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Lenovo says Windows RT tablets will be only $300-$400 USD; Lenovo also doubtful of Intel's Ultrabook forecast

David Schmoock, head of North American operations at the Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992), the world's fastest growing personal computer maker, had some interesting commentary in an interview with Bloomberg regarding Windows 8 (x86) tablets versus Windows RT designs.

He comments, "[Windows] RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points.  It will do well but it’s going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with."

Indeed, few expect Windows RT tablets, powered by processors such as NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) Tegra 3 or Qualcomm, Inc.'s (QCOM) Snapdragon 4, to beat Windows 8 tablets powered by x86-chipmaker Intel Corp.'s (INTC) designs.  But the ARM designs are expected to be much cheaper and perhaps more power efficient, as well.

Lenovo estimates Windows RT tablets will retail for $300-400 USD, while its Windows 8 tablets will fetch $600-700 USD.

Lenovo is widely expected to release an ARM-based Yoga hybrid tablet. [Image Source: Lenovo]

Intel spokeswoman Kari Aakre emphasized her company's "aggressive" targets of another kind of device -- Ultrabooks.  Thin, powerful, long-lived, yet expensive; Intel is betting that consumers will flock to the slender Windows 8 laptops.  She comments, "We think Ultrabook is the best solution for what consumers want.  We’re not backing off our goals."

But some OEMs, like Lenovo, are expressing skepticism about whether Intel can reach its target of having Ultrabooks account for 40 percent of holiday PC sales.  Comments Mr. Schmoock, "It’s going to require a very strong first couple of weeks of launch of Win 8.  They’ll be a lot bigger than they are now. I don’t know if it will get all the way up to 40 percent."

He estimates Ultrabooks will sell, but more to the tune 20 to 25 percent.  Lenovo has showed off Ultrabook designs, but is cautious about making bold sales forecasts.

At the end of the day Intel's biggest weakness is price.  With tablets from ARM Holdings plc. (LON:ARM) licensees being dramatically cheaper, and with its own ultrabooks being quite expensive, the budget-minded consumer majority may gravitate towards traditional laptops -- which Intel makes less money off from -- and ARM tablets.

Of course, Intel could always surprise Lenovo and its critics, delivering sales hits in both spaces.  One thing's for sure -- the ARM v. Intel battle should be an intriguing storyline this holiday season.

Source: Bloomberg

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RE: Win8 tablets will hit the $300 mark very quickly
By Pirks on 8/17/2012 9:19:41 PM , Rating: 1
Fair enough, but probably not that many people would like to run the legacy non-touch compatible apps on a touch screen so maybe this legacy app compatibility thing is not that important. What's the point in running kbd/mouse app with tiny mouse-friendly pixel-precise UI controls? It won't properly with your fat finger anyway. This is why I think ARM has a chance against Intel. Because legacy apps on a touch screen are useless. Just try to navigate tiny legacy check boxes and radio buttons with your fat finger and you'll see for yourself.

By StevoLincolnite on 8/17/2012 10:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
Dont know about you, but I'm running 10-15 year old games on my Atom tablet amd they work fantastic with touch. It's the 3D accellerated games that were never designed with touch in mind that have problems.

By someguy123 on 8/18/2012 2:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I've seen a lot of people attempt to make their impulse tablet purchase practical by slapping on a keyboard. It basically gets the job done for taking down notes at work. I could see it being sort of like a piecemeal laptop, where you'd just pull out the screen on the plane to watch videos and play simple games, and then plug things in as needed or through bluetooth. You still need to jailbreak an ipad to get bluetooth mouse support, so that could be a selling point for microsoft's tablet if implemented.

By Fritzr on 8/18/2012 11:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough, but probably not that many people would like to run the legacy non-touch compatible apps on a touch screen

I do it routinely with iPod Safari & Opera viewing desktop webpages. Zoom is your friend.

A 10 to 12 inch tablet will be a much better experience than an iPod is. The usability of non-mobile webpages on iPod tells me that non-mobile apps will be usable on a full tablet. Unless the program requires use of a full keyboard or a physical mouse, the ease of use will be not be greatly degraded. For me the problem is simply that I do not like on screen keyboards all that much.

Clicking through menus, sliders and check boxes will be fairly easy with touch screen and for a little bit finer control an aftermarket stylus will be a useful accessory. Currently available for the iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone, styluses are priced from $9.95 on up.

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