For $99, you can now get a quad-core 3G Windows 8.1 tablet

A few weeks ago, the first ultra-low-cost Windows 8.1 tablet stepped into the limelight at Computex. Created in collaboration with Microsoft and Intel, the Emdoor EM-i8080 wasn't exactly a mobile powerhouse, but it did have one major selling point: its $100 price tag. 

Since Microsoft announced its decision to waive its OS licensing fees on phones and small tablets, many more companies have chosen to dip their toes into the Windows waters, and the latest to do so is China's Kingsing. The company already sells a range of affordable Android handsets, but it has now shown off its first Windows tablet, the W8, which will go on sale for just $99, as GizmoChina reports. 

Like the Emdoor device, the W8 has specs appropriate to its low cost. That means you'll get a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Bay Trail-T processor and 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of onboard storage and an SD card slot. You'll also find an 8-inch IPS LCD screen with 1280x800px resolution, and there are front and rear 2MP cameras too, as well as stereo speakers.

The device isn't too chunky at 10mm-thick, and even features 3G connectivity (with support for GSM, CDMA and TD-SCDMA), along with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB and microHDMI ports, and a 4500mAh battery. It even includes Windows 8.1 with Bing, rather than the more functionally limited Windows RT. 

Not bad at all for $99. It's not clear yet whether or not the device will go on sale outside of China, but one thing's for sure - we're going to be seeing plenty more low-cost Windows tablets in the weeks and months ahead. 

Source: GizmoChina via WinBeta | images via GizmoChina

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45 Comments

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I have a significant problem with these companies that produce a product knowing full well that the actual end use experience will in most cases be negative. The product described can not possibly accomplish even rudimentary processes demanded by Windows or even the latest Linux product with any efficiency. Consumers are there fore being taken for a major scam.

I hope Kinsging comes to India. These are decent specs for India. For INR 6000-7000 range it is a very good tablet. Good price, good resolution, Wifi b/g/n, microUSB AND microHDMI, if battery lasts long enough I may be tempted to buy one.

This looks nice. Does anyone if these low-cost have locked BIOS/bootloaders or can you install any x86 OS (e.g., Linux) on it?

$99 and people still complaining. Hilarious. It's less than a pair of shoes for goodness sake. Even if falls apart in your hands after 12 months it's exceptional value.

PhilTheThrill said,
Hilarious. It's less than a pair of shoes for goodness sake.

Haha, not if you're a woman. My lil lady's latest pair of cute red strappy high heels cost her £200. She looks cute in them though, so they were worth it, I'd rather have her in a pair of shoes she likes than have a cheap tablet, we're both geeks too :)

I'm going to wait for a review, but if it is reasonable given the specs and price, I'll probably end up with 2 for the kids and one for me as a media specific device. At that price, its a disposable replacement when the kids inevitably break it.

You can buy it for $140 on AliExpress, with an English version of Windows. That's around £82 so not bad at all, don't think ill get one though. Would be nice to see some reviews of the tablet however.

For $99 may have to get one just for giggles.. low expectations for any device at that price, have picked up a few junk Androids in the past (I like Androids, but very underwhelming at that price), curious to see how RT performs at that price point.

Yea I saw that a few posts above after I wrote this one -- still think it looks viable if you stick to Modern or web apps. I've done 1GB VM's with 8 and the performance was decent, as long as you avoid big desktop software. 8's actually rather memory efficient, especially with lightweight Modern stuff. Again, for $99, I'd have low expectations to begin with.. don't try and pretend it's a Surface Pro 3 obviously.

Might be interesting to try, but money's too tight at the moment to spend $100 just to satisfy my curiosity. Especially with only a 16 GB system drive. 32 GB on my SurfRT feels tight at times between the OS and apps. I don't think I'd be able to have much more than the OS itself installed in 16.

DConnell said,
Might be interesting to try, but money's too tight at the moment to spend $100 just to satisfy my curiosity. Especially with only a 16 GB system drive. 32 GB on my SurfRT feels tight at times between the OS and apps. I don't think I'd be able to have much more than the OS itself installed in 16.

Winboot should alleviate the problem a bit :)

Windows 8.1 introduced a few ability to squeeze the OS down even more than what shipped on Surface RT and Surface 2. This feature is only available on new OEM installs.

spark7210 said,
I gb ram...BIg trouble.

Not really, figure you are only going to run metro apps on it. Most are very efficient.

Agreed. This is an x86-64 architecture tablet and Windows 8.1 itself would take a massive chunk of the 1GB of RAM available. Maybe (underlined in red) if one sticks to metro apps rather than desktop applications it would be fine but then I would rather get an RT model.

Oh shoot I glanced over the article and I thought this was an RT at first, 1GB would be fine. Full Windows 8 yea that will be problematic.. it does run with 1GB, I've done VM's with only 1GB for a larf/testing and 8 actually performs passably well with Modern apps, just don't expect to run something big like Chrome/etc on it. If you stick with Modern apps only it'll probably do ok. I've got an old junker tablet here running XP Tablet Edition with only 512MB and it does work, but once you're past loading the OS itself.. well, you can go to lunch while it loads something and beats the swap file to death.

Depends what the battery is like, most of the cheap Chinese Android tablets have terrible battery life.

vcfan said,
well it does have a 4500mah battery, compared to the venue 8 pros 4800mah.

It may well do but is it a good quality battery or one of those crappy ones?

true, we'll see when the benchmarks are out. they do say battery life is rated 6-8 hours though. if it does reach those levels, I would say that's pretty respectable at that price point.

from what i checked, it doesnt really have 3G SIM card support built-in, but it only have wifi and bluetooth, while wth the micro usb port, user can use micro usb to usb female OTG cable to plug in their windows driver ready 3g dongle, since it is a full x86 windows.

some of the higher priced previous series with atom baytrail z3740 from other china vendor do have 3G SIM card support built-in.