Asus' Vivo Tab RT tablet priced higher than Microsoft, Dell

The entry price of Vivo Tab RT is US$100 more than Microsoft's Surface, which is priced at $499

Asustek is shipping its upcoming Vivo Tab RT tablet starting at US$599, which will cost more than Windows RT tablets from Microsoft and Dell, which have an entry price of $499.

Asus is shipping the tablet with a dock accessory. Buyers cannot purchase the tablet without the dock accessory, a company spokeswoman said. Exclusion of the dock could have cut the entry price, but buyers will now have to shell out $599 for the Vivo Tab RT.

Asus is offering an optional keyboard dock with a built-in spare battery for $199, which could bring the overall purchase price of Vivo Tab RT to $798. With an add-on keyboard, Microsoft's Surface tablet with 32GB of storage is priced at $599.

The key figure with Windows RT tablets is Microsoft and Dell's entry price of $499, and any tablet with a higher entry price is less likely to succeed, said senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps of Forrester Research.

The Vivo Tab RT, which was originally called Tablet 600, was the first device to be shown with Windows RT. The tablet has a 10.1-inch screen and shows images at a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution.

The tablet weighs 520 grams, making it lighter than other Windows RT tablets including Microsoft's Surface and Dell's XPS 10. It is 8.35 millimeters thick.

The tablet has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which will give the device strong graphics and application performance. Other features in the tablet include 32GB of storage, 2GB of memory, a 2-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, a micro-HDMI port, a micro-SD slot and Bluetooth.

Like other RT tablets, the Vivo Tab RT will come with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which will include Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. However, the OS will not run existing Windows applications.

Asus is offering the Vivo Tab tablet that will run existing Windows applications, which is priced starting at $799 with a dock. The tablet has an 11.6-inch screen and will come with Windows 8 and Intel's Atom processor code-named Clover Trail.

Shipping information was not immediately available from Asus. However, retailers like Staples and Newegg are taking orders for the tablet.

Other companies that have announced Windows RT products include Samsung and Lenovo.

Microsoft is holding an event in New York City on Oct. 25 to kick off Windows 8 and RT operating systems. PCs and tablets with the operating systems are expected to start shipping on Oct. 26.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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