There are cheap Windows tablets and then there are cheap Windows tablets and thanks to the HKTDC show in Hong Kong, we are now seeing devices that cost as little as $65. That price represents a new entry-level, well below the $81 price of the most affordable Windows 8.1 tablet previously announced - but what you get for that price is nothing short of bare-bones entry level equipment.
So what does this low cost actually get you? You will get a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an Intel Z3735G quad-core Bay Trail processor. The device is called the EM-i8170, and it is manufactured by Emdoor, which unveiled another low-cost Windows 8.1 device earlier this year - the $99 8-inch EM-i8080, which includes integrated 3G connectivity.
The $65 price may represent the cost at which the manufacturer sells these devices to other companies, who then re-brand them under their own identity which means that we could see a sizeable markup on top of these prices before the tablets actually go on sale. If this is true, the price for consumers may well be on-par with other entry level tablets.
Still, at $65, this is a ridiculously low price at which to buy a tablet that can run Windows and if we had a time machine and went back 10 years ago to say you could buy a Windows tablet for $65, you would have told us we were crazy. Now, it goes without saying that these are not high powered machines; still, it's an easy way for Microsoft to quickly gain market share at the entry level with these types of cheap devices.
But, one must wonder about the user experience too. If the end product is an awful experience for the consumer, it could turn them off the platform. Although, it does not seem to have affected Android.