Asus Windows RT Tablet can be preordered for $599 -- at that price, it'll be tough to beat iPads

The pricing for one of the first wave of Windows RT tablets is here, and it won't come cheap. The ASUS Vivo Tab RT 10-inch tablet can be preordered right now from Newegg, and it'll set you back $599. At that price, it'll be tough to compete against iPads.

The ASUS Vivo Tab RT listed for sale on Newegg comes with 32GB of storage, 2GB of memory, and a 10.1-inch 1280 by 800 touchscreen. There's also a MicroSD slot and an HDMI port. As for the processor, it's a bit confusing, because the site  it as having a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, which is a quad core, but also lists a single core processor. My guess is that the single core processor listing is an error.

At $599, this is not a budget tablet. And that's its problem. You can get an iPad for $499, although it comes with 16GB of storage. For $599, you can get the 32 GB storage version. Will many people buy a Windows RT tablet at the same price as an iPad? I think not. And remember, Windows RT tablets are expected to be budget tablets, with the full-blown Windows 8 tablets being more expensive.

It's true that the ASUS Vivo Tab has an HDMI slot and a MicroSD slot, which iPads don't have. But I don't think HDMI or additional storage are important enough to most people to get them to choose a Windows RT tablet over an iPad.

Windows 8 is an extremely good tablet operating system, and given that Windows RT is its very close cousin, Windows RT will likely be just as good. In some ways, Windows 8 is a better tablet operating system than iOS, for example, its live tiles that deliver constantly changing information in a simple-to-scan way.

But the iPad dominates the market, and if Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets are to make headway against it, they'll have to compete at least partially on price. With this first piece of pricing information, it looks as if they might not do that. And if they can't, they may not gain much market share.

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