Hints or no hints, we still don't know exactly how much Microsoft's Surface tablets will cost. Other manufacturers aren't keeping as tight a lid on their pricing plans, though. The folks at ZDNet have posted a leaked PowerPoint slide that reveals images, rough specifications, and price tags for three upcoming, Windows-powered Asus tablets.
The cheapest of the bunch will apparently be the Vivo Tab RT, a Tegra 3-powered slate with a 10.1" IPS display. Price: $599—or $798 if you throw in the optional, Transformer-style keyboard dock. This puppy will run Windows RT and ship with a pre-release copy of Office Home & Student RT.
Next up the, uh, lineup will be the Vivo Tab, which will feature an Atom Z2760 processor (of the Clover Trail variety, no doubt) and an 11.6" IPS panel. This device will set you back a whopping $799, and that's without the $199 keyboard dock. Not cheap. At least the Vivo Tab will run the x86 version of Windows 8, though.
Finally, at the high end, Asus will offer the Taichi. This novel hybrid features dual 11.6" 1080p displays: one in the usual location and another on the system's lid. When we saw the Taichi at Computex, Asus said it would feature an Ivy Bridge CPU and solid-state storage. Looks like the system is set to retail for $1,299.
I hope the Vivo Tab RT won't be Asus' cheapest Windows RT device. $599 is kind of a lot for a Tegra 3 slate these days, and it's especially pricey given the likely dearth of WinRT apps. These next-gen Windows slates probably need to undercut the iPad if Microsoft wants to capture a decent chunk of the tablet market.