Microsoft is beginning its push into the low cost tablet market with a selection of new products announced today at IFA in Berlin. In doing so the company is tackling Android head on, attempting to steal away some market share in a crowded and fierce market.
The first device unveiled was Toshiba's Encore Mini, which packs a 7-inch 1024 x 600 display, an unspecified quad-core Intel Atom SoC, and 16 GB of internal storage plus an SD card slot. It runs Windows 8.1 with Bing, which is Microsoft's low-cost operating system variant that requires OEMs set Bing as Internet Explorer's default browser.
Most importantly, the Encore Mini goes on sale today for just $119.99, making it one of the cheapest devices on the market running Windows. It also comes with a one year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which might come in handy for on-the-fly document creation if you manage to successfully navigate the Windows 8.1 desktop environment.
Acer also announced a cheap Windows 8.1 tablet, the Iconia Tab 8 W, which packs an 8-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display and will retail for just $150. Internally you'll find Intel's 'Bay Trail' Atom Z3735G SoC, and there's a pair of cameras on board plus a microSD card slot. Like the Encore Mini, the Iconia Tab 8 W runs Windows 8.1 with Bing.
These two tablets aren't the only sub-$200 Windows devices expected to be available for the upcoming holiday season. HP is also reportedly working on a $99 tablet to slot into their Stream line, while other manufacturers are likely to join in on the action as well.