War With Android Begins As Cheap Windows 8 Tablets Finally Appearing In The Market
Microsoft’s tablets are really expensive and everyone can agree on that, not that they are not good but shelling out almost a $1000 for tablet might be a waste in the eyes of some people. Well, it seems the company is now ready to change the trend and introduce itself to the lower level market with the cheap and small screen tablets it promised back in April.
Toshiba and Acer have announced their Windows 8 powered devices during the starting days of IFA 2014 while the usual OEM partners such as Dell and HP are expected to announce their products soon.
The tablets will be considerably low-spec devices with 7- or 8-inch screens, but of course that is to be expected given the price tag of $120 to $150 and the Intel Atom processor.
Toshiba’s Encore Mini was the first small-screen Windows 8 tablet announced at IFA. It sports a 7-inch (1024×600) screen, quad-core Bay Trail (Atom Z3735G) SoC, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage with the option to expand memory through a micro-SD card. Windows 8.1 comes pre-loaded in the tablet along with a year of Office 365 Personal and 1TB of OneDrive storage.
According to Toshiba, the battery should last around 7 hours which is pretty good for a $120 device. The tablet is available to buy today, and should ship in the next couple of weeks.
Acer’s Iconia Tab 8 W is essentially the same thing with an 8-inch screen size supporting a 1280×800 display resolution. No definitive specifications have been revealed yet but it is expected to have a 32GB built-in storage and should be available in October with a price tag of $150.
HP might also be announcing its 7 inch Stream 7 tablet along with similar sized ones from Dell and ASUS.
These sub-$200 Windows 8.1 devices are a very interesting proposition. Now that Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 are free for all devices with an 8-inch-or-smaller screen, it’s finally possible for Microsoft and its OEMs to compete the price of Android devices, which have so far dominated the cheap tablet market while Apple’s iPad still stays very expensive and somewhat useless device.
A cheaper price doesn’t necessarily make these Windows powered devices better than Android ones but they will definitely guarantee interested buyers giving them a look before opting for Android tablets since the OS bundled with these devices is a fully capable desktop one providing users the complete functionality of a Windows 8/8.1 PC after connecting a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.