Dell stops offering $300 standalone WinRT tablet


— 6:00 AM on August 19, 2013

Remember how Dell cut the price of its RT-powered XPS 10 slate to $299.99 back in May? Yeah, well, that offer is gone.

As PC World reports, the XPS 10 is now available only with a bundled keyboard dock—and for a total of $479.99. A visit to Dell's website shows that same price tag on both the 32GB and 64GB versions of the device. A third model with integrated LTE connectivity is available for $579.99.

Analyst Robert Kay tells PC World that Dell could be trying to paint the XPS 10 as more of a productivity machine than a content consumption vehicle. There might be some truth to that. After all, Windows RT comes bundled with a version of Office 2013 with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Outlook will be added to the package later this year.

Dell's move may also hint that there's little excitement around the idea of a standalone Windows RT slate—even if that device is heavily discounted. The dearth of native apps and lack of x86 compatibility make WinRT an unappealing proposition at any price. On top of that, I expect the profit margin on the $300, standalone version of the XPS 10 probably wasn't too great.

This isn't the first blow to Windows RT in recent weeks. Last month, Microsoft cut the price of its Surface RT tablet from $499 to $349. The company subsequently wrote off $900 million related to "Surface RT inventory adjustments," a clear sign that the device didn't sell well. Asus later announced that it, too, had lost money on sales of its VivoTab RT tablet—and that it planned to stop making Windows RT tablets altogether.

   
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