Windows 8 Tablet pricing becomes clearer

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 18, 2012
Hardware, Windows 8

I find it interesting that news about mobile devices running Windows 8 seem to concentrate almost exclusively on tablet PCs. Is that because the majority of mobile devices will be touch-based tablets? Or are developers holding back on laptops to highlight products that the Windows 8 operating system has made possible in the Windows ecosystem?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently mentioned that Microsoft Surface tablets would fall in the $300 to $800 price range. I expect Surface RT devices, that is devices running a version of Windows RT, to be considerably cheaper than Surface Pro devices, which run a full version of the Windows operating system. The main difference between the two? Windows Pro allows the installation and execution of traditional desktop applications, while Windows RT only that of apps made available in the Windows Store.

The price range makes it likely that the Surface RT with 32 Gigabyte of storage will retail for $300 to $400, the 64 Gigabyte version for about $400-500, the Surface Pro 64 Gigabyte version for about $550 to $650, and the Surface Pro with 128 Gigabyte storage for $700 to $799.

Asus' holiday roadmap leaked yesterday to the Internet, and it is interesting to see how the company is pricing its three devices that are powered by Windows 8:

  • Asus Vivo Tab RT (TF600T) is offered at a starting price of $599. It is a 10.1" device powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core cpu.
  • Asus Vivo Tab (TF810C) is offered at a starting price of $799. The 11.6" device is powered by an Intel Atom Z2760 processor.
  • Asus Taichi starts at $1299. It features a 11.6 dual Full HD 1920x1080 display that makes notebook and tablet functionality available.

The Vivo devices come without keyboard dock which is separately available for $199. The dock not only adds a physical keyboard to the device but also extra battery power.

Samsung too is preparing devices that it wants to launch on October 26, the day the Windows 8 operating system is officially launching. Two devices have been announced so far.

  • Samsung Series 5 is powered by an Atom-based Clover Trail processor and a screen supporting a resolution of 1366x768 and Windows 8 Pro. It will be available starting $649 with 2 Gigabyte of Ram and a 64 Gigabyte solid state drive.
  • Samsung Series 7 Slate or Ativ tabs is powered by an Core i5 processor, features a screen supporting 1080p and ships with 4 Gigabyte of memory and a 128 Gigabyte solid state drive. It will be available for $1119.

While it is too early to judge from the numbers provided, it seems likely that most manufacturers will price their RT tablets at around $500 to $700 with the possibility that some undercut that price. Windows 8 Pro tablets on the other hand are offered at a greater price diversity, with low end tablets starting at about $650 and high end tablets at about $1100. That's quite expensive for a tablet if you compare it to comparable tablets powered by iOS or Android.

How much would you pay for a Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro tablet, and what features and specs would you expect from it?


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  1. MikeFromMarkham said on November 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the great tip.

  2. Thomas said on November 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I’m wondering: say you use the standard boot policy. And at some point in time something happens and as a consequence windows does not start properly. How do you get in the recovery menu, since you could have pushed F8 in older windows versions, but with windows 8 you have to go through the PC settings (which are not accessible any more in the example)?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Windows detects issues automatically as well, and will display the recovery options to you.

  3. jasray said on November 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  4. Ramesh Khanna said on November 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you once again. I emailed you about problems i had recently. Once i put in this change i will be able to prevent the problem i had in trying to go to a backup which windows refused to use because i had booted up with a Windows 8 repair disc while the backup was win8.1. The boot of 8.1 was succeeding but the system was in a loop in which it would accept the password and then ask for it again so it was not possible to tell it to boot it in safe mode.

    I just hope nothing happens before i am able to put in your fix.

    I will try to print out this page so a fellow user who is very adept will be avle to put in this fix as well

  5. Marius T said on November 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

    To bad I didn’t knew this when my Win 8 had a problem rebooting endlessly and I had to reinstall,great tip thanks!

  6. Rajan said on November 22, 2013 at 3:36 am


    For Windows XP SP3 pc i am having lot of starting problem.
    Actually i am following what you informed tapping F8 several times.
    But it takes 3 to 6 times to switch off and on only and finally starting.
    Can you suggest me any other best idea to start in one time without switching off and on.
    Expecting yours valuable suggestion in this regard.

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