Whatever the pros and cons of launching a Windows RT tablet to a disinterested market, Nokia is on the case with more details on its Sirius prototype coming to light. Will a full Windows 8 version follow to spark greater interest?
Pushing the RT Dream
We saw some details and possibly prototype images of Nokia's rumored Surface RT tablet floating around the Web a couple of weeks ago. Now some more solid details are starting to emerge ahead of the product's official unveiling sometime next month, plenty of time for the whole device to run naked around the streets, which suggests Nokia might want to move things forward.
Code-named Sirius, the tablet will offer a 10.1" 1080p HD screen, eschewing the option of a cheap and small tablet that recent Windows updates have paved the way for. Nokia's designers have been aiming to trump the iPad with a device that is thinner and lighter, weight shouldn't be a problem as it will likely have the same plastic-style casing and color range as Nokia's Lumia range of phones.
Within this thinner body will be the highly-popular, quad-core Snapdragon 800 ARM-powered processor, supported by 2GB of RAM, 32Gb of storage with microSD for more, HD-out video, a pair of modest cameras (6- and 2-megapixels), all driven by the weak-selling Windows RT operating system.
Selling to the Unconverted
Quite how Nokia plans to market this, given that even Lumia die-hard fans should have heard of RT's woes and limitations, and the availability of reduced price full-spec Windows 8 competitors, will be quite an interesting trick. Microsoft's recent price cuts and news of poor sales won't be helping its own partner.
If the Windows RT brand is to recover, pricing will be key, but Nokia is rumored to be charging around $500 for this, similar to the iPad, premium tablets and previous Surface devices. Certainly it has the hardware specifications to merit the price, but with Microsoft supposed to bringing its own second-generation models to the party, users still after an RT device will be struggling to find value and utility in any offering.
Perhaps there is some master plan, behind the phone company entering the tablet market to compete with its OS partner, at the high-end, with a product in a category that has seen weak sales, but its pretty hard to figure it out. Come September we'll find out more, but if the specifications hold up, then at least Nokia has something interesting to bring to the party, and if it adds Windows 8 support, could be onto a winner, however small.