Makers of Wintel Tablets Risk Repeating the Ultrabook Flub

High prices and late arrival aren't painting a promising picture

By on January 16th, 2012 21:31 GMT
Now that CES 2012 is over and the rumor mill is back to its usual self, reports have again begun to seep in about Wintel tablets and how they may be tricky to sell at first.

Tablets powered by x86 CPUs and loaded with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system sound like a good deal to anyone who owns a PC.

After all, the new operating system from Microsoft promises to combine the interactivity (and ease of use) of mobile devices with legacy application support.

Unfortunately, even with the promise of all Windows programs working on it, there is a hurdle that could make the start a bit bumpy, to say the least.

As we mentioned here, the latest reports regarding probable pricing don’t paint a pretty picture.

With Wintel tablets expected to cost between $600 (475 Euros) and $900 (710 Euros), red lights cannot help but start flashing.

After all, the iPad still sticks to $500 / 470 Euro (or less) and Android tablets have been reaching far lower, around the $200 mark (158 Euro).

Currently, Intel's Clover Trail-W platform is priced rather high, as is Microsoft's Windows 8 OS.

Neither company seems willing to cut back on the costs, and with AMD not showing much activity in the area, despite the potential of Fusion APUs, this situation isn't likely to change.

The only thing that could, at this point, force Intel's hand into reducing CPU prices would be for notebook vendors to just go ahead and choose ARM over x86 again.

Unfortunately, no signs point to this happening (yet), so there is a worrisomely high chance that x86 slates will go suffer the same fate as ultrabooks.

Though Intel and its partners are still doing their best to promote the super-thin laptops, initial sales were very poor, because of the same problem: overly high prices.

All in all, Intel and Microsoft have to get their act together or risk subjecting the whole Wintel tablet sector to the HP TouchPad effect. Even if the tablet market leadership paradox repeats itself, it won't be much of a consolation.
Wintel tablets are too expensive
   Wintel tablets are too expensive
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