Bay Trail might be a Windows RT killer

Transformer Book T100_1
Asus yesterday announced the inexpensive Transformer Book T100, an inexpensive Bay Trail based hybrid tablet. If other manufacturers follow suit, how can Windows RT compete?
I had some brief hands-on time with the T100 yesterday, and while it’s not without its compromises, it’s a fairly neat little system for the asking price. It runs Windows 8.1 and, as per Asus’ claims, can manage battery life up to 11 hours.
That’s a bit of a problem for Windows RT, the spinoff of Windows 8 that to date has only been on a handful of tablets, most notably Microsoft’s own Surface RT. Almost nobody bought a Surface RT, and Microsoft didn’t do that great a job explaining the differences and especially the limitations of Windows RT when it came to legacy app support.
It probably didn’t help in a worldwide sense that it had two nearly identical products — Surface RT and Surface Pro — and one of them was “full” Windows while the other wasn’t.

Microsoft is apparently due to announce new Surface products in New York on September 23rd, including an RT product. After yesterday’s Asus announcement, and presuming that other OEMs can make systems around the same price point, I’m left a little befuddled as to who a Surface RT product would be for.
The whole reasoning behind RT was that ARM is more power efficient, therefore a Surface RT tablet could (and did) run for longer than a Pro variant. But if you can pull that kind of battery life with full Windows use out of a Bay Trail based system, that advantage is at best eroded, and at worst completely eliminated.
Undeniably, what’s being rumoured to be called the Surface 2 (no RT here) will be built in a more premium fashion than Asus’ budget offering, and there’s something to be said for that in terms of comfort and style. But when you sell your tablet concept on productivity, not just consumption, and one is going to be significantly more productive than the other, what does the selling proposition become?

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