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Intel/Microsoft tablets may retail for $600-$900

Initial batches of Windows 8-powered tablets with Atom CPUs could be more expensive than what consumers would expect

In an extremely price-sensitive market such as tablets, ARM-based slates have been able to retail for increasingly low prices overtime. For example, the original Tegra 2 Motorola Xoom launched for $800 in early 2011, while the Tegra 3 Transformer Prime launched for only $500 in late 2011.

Therefore, with Windows 8 and Intel-powered tablets on their way this year, one would expect competitive prices from the x86 tablets as well. Unfortunately, sources close to DigiTimes are expecting quite the opposite with prices ranging from $600 up to even $900.

The reason, the source claims, is due to both Intel and Microsoft’s unwillingness to “drop their related hardware and software quotes” and would thus pass many of the costs to the consumer. Because of this, many notebook vendors may opt to produce more ARM-based tablets instead on the Tegra, OMAP or Snapdragon chipset rather than tablets running Windows 8 with an Intel Atom CPU.

Regardless, a number of manufacturers are already working on Windows 8 tablets, although launch prices are still a mystery since the actual launch of Windows 8 is still presumably more than half a year away.


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Allen Ngo, 2012-01-19 (Update: 2012-05-26)