AT&T to offer Asus Windows RT tablet with LTE for $499

It is not yet clear if the price tag on the Asus VivoTab RT includes yearly commitments.

AT&T will start offering the first Windows RT tablet with LTE capabilities on Friday with prices beginning at US$499, the U.S. wireless carrier said on Tuesday.

AT&T will offer Asus' VivoTab RT tablet, which has a 10.1-inch screen and shows images at a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution. The price tag includes an accessory dock with a built-in keyboard and battery, which could extend the battery life of the tablet to 15 hours, Asus said.

The VivoTab RT tablet was originally called Tablet 600 and was the first to be shown with Windows RT. Other RT tablets include Dell's XPS 10 and Microsoft's Surface, which are not yet available with 3G or LTE mobile broadband capabilities.

AT&T did not immediately comment on whether a customer would need to make yearly mobile broadband commitments for the tablet. A base configuration of VivoTab RT without LTE is available for $549 on Newegg.com. Many retail sites have priced the tablet starting at $599.

AT&T offers other tablets with LTE including Apple's iPad and Samsung's Ativ Smart PC with Windows 8. Customers have an option to buy tablets at a lower cost with a two-year contract, or at a higher price with no yearly commitments.

Microsoft in late October released Windows 8 for devices based on x86 chips and Windows RT for devices running on ARM processors. The VivoTab RT has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a 2-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. Other features include 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a micro-HDMI port and a micro-SD slot.

The VivoTab RT is 8.35 millimeters thick and weighs 520 grams, making it one of the lightest Windows RT tablets.

The tablet will come with a Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT software package that includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. The Windows RT OS is not compatible with desktop applications written for older versions of Windows. Tablets with Windows 8 will support existing Windows applications.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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