NOTE: A very few programs written especially for Windows 8 can be run on both Windows 8 for desktop and laptop computers as well as on Windows 8 RT for tablets and smartphones. However, there are very few such programs available so far.You can find my earlier articles about Windows 8 RT by starting at http://goo.gl/gEKaS.
Microsoft has sold tablet computers directly, called the Microsoft Surface. I purchased one on the day the Surface was released and wrote a review of it a few days later. That review is still available in the Plus Edition newsletter at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=22758. I must admit I haven't turned the Microsoft Surface tablet on since the day I finished writing that review.
Other tablet computers running the same Windows 8 RT operating system have been manufactured by other companies, noticeably ASUS.
The sales of the new Windows 8 RT operating system and the tablet computers that use it have been underwhelming. One estimate last month states Windows 8 tablets make up just 2.8 percent of 2013′s market share, while tablets running Apple's iOS make up 46 percent. Of course, from sales disappointments we sometimes find bargains for consumers. Asus has drastically slashed the price of its Windows 8 RT tablet computer.
The Asus VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR has a retail price of $599. Until recently, even the discount retailers sold it at or near the full retail price. However, Amazon has now slashed the price by 36%, to $382.85.
If you are in the market for a well-built tablet computer that will surf the web, read and write email messages, work well as a word processor, play music, watch videos, and even play a few games, the Asus VivoTab RT could be a very attractive device at its new price. To be sure, you probably won't be able to add many new programs and there are no genealogy programs available for Windows 8 RT. However, if you simply want a device that performs the basics, the Asus VivoTab RT could be perfect.
This Windows 8 RT tablet features a very bright and easily-readable 10.1-inch touchscreen display, an NVIDIA Tegra 3.0 1.3 GHz Processor, 32 gigabytes of flash memory for program and data storage, 2 gigabytes of RAM memory for running programs, plus full 802.11/BGN wireless wi-fi networking.
The Asus VivoTab RT is available from Amazon at http://goo.gl/OZheI for $382.85. I suspect it will soon be available from other retailers at similar prices.
COMMENTS: Amazon prices seem to jump up and down frequently, sometimes even daily. The price for the Asus VivoTab RT is listed as $382.85 as I write these words on April 5 but could also jump up or down a bit by the time you read this article. Also, I believe this is a "close out sale." That is, the price is in effect as long as supplies last. Once sold out, I suspect the Asus VivoTab RT will no longer be available.If you purchase this tablet computer, you may become a member of a very small group of Windows 8 RT tablet owners. You probably will be the only person on your block to own one. Yet, if you want an easy-to-carry and easy-to-read tablet that performs well, surfs the web, reads and writes email messages, works well as a word processor, plays music, displays videos, and even plays a few games, the Asus VivoTab RT could be a good choice for you. As for me, I'll stick with my (much more expensive) iPad.
Microsoft has not yet announced any price reduction for the Microsoft Surface tablets sold directly by Microsoft.