Blog Post

Want a sub-$500 Windows 8 tablet? Look to Dell.

With Microsoft’s(s msft) own Surface Pro tablets starting at $899, there’s some room for lower price points by its partners. Dell(s dell) wants some of the value action and will be selling the Dell Latitude 10 Essentials for $499. The Windows 8 tablet loses some bells and whistles to keep the price down, but Dell thinks that won’t matter: Aside from value-conscious consumers, the tablet is aimed at students and teachers.

The $499 model is due out in the coming months, so for now, the only available model is the 64 GB version at $579. The sub-$500 machine will have 32 GB of storage capacity, which won’t leave much room for data and apps. As a point of comparison, Windows Surface Pro models start with 64 GB of storage and Microsoft says “System software uses significant storage space; your storage capacity will be less.” These two Essentials configurations augment the standard 64 GB model which costs $599 and up, depending on options and additions.

Dell Latitude 10 with dockDell is cutting the cost of the Windows 8 slates by changing two major aspects from the standard Latitude 10. Gone is the active digitizer that supports digital inking. And the 2-cell, 30 hr battery — standard for the Latitude — is non-removable, so you won’t be able to swap in a new battery. Businesses likely can’t live with those missing features, but some consumers, educators and students ought to find the compromise acceptable at this price.

At $499, it’s not a bad deal, considering all other specifications are the same as the higher priced model: Intel(s intc) Atom Z2760 1.8 GHz processor, 2 GB of memory, 10.1-inch IPS screen with 1366 x 768 resolution, 10-finger multitouch and Corning’s Gorilla Glass all with Windows 8 Pro.

4 Responses to “Want a sub-$500 Windows 8 tablet? Look to Dell.”

  1. someguyfromthenet

    You can get a serviceable 10 inch Windows 7 netbook from Amazon or Walmart for under $250. You can get a not-bad 10 inch Android tablet for under $350. It’s hard to see the Windows 8 tablet OEMs being hugely successful in winning bargain-hunting users until they start hitting price points that are more competitive with those alternatives. Granted, the OEMs would likely have to pay more in licensing to Microsoft for Win8 than they do to license Win7 or pay Android-related patent licensing fees, but still one has to think some of them could profitably make Win8 Atom/AMD tablets for $350-$400. (Win8 RT would cost more on OS licensing due to the inclusion of Office, but with a little skimping made possible by the ARM tech you might be able to still hit that range and make money.)

    If Dell/HP/ want to be successful in selling tablets to the low end, they’ll have to go lower than $500.

  2. hundoman

    What all the people who have commented so far fail to understand is that these machines are running the full version of Window 8 not Windows 8 RT.

    What is means is that you have the ability to mange these tablets as part of a MS Windows AD architecture with all the benefits that entails. As part of a MS Windows domain you can have some real Mobile Device Management and that is a real benefit to schools or businesses.

    These units are not unmanaged toys like all current Apple iOS product is as well as Android tablets that really don’t do much with MDM either.

  3. ricdesan

    If I want to invest $500 I am saving a few bucks more for an note or ultrabook! If I want a tablet, I buy the Fire and Amazon market for far less than $500.

    What these companies fail to realize is that adopters have become finicky and if econmic hard times continue, watch how far sales will plummet.

  4. Looks like Dell is again trying to market their product to the middle segment of the tablet market. Being a few hundred dollars less than its elite counterparts, this tablet could a new market in the users looking to buy their first tablet.