Lenovo: Windows RT Tablets Will Be Massively Cheaper than Windows 8 Slates

Lenovo Projects $200 - $300 Price Difference Between x86 and ARM Tablets Running Windows

by Anton Shilov
08/17/2012 | 01:11 PM

Lenovo Group believes that media tablets running Windows RT operating system and utilizing system-on-chips based on ARM architecture will be $200 - $300 cheaper than slate-type PCs powered by Windows 8 that use x86 microprocessors. As a result, ARM-based tablets will be positioned for consumers, while x86-based devices will be aimed at business and enterprise users and will feature numerous additional technologies.


"Windows RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points. It will do well but it is going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with,” said David Schmoock, head of Lenovo’s North America operations, in an interview with Bloomberg news-agency.

According to the high-ranking executive from Lenovo, Windows 8-based tablets will cost $600 to $700, which means that at least some Windows RT-powered tablets will be available for $300 - $400, or on par with slates that utilize Google Android operating system.

An Asus tablet featuring Intel Cloverview/Clover Trail platform and Microsoft Windows 8

The reasons why Windows 8-based tablets are $200 - $300 more expensive than those powered by Windows RT/ARM, considering the fact that Microsoft reportedly charges $80 - $95 per Windows RT license. While system-on-chips powered by ARM architecture cost less than x86 microprocessors by Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp., the difference is not $200 - $300. It is logical to assume that makers of tablets will simply install more memory, higher-capacity storage and add certain business-class features to Windows 8 tablets as they will be utilized by enterprises and other customers not looking for the lowest price possible.

Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be available in three versions. Two versions will be designed for x86 processors and one will be aimed at ARM-powered systems. All three will support  touch-screen, keyboard and mouse, all general capabilities of Windows and Metro-style apps. The version for ARM called Windows RT will also include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, but will not run Windows applications designed for x86 processors.