Unconfirmed reports say Microsoft's Surface Windows RT tablet will sell for S199. It's hard to know whether that's true, but Lenovo says that its Windows RT tablets will cost between $200 and $300 less than full-blown Windows 8 tablets. At that price, they should be one of the tablet world's great bargains.
Earlier this week, a number of sites reported that Microsoft will sell its low-end Windows 8 Surface tablet for $199. Computerworld reports that at that price point, Microsoft would be selling the tablet at below cost. And selling it for $199 would certainly put Microsoft's OEM partners in a difficult position to try and match it, especially considering they'll have to pay Microsoft licensing fees. Those fees might be as high as $85 per device. So there's simply no way they could match either the Surface's price or hardware specs.
Lenovo gave a hint of its pricing for RT tablets when it told Bloomberg that Windows RT tablets will cost between $200 and $300 less than Windows 8 tablets. David Schmoock, head of Lenovo's North America operations also told Bloomberg that Windows 8 tablets will cost between $600 and $700. So that puts the price of a Lenovo Windows RT tablet anywhere between $300 and $500. That sounds more likely than $199.
At $200 or $300, a Windows RT tablet will be a great buy. Windows RT has most of the features that make Windows 8 a great tablet operating system. Mainly it's missing the Desktop. But for consumer level tablets like Windows RT will be, that's no great loss. At those prices, buyers will be getting a top-level tablet at a reasonable price.