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QOTW: How much would you pay for a Windows 8 tablet?

by Parm Mann on 24 February 2012, 17:34

Tags: Windows 8

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The 2012 Mobile World Congress is almost upon us, and there's a good chance the star of this year's show won't be a smartphone.

Instead, all signs suggest that Microsoft's next flagship operating system will become the show's main attraction. Windows 8 appears to be on track for a late 2012 launch, but users around the globe will get their first taste of what's in store on Wednesday, February 29, when Microsoft releases its first Consumer Preview at MWC.

The software's pre-beta preview will result in intense speculation and debate, and we may get a glimpse at some of the first Windows 8 tablet devices. But that got us thinking, how much would we be willing to pay for a Windows 8 tablet?

Apple's iOS currently dominates the tablet landscape and iPads are available starting at £399. Android tablets, meanwhile, are readily available at under £200. Windows 8 may of course offer a unique proposition - it could be more mobile PC than tablet - but would that give tablet manufacturers free reign on price? Or has the half-hearted Slate PC already shown us that high-powered and premium tablets don't stand a chance?

We're likely to find out one way or another later this year, but it's an interesting point of discussion and this is your chance to have your say. So without further ado, how much would you pay for a Windows 8 tablet?

HEXUS Forums :: 28 Comments

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£1.50 and not a penny more!!

Ideally less than £1 would be ideal.

Other tablets,less than 50P.
I would say £200 maximum for me. £150 seems fair. Hopefully we are seeing tablets becoming mainstream in the near future with Windows 8.. which means mainstream prices! :)
I think it really depends on what is ment by a tablet.

Is a tablet a large mobile phone? Or just a mobile phone without the radio.

Given that Apollo is supposed to run on both, equally, it will be interesting to see what appears in the lower priced end of the market. Myself I can't see the appeal from launch of an expensive ARM based tablet, its not what I'd want it for (that been long battery life simple web browsing), but I could see the appeal of an ultrabook style tablet, with completely detachable keyboard, costing £1k, as it would replace the laptop, and the tablet in one device. Kind of like they where always ment to be when I had my first TabletPC.
It needs to be the same sort of price as the comparitive iPad tbh, maybe a touch more by the time you add your MS licence to it, certainly more than the cheaper Android tablets..

I reckon they could get away with around the £400-£450 mark personally..
Having watched the tablet market over the past few years and understanding what the current state of the industry, we have to set expectations:

One of the reasons why there are $200/£200 tablets is from hardware subsidies. A Kindle Fire is produced at a loss because Amazon assumes you're buying e-books and consuming other content to help turn that loss on hardware production into a profit via software. A wireless carrier may sell a Galaxy Tab with 3G/4G data service, and the overhead in monthly costs is making up for the financial hit they took buying stock from Samsung at 2-3x the cost they sold it to you. (Note: I don't know exactly how true this holds in the UK, but it's practically a given in the US.) It may be cheap at the outset, but it gets expensive over time.

Another reason is HP and their abandonment of WebOS. Their TouchPad fire sale last year proved that, in order to move an otherwise mediocre product (blah hardware, in this case, despite the competitive software) the price has to reach a certain threshold. They effectively started what I hear as being referred to as ‘The Race to the Bottom’, where any Johnny-come-lately has a cheap tablet that runs some acrid mixture of an ‘open’ mobile OS installed on a dubious hardware platform that hardly differentiates itself from the rest of the ilk at the same price point.

Apple users, on the other hand, expect a price premium for a perceivably premium product, and thus willingly accept a £400/$500 tablet: Anything less “cuts corners” and, from the perspective of consumers, will probably be the ‘gold standard’ by which other tablets are held up to, price be damned. Think of the once-equally priced Motorola Xoom, consider the number of sales that have occurred in comparison to the iPad, and realize that, for most, there was just enough unforgivable quirks about the Xoom that it doesn't justify its price in the face of the competition (whether you agree with public sentiment or not or believe there's any Apple bias, the sales numbers don't lie).

My overall argument is this: You may expect cheap Win8 tablets, and you may get them, but expect a £200/$200 Win8 tablet to be just as crappy as any currently-available, equally-priced tablet. I expect more popular - or, at least, more desirable - Win8 tablets will land in the £350-500/$500-700 range. Some of the perception will be based against the current competition, though I expect the hardware won't be as svelte as Apple's, which will lead to an argument over how useful the software is versus how desirable the hardware is (and to each their own, in that respect). Unless the manufacturers completely mess up the launch hardware, the aforementioned price range should be competitive.