With the holiday season over, Microsoft is looking to juice sales on new tablets running Windows 8.1. A quick look at the company's online store shows a slew of slates with price cuts, leaving many of them costing $249 or less.
In particular, models from Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba are seeing their prices slashed. While these are mostly the 8-inch tablets that make use of Intel's newer Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processors, there's also the Dell Venue 11 Pro, which comes with a 10.6-inch display and Atom Z3770 CPU and is $50 off at $499. Note that this is the same price as on Dell's website; on the other hand, Dell is still selling the Venue 8 Pro for $299.99, whereas Microsoft has cut $70 off the price. (Not surprisingly, the Microsoft store says it only has limited quantities of the Venue 8 Pro at this price.)
The two other Windows 8.1 8-inch tablets the Microsoft store currently has on sale are the Lenovo Miix 2 and the Toshiba Encore. In both cases the sale price -- $249 for either one ($50 off for the Miix 2 and $80 off for the Encore) is indeed lower than the list price they are being sold for on the Lenovo and Toshiba websites.
It may be a good time to become a Windows 8.1 tablet owner. That's because a forthcoming update to the OS (Windows 8.1 Update 1) could reduce some of the memory and disk space overhead issues that have plagued Windows 8-based tablets. ZDNet's James Kendrick recently wrote that he prefers the Windows 8.1 tablet experience to the Android one in some areas.
The Microsoft store's price cuts could make a purchase decision even more appealing. Then again, you could argue that the price cuts may be happening because not enough people are finding the Windows 8.1 tablet experience worth buying into. If you are interested in these tablet deals, don't wait too long -- the sale price on the Venue 8 Pro will end tomorrow, and the other specials will run out on February 9.