Microsoft store chops prices on Windows 8.1 tablets

Microsoft store chops prices on Windows 8.1 tablets

Summary: Save up to $80 on new models from Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba.

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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.

[Via InformationWeek

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows, Windows 8

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52 comments
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  • I am not sure

    I understand the buyer demographic they are targeting. The original premise of Win 8 was a full powered OS that let you run Office and your Windows software on a tablet--which led to MS trying to broaden the definition of tablet to include hybrids. The success of the mini, the Kindle Fire, and a slew of Android tablets prompted MS to push Win 8 to smaller screens. What can a 8 in Win 8 offer that makes it a better buy than the competition? MS is getting competitive in price. They need to better define why people should buy a Windows tablet over the competition.
    krossbow
    • Pros and Cons

      The Pros:
      The tablets run desktop Windows applications.

      The Cons:
      Needs a bigger processor, making the tablets hotter, and either thicker or with a shorter battery duration. The desktop blue screen of death is brought to the tablet.
      Vbitrate
      • Let me simplify that...

        The Pros:
        The tablets run desktop Windows applications.

        The Cons:
        The tablets run desktop Windows applications.
        rfoto
      • None of those cons are valid anymore.

        Bigger processor? Making tablets hotter? This has never been a problem with Atom tablets.

        Thicker or with shorter battery life? Again, not a problem with Atom tablets.

        Blue screen of death? That hasn't been a problem since Vista. The only reason why it would pop up is if your hardware broke, or you went through Windows deleting system files like an idiot.

        Are you stuck in 2003 or something? Hell, there are Android and Windows tablets running the same hardware.

        Everything you said applies to Android as well.

        "Needs a bigger processor, making the tablets hotter, and either thicker or with a shorter battery duration. The kernel panic is brought to the tablet."
        ForeverCookie
      • Pros and cons

        Pros: The tablets run desktop Windows software.

        Cons: Needs a larger screen to fully take advantage of Windows desktop software.
        dave95.
        • Pros and cons..

          cons....if you consider the screens too small.....buy something called ... a Laptop

          I use a Surface RT and it's brilliant..no crashes, no BSOD, full Office Suite except Access, excellent battery life, superb build quality, USB and Micro SD slot...the only downside is that Microsoft could have done a better job promoting/marketing it.

          I'm a Group IT Manager and carry it round with me all day...I monitor our networks, check emails, update audits using Excel..all on the move...never had any problems with it .

          Most people don't realise that it has most of the features and controls, such as Control Panel, that are identical to their desktop and laptop brothers...the only major difference for business use is that you can't joint a client/server domain but it works exactly the same in a workgroup/shared drive/LAN/WAN as a normal desktop or laptop PC and including normal print activities to everything we use on our network.
          Otherwise, you can use it just like any other tablet for the usual browsing, email and social media.
          mja@...
    • as a very happy owner of a Dell Venue 11 Pro

      I see no case for windows tablets at anything below 10". I'd get an android tablet in a heart beat over anything windows at that size.

      larger windows hybrids are great tho
      theoilman
      • Why?

        Is there something that Android does at 8 inches that Windows is not capable of?

        I get there are more apps for Android right now, so that would make sense. Also some say the desktop is to small, but I would rather have the ability to use the desktop if I needed it than to not have it and need to put down my tablet to use another computer.
        Emacho
        • You don't know the answer?

          Android can steal your private data a hell of a lot more efficiently than Win8 since it is its primary feature.
          wackoae
          • You mean the Win8 that phones home every other day?

            That sends what music/videos you are playing home?
            That has to be repaired every month or two?
            That has automatic slowdowns built in...

            And allows viruses to take anything left?
            jessepollard
        • 2 main reasons

          #1 is of course apps. android has way way more tablet apps, and with an 8" screen windows tablets are just not usable for desktop apps.

          #2 is system access: with android being open source, there's a lot more you can do with the core system. with a larger device I'm happy with windows because the huge library of desktop apps more than makes up for this, but if I cant have that benefit anyway, then system access is a great bonus on top of tablet app library.

          so for small devices android wins for me hands down.
          theoilman
          • 8" screen

            Have you actually tried to use a Win 8.1 8" tablet in desktop mode? I've got one and I pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Touchscreen in desktop on the 8" is rather rough but with the accessories it works as well as any other Win 8.1 machine. If I'm going strictly tablet / touch mode then the Metro interface works well. I'll admit, I wasn't sold at first on Metro, especially on my non-touch laptop at the office, but I've warmed up to it pretty well on the tablet. And, BTW, I do have a 10" Android tablet and used a iPad for awhile, one loaned to me by my daughter. Gave that one back as I preferred Android over iOS.
            boomchuck1
          • tried it

            and no interest in such a tiny screen for desktop. could I use one if I was desperate to use a dekstop app? sure. but I wouldn't enjoy it, that's for sure. for every day use I'd get so frustrated I'd throw the device off the roof.
            theoilman
    • Convince Me

      After using an iPad (with Clamcase Pro keyboard) and a Miix2 8" tablet with Win8.1, the companies will ALL have to define why I should buy another tablet. Sorry, but for work - i.e., media CREATION - a laptop (or desktop) is my preferred choice. For media CONSUMPTION, my guess would be a Kindle Fire HD would fit the bill.
      Ira Seigel
  • I am not sure

    I understand the buyer demographic they are targeting. The original premise of Win 8 was a full powered OS that let you run Office and your Windows software on a tablet--which led to MS trying to broaden the definition of tablet to include hybrids. The success of the mini, the Kindle Fire, and a slew of Android tablets prompted MS to push Win 8 to smaller screens. What can a 8 in Win 8 offer that makes it a better buy than the competition? MS is getting competitive in price. They need to better define why people should buy a Windows tablet over the competition.
    krossbow
  • The displays are poor

    And it's Windows on a tablet. Fix these two things and this is a good deal.
    symbolset
    • Last time I checked

      The 8" Dell tablet has the same screen as on Samsung a Galaxy Tab 3, 1280x800. Worse than Pad mini with retina, but way better than the original iPad mini. It's very good.

      It can run everything your larger laptop can. Chances are, it may do it even faster than a mainstream laptop 2 years ago, definitely much faster than old netbooks. It can connect to a keyboard, mouse and a large display in case you need to edit a serious document or a spreadsheet. It works with any USB and wireless or Bluetooth device your laptop can.

      Instead of paying $1000 for MacBook Air and $500 for iPad, you pay $250 for two-in-one. It is more than $150 for the Android HDMI stick SJVN was impressed with, but you get a touch screen and an 8 hour battery for use on the go. LTE version is coming, too.
      Earthling2
      • It can run everything your larger laptop can

        I won't go so far as to agree with that. It will run MOST things your larger system can do, within the constraints of memory and speed... Remember, tablets don't have high end graphics cards built into them. Then too, editing in photoshop etc on an 8" tablet is a fool's game.... Yes, you probably can do it... but it's not going to be worth the effort...
        Chimera Obscura
        • It is a $250 computer

          You would do a serious Photoshop work in a MacBook Air, too. You'd need a larger monitor and a mouse. A larger monitor and a mouse can be attached to these small tablets though. The processor and memory are limited, but it is only a $250 computer after all, what you expect? Still, it is a full Windows PC, compatible with any program and any peripheral that works with Windows. And, as a bonus, it works very well as a tablet.
          Earthling2
      • how much

        more $$ to buy keyboard, mouse, large display, and more importantly where do you put all this stuff to make it work successfully? and where do you put all this stuff to preserve portability (the supposed advantage of tablets)? and why would you want this combination of stuff as opposed to a straightforward 15" laptop?
        bunkport