The cost of Windows devices has been plummeting in recent months, with an astonishing array of affordable Windows smartphones and tablets being launched this year. The UK has been no stranger to these low-cost devices - the Lumia 530 for £49.95 off-contract is one example, as is the Linx 7 Windows 8.1 tablet, which went on sale a couple of months ago for £79.99.
But now, an even more affordable alternative to the Linx 7 is available, and it may just be the lowest-cost Windows tablet ever to launch in the UK. The Hipstreet W7 is now available via Carphone Warehouse for just £49, with no contracts or other commitments.
Its key specs include:
- 7-inch TFT LCD with 1024x600px
- Quad-core Intel Atom processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB onboard storage (plus microSD support up to 32GB)
- 2MP rear camera
- 0.3MP front-facing camera
- microHDMI port
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Like other low-cost Windows devices, the Hipstreet W7 includes a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription. Remarkably, this freebie is worth more than the device itself - in the UK, an Office 365 Personal sub costs £5.99 a month, or £59.99 for a full year; that's £10.99 more than the tablet will actually cost you, so there's no disputing the value that it offers.
In fact, you'll get even more value out of it when you consider that all Office 365 subscriptions are being upgraded to offer unlimited OneDrive online storage, and as we recently reported, you can even continue to store all of your files online in OneDrive's cloud after your subscription expires.
The W7's specs aren't exactly perfect though - the display is pretty low-res, and while you can expand the device's limited onboard storage with a microSD card, it doesn't support cards larger than 32GB.