What happens when you offer a free version of Microsoft Windows and cheaper Intel chips to hardware partners? You get low-cost devices. That sounds pretty obvious, but the actual price for some new Windows tablets is a surprising $65. It’s not likely we’ll see these in the U.S., but they could be a sign of things to come.
Liliputing reported on the new tablets, found by Mike Cane who was following the Hong Kong Electronics Fair event. Ployer’s $65 slate, for example, uses an 8-inch touchscreen and [company]Intel[/company] Atom processor, although other specs aren’t available. Another $65 tablet is available from Emdoor; it uses a smaller 1024 x 600 7-inch screen, 1 GB of memory and 16 GB of internal storage with an Intel quad-core BayTrail chip.
The possibility of either tablet being made available in the U.S. is as slim as a piece of e-paper — meaning nonexistent. Here in the states, the lowest-priced Windows 8.1 with Bing tablet Microsoft sells directly, for example, is the Toshiba Encore Mini, a 7-inch slate with 1280 x 768 display and Intel Atom processor. Normally it costs $119 but it’s on sale for $99. So the big-name brands we’re used to aren’t yet at the $65 market.
However, it’s clear that [company]Microsoft[/company] to a large degree — and likely Intel as well — are attractively pricing their wares to hardware partners that could make Windows tablets more of an impulse buy. At the moment, that may be the best strategy to turn the tides on a market flooded with Android and iOS tablets running on ARM-based processors. It could even make a dent in the education sector, which is very price-conscious — something else that would help Microsoft since schools have been turning to both iPads and low-cost Google Chromebooks of late.