Dell has already unveiled plans to introduce tablets running Windows 8 once Microsoft launches the new operating system later this year. Now CEO Michael Dell is providing (a few) more details.

Dell Streak 7
Dell Streak 7

Speaking to investors about the company’s earnings, Dell said that the company will have tablets ready to go as soon as Windows 8 launches.

But it’s worth noting that Dell doesn’t just talk about tablets, he uses the word “touch” a lot in his remarks — which makes sense since Windows 8’s touch capabilities aren’t just for tablets. PC makers are also expected to release notebook and all-in-one desktop computers with capacitive touch panels for use with Windows 8 touch-based gestures.

It should come as no surprise that adding hardware like a touch panel will drive up the cost of a computer. Dell says “we think the touchscreen products will certainly cost more. They’re more in the price points and price bands that we tend to operate in.”

In other words, while exact pricing isn’t available yet, you probably shouldn’t expect a Windows 8 tablet from Dell to compete price-wise with a $199 Android tablet. Dell largely abandoned the Android tablet space last year when the company discontinued the Streak 7 and Streak 5 tablets.

via CNET

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12 replies on “Dell’s Windows 8 tablets won’t be dirt cheap”

  1. :

    Thx for your extensive answer.
    @CyberGusa:disqus :
    But then, why not more netbooks fanless. All the more since netbooks can have air vent easily integrated to their design??

    @google-a6134e5fc9de7e7c9854ef578aa55cdb:disqus :
    100$… It seems rather expensive. It should be the price for Metro, not RT. But with a light office included and the greed of MS, one cannot know if this rumor (I wouldn’t call it news, yet) is true.

    Anyway, it won’t be a 100$ difference with Android since manufacterers must pay MS for putting Android in their tablets/phone.
    Yes, you read correctly. MS is claiming ownership on several patents and manufacturers pay the tax (close to 50$ I think) to avoid lawsuits.
    B&N took a stand on that matter (in court).

    It could be one of the reasons they’re in business with MS now with a joint venture.

    1. Air vents are for fan cooling, can’t move air without a way for it to flow after all.

      It’s just that passive cooling tends to suck, air can act more like a insulator when it’s not moving.  So thermals have to be very low to go fanless or the system will need a very large heat sink to compensate.  While often for tablets the casing becomes the heat sink and that can get uncomfortable fast.
      They will have more fan-less netbooks though, Intel recently announced reference designs for 5W fan-less system designs that any system maker could use to help promote it.

      They’ll just be mainly limited to the N2600 as one of the few ATOMs right now that just make the 5W system TDP (3.5W for the N2600 and 1.5W for the NM10 Express Chipset South Bridge).

      At least until Clover Trail comes out, being that it’ll replace Oak Trail, and uses many of the same optimizations they used for Medfield to minimize power consumption and heat without impacting performance as much as previous ultra low powered ATOMs.

      Mind a tablet version of Medfield is also due out for x86 Android tablets.

      While even the N2800 runs cooler than the previous N550/N570 ATOMs and in most cases you’ll never hear the case fan.

      Thermals for all ATOMs should also get better with the 22nm update and the push to make them better for mobile use.

      AMD is potentially also getting something that could be good for tablets next year with their Tamesh update that could compete with Clover Trail and offer AMD based fan-less designs. 

      For now AMD has the 5.9W Desna Z-01 and are looking at a Hondo update before the end of the year that’ll bring them to maybe 4.5W.  I just don’t think they can go fanless until Tamesh though that’ll bring it down another watt or two.

      Just don’t expect too many models right now because the netbook market is in a slump and most are waiting on Windows 8 to come out before they’ll start pushing new products again.

      So it’ll pick up by 4th quarter and jump again in the second half of next year when the 22nm updates come out.

  2. If the news of $100 Win8 OEM license for tablets is true, then these prices are somewhat understandable.

    Win8 will have a hard time to compete with Android tablets if they are $100 more expensive to start with.  This will especially affect ARM based WinRT tablets since their utility will be far less than x86 Win8 tablets (no Desktop Mode and cannot run traditional x86 apps).

    Particularly, WinRT will get into trouble if Android 5 gets a proper Desktop Mode or Ubuntu for Android catches on.

    1.  Windows RT still has desktop mode, it’ll just be mainly limited to MS apps like Office.

      While Metro apps should work mostly for both x86 or ARM for a little cross platform pooling of available apps.

      Otherwise I agree with your post…

  3. I sincerely hope Dell has learned a lesson from trying to chase the android tablet market, and that’s that they can’t slap cheap horrible screens on their product and hope it competes via the spec sheet.  Every time I looked at a Dell Streak of any flavor the first thing that hit me was that the screen just sucked. I could never see buying one, especially since the only hands on time I ever got with them were in kiosks where they were right next to iPads and Transformers, and then some ultra-cheap Asian imports which were the only things they compared favorably to.

    I guess what I’m saying is that Dell better be ready to bring it’s A game to the party, because it’s going to have some intense competition.  I can’t imagine that Asus wont bring out a x86 Win 8 version of a proven design like the transformer, and that is going to be hard to beat with Streak class hardware.

  4. That’s not a Streak 5.  I have one.  Your device has no battery door.

  5. I think this revelation of highly priced Windows 8 Tablets if true will handicap the sales of these devices giving Android a bigger foot up.

    I love my Asus Transformer Prime, but have been excited about a Windows 8 Tablet but that excitement is waning rapidly and I have been turning my attention toward the new Asus Transformer Pad Infinity.

    1. Well, I assume we’re talking about x86 tablets rather than ARM… and we don’t know the exact pricing. But the Transformer Pad Infinity will likely cost $500 or more and that’s without a keyboard dock. So it’s possible Dell will have something competitive.

      But I don’t think we’ll see a Kindle Fire/NVIDIA Kai killer here. 

      1. Tell me, what x86 cpu could go in a tablet?
        Because the N2600 at 5W TDP counting the gpu – and even this one couldn’t make it in a 7″ tablet – will already be really difficult to integrate in a 10″ because of the heat problem and the fanless design of tablets.

        So, thoughts?

        1. Well, Intel can already put their Core i-Series processors into 11.6″ and larger tablets and it’s just going smaller that’s the problem… maybe next year with Haswell they can push the limits a little further.

          Though there appears to be at least one prototype Core i5 tablet already, complete with keyboard dock, that’s may not be as small but is nearly as thin and light as ARM tablets but cost and whether it’ll actually gets mass produced remains to be seen.

          Mind ARM is experimenting with larger than 10″ tablets as well.  So the market may not remain dominantly just 10.2″ or less anymore.

          For now the Intel N2800 is already being used in 10″ tablets with the Gigabyte S1081 Windows 7 tablet that Amazon has listed for $656.24, which includes accessories and gives you a tablet with the full range of PC ports.For better though the ATOM needs to improve but that’s already on Intel’s schedule. 

          The next update is called Clover Trail and is due out just before Windows 8 and adopts many of the enhancements introduced with Medfield and moves it to a more capable dual core design that should do well for likely fan-less tablets that can better compete with ARM.

          ARM devices will still likely be thinner and lighter than Intel’s but Intel could get close enough to provide comparable devices with at least as much success as Medfield has gotten. 

          Mind how Windows 8 will effect the market remains to be seen and could effect whether or not Intel has any side advantages over ARM.

          Also Intel will be offering more than just Windows 8, as they also got Tizen, and if they can move back to a GMA based on their own GPU then they’ll also have a wider range of Linux support than ARM has.

          While we’ll see if the 22nm update will be a game changer or not.

    2.  You’re misunderstanding what was stated, the cost of a touch screen is already included in a tablet.  But it’s notebooks and desktops that are being considered to have touch screens added as standard with Windows 8 and that’s the new variable on pricing that was being referred to in the Dell statement!

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