Although I appreciate the best-of-both-worlds benefit of Windows 8 hybrid devices, most of these laptop-tablet combos cost north of $750. And while Windows RT holds the promise of cheaper slates, several big-name companies are avoiding them like the plague. My guess is that the price of the software license is just too rich for Microsoft's partners. And then you have confusion over what RT can and can't do versus full-fledged Windows 8 machines. "So Windows RT is better for content consumption and comes with Office for free, while it's not included on Windows 8. Got it."
Whether it's a lower-cost Surface or a device made by a partner, Microsoft cannot afford to cede the lower end of the tablet market to Android. And that's not the only threat. Several laptop-makers have seen how well the $249 Samsung Chromebook is selling and are taking a serious look at offering their own in time for back to school. A low-cost Windows 8 slate will also be critical for spurring app development.
More: Top 10 Windows 8 Hybrids