Now we know the price difference between ARM-based and Intel-
based Windows 8 tablets — at least those from Acer.
More Windows 8 tablets with docking keyboards are being
announced. Acer, a major maker of portable PCs, has announced
its Intel-based Iconia W510 Windows 8 10.1-inch tablet that
has an optional laptop dock with a full keyboard. It comes
with 2GB of memory and either 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage.
Availability of the Iconia W510P in the US and Canada starts
November 9. It will be $799.99 for the 64GB tablet, which
includes the laptop dock, two-year warranty and Windows 8 Pro.
The price is certainly at the low end of what Ultrabooks have
been selling for, so that should make both Microsoft and Intel
There will be three ARM-based models that use the RT version
of Windows 8. They include a low-end one for $499 for a 32GB
tablet and a high-end one with 64GB and a laptop dock for
$749.99 that’s comparable in specs to the Intel-based one.
So, we see the cost differential between comparable Intel and
ARM Windows 8 hardware is only $50:
– 64GB ARM-based with laptop dock and W8 RT $749.99
– 64GB Intel-based with laptop dock and W8 Pro $799.99
It’s impossible to tell if the price difference is due to a)
Intel processors costing more than ARM processors or b) the RT
version of W8 costing less than the Pro version. There’s
another very real possibility: Microsoft and/or Intel may be
subsidizing the price of the Intel-based Pro model.
Acer says usage between battery charging is 9 hours for the
tablet and 18 hours total with the laptop dock and its second
battery. As a tablet it’s 0.35-inch thick and weighs 1.32 lbs.
There are two cameras: an 8MP camera on the back and a 2MP
camera on the front for full HD video conferencing. The
1366×768 screen, which is covered with Gorilla Glass 2 for
protection, can be inserted into the docking station backwards
to be in presentation mode with the keyboard at the rear of
Acer has been making Android tablets with similar features, so
what differentiates these from those is Windows 8. It’ll be
interesting to see how well they sell in two markets:
consumers and the corporates. We expect the Intel-based one to
do well with companies that have major investments in Windows
software and in user training. HP with an Intel-based Windows
8 tablet will be a major factor in the corporates because of
its large sales and support staff.
It’s going to be much harder for Acer in the consumer market,
mainly because of Apple, but also fierce competition from
makers of Android tablets, which are very consumer-centric,
and because Android tablet makers Google, Amazon and Samsung
each badly wants to be number two to Apple in tablets.