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Archos readying its first Windows 8.1 tablet for $149

After years of producing only Android tablets, the company is readying the 80 Cesium, an 8-inch Windows 8.1 slate with a budget price.

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French device maker Archos has been trying to break into the Android mobile market in a big way again and again and again . While it hasn't abandoned those plans, it's apparently come to the conclusion that it needs to diversify its offerings a little. As a result, the company is embracing Windows as part of its forthcoming device rollout (after putting out a Windows 7 tablet way back in 2009), not only with a $99 smartphone, but also with an 8-inch tablet.

Dubbed the Cesium 80, the slate runs Windows 8.1 with an Intel quad-core processor inside. The specific CPU, along with many other specs, are still unknown, though we do know that the display sports a resolution of 1,200x800. The other thing we know -- and which may trump any spec talk -- is the price. When it becomes available in October, the Cesium 80 will cost just $149.

While that price point is hardly news for an 8-inch Android tablet, it is noteworthy for a Windows version. That's because the cheapest smaller Windows tablets have recently been priced at $199, though Microsoft has definitely been worried this year about getting Windows 8.1 into more devices at lower price points .

That explains Microsoft's recent price cut for its Surface 2 tablet , though it still costs $349 and runs Windows RT instead of the full version of Windows 8. Archos' other new tablet, the Android-based 101 Oxygen, epitomizes Microsoft's dilemma: The 10-inch model will run $249, or $100 less than the Surface 2 after the price cut.

If the Cesium 80 does well, perhaps a 10-inch Archos Windows 8.1 tablet for $249 will emerge. Is the $149 price tag low enough for you to consider an 8-inch Windows tablet from Archos? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.