Unreal Engine 3 Vivo RT
        2 GB RAM DDR3
        10.1 inch diagonal screen
        1.15 lbs
        8M Camera w/ Flash
        I'm going to compare this like what everyone does with an
        Apple iPad 3 32 GB for $599, <—– 32 GB there's always the 16 GB for $499 or 64 GB for $699 + iCloud
        A5X Dual Core with Quad(4) Core Graphics
        1 GB RAM
        9.7 inch diagonal screen
        1.44 lbs
        5M Camera

        • Kassim

          I was saying the “full” Windows experience…not RT. Apologies for not making that clearer. :)

          If I wanted an Android/ARM tablet, I would buy a Nexus 7…which I already have. Why? Because I want pure Android, easily portable form factor, ‘top’ spec at an affordable price and all for better web/media/games consumption OTG than my phone.

          For my larger, 10″ plus tablet however, I want different things…

          I want it to be a more direct replacement of my home PC and so anything less than a x86 tablet is a complete no go. So it’s either Intel’s Atom or upwards or whatever AMD has for tablets (Brazos? Trinity? Answers on a postcard please),

          Shelling out £500+ (i.e. full PC money) for non-PC performance never made sense to me because I want the productivity to remain far closer to a full desktop/laptop than what ARM is able to deliver!

          The Vivo and other quad-core tablets might be the best of what ARM currently offers, but they simply don’t meet my needs…

  • sl0j0n

    I wanta’ see kitkat on the Asus TF600T.
    Don’t think it’ll happen, but *if* it did …