Can Windows Slates Be Cheap Enough to Compete With Alternatives?

Slates are all the rage and we’ve seen a few packing Windows 7 onboard, including this new model dubbed the Netbook Navigator. I’m not sure what a slate has to do with being a netbook, but it looks like a compelling device. Like other Windows slates, the Netbook Navigator is a netbook with no keyboard, making it a “less is more” type of device. More is definitely the case as the 3G-enabled model of the NN will reportedly cost $1,199. Yowza, that’s a dent in the wallet for what is essentially a netbook missing the keyboard. There will also be a model of the NN without 3G (and less storage), and that will retail for $799. That’s still a healthy price penalty for producing a netbook missing the keyboard.

This leads to the observation that the cost of Windows slates may not be competitive with alternatives. I suspect that we will see slates with ARM processors and a form of Linux for a lot less than these Windows slates. It’s worth noting that the Netbook Navigator web site mentions a cheaper model coming that will run Windows 7 Starter Edition. If I’m not mistaken Starter Edition lacks the advanced touch features of Windows 7. What’s a geek to do?