Sunday, October 14, 2012

Asus Vivo Tab RT first Windows RT tablet up for pre-sale: Is it overpriced at $599

We had previously been warned that Windows RT tablets would not be cheap, and it appears that the warnings have come to fruition. The first Windows RT tablet - though perhaps not the most hyped one, as that honor goes to Microsoft's Surface RT tablet - has gone up for pre-sale.

It's the Asus Vivo Tab RT, formerly known as the Tablet 600, is now available for pre-order for $599.99 from online retailers including Staples, TigerDirect, and FutureShop. Newegg also had the device, but it has since been deactivated.

Naturally, Asus is famous for its Transformer series, and this 10.1-inch Tegra 3 tablet is one of those, but the keyboard docking station run an additional $200. However, Staples appears to be discounting the keyboard, selling it for $169.99.

Prior to deactivation, Newegg said the Asus Vivo Tab RT would be released on Oct. 26th, while FutureShop (Canada) estimated Nov. 2 for availability.

Microsoft and its partners appear to be making the same mistake as Android tablets, which is to price Windows RT tablets at the same price or higher than the iPad. While this tablet does have 32GB of storage, most will do the same thing that was done with the Motorola Xoom (which also had 32GB of storage). It will be compared with the lowest-priced iPad, which is $499.

The Asus Vivo Tab RT is priced at a premium compared to its Android tablets. Compared to Asus Transformer Prime, the Vivo Tab RT has 2GB of memory, double that of the Asus Transformer Prime, with the same Tegra 3 processor, 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display, and 32GB of internal storage. Yet it's $599 price is $100 more than the Prime.

The newer Transformer Pad Infinity is priced at the same $599, again with only 1GB of RAM, but there you receive a 1920 x 1200 display and a faster 1.6GHz processor, despite the price being the same as the Vivo Tab RT.

It's possible, also, that the extra RAM is sucked up by Windows 8, making it a wash.

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At any rate, pricing it above the lowest cost iPad, even if it has greater specs - and with an iPad mini expected soon - may prove hazardous to the device's lifespan.  We could see this pricing for a fully-functional Windows 8 Pro tablet, but for Windows RT, it's a turn-off.

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