Recently Zdnet conducted a poll trying to determine what most of its readers would be willing to pay for a Windows 8 tablet.
Keep in mind that this is just a sampling of people, and likely more tech-minded individuals at that, but nonetheless interesting.
The poll determined that 38% would pay between $200-$399, 27% between $400-$699, and 19% wanted under $200. The remaining 16% would be willing to pay over $699.
So this means that the ideal tablet, at least based on the consumer interest at Zdnet, would be not much more than the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet.
In past articles I’ve talked about how Microsoft needs to blend consumption and creation, while targeting a mid-range price point.
A $349-$399 tablet would do just that, this is a very similar price range conclusion that was drawn by another article writer here at Windows 8 Update.
This price range wouldn’t have the huge price tag of the iPad but could still offer features that just couldn’t be done with more budget-centric options like the Kindle Fire.
For the 19% that wanted a tablet under $200? They can probably hold their breathe. Why do I say that? Because most tablets in that price range use 800×600 resolutions and resistive screens.
Metro doesn’t support such a low resolution, meaning that $100-$199 tablets with Windows 8 aren’t likely unless Microsoft changes it’s resolution support between now and final release (which I suppose is possible).
In another article today, I talked about how a Windows Media Player app that was re-designed from the ground up for Metro (and completely replaces the desktop version) could also pull together features from Windows Media Center and Zune to give content consumption-type users the ultimate viewing experience.
Such a tablet that could connect remotely to a device like the 360 for streaming content (think of a TV-tuner for 360 that streams to a tablet) and be used for watching and recording video, while maintaining a price of about $349-$399 could certainly have some mass appeal.
Through in some version of Office for Metro, and you have yourself a great blend of content creation and consumption. Also a price point of around $399 could still include features like Kinect cameras that would further set it apart.
Bare in mind, this is yet again speculation at best. Still, regardless of what kind of apps (like my fantasy WMP app) surface for W8, it seems clear that a price point that is mid-range between iPad and options like Kindle Fire, is likely the best target for Microsoft and its partners.
Of course, the beauty of having multiple partners both on the vendor hardware front and processor front, is that Microsoft can cater to a large variety of price ranges, and give everyone a little bit of everything.
The negative side to playing such a wide-spectrum is that it can sometimes create market confusion, and consumers won’t necessarily understand the difference between that $249 tablet and that $1000 tablet (this is actually similar in the PC world, too). It is safe to say though that until screen technology improves, sub-$149 tablets are likely not going to run Windows 8.
I personally think that a Windows 8 app that has killer media functions and Office support could certainly be worth $299-$449 in price point? What does everyone else think about such a device? Share your thoughts below.