Microsoft's promise to have cheaper mobile devices running Windows 8.1 available continues to ring true, as Dell becomes the latest company to produce a Windows tablet with a price tag starting under $200.
Already in the last few weeks, Toshiba has unleashed its Venue 8 Pro 3000, Dell can't match Acer's price, but its 8-inch device is still value-priced at $199.99 for the base configuration., and Walmart will soon be selling . Acer is also delivering , an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet that is priced from $149.99. With
Unfortunately, it's unclear what that extra $50 gets you that the Acer doesn't already provide. The specs are nearly identical, from the Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core Bay Trail processor to the 1GB of RAM to 1,280x800 display. You can get the Venue 8 in a glossy white finish, but that costs you an extra $20. Like other recent Windows tablets, Venue 8 Pro 3000 also comes with a year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal access for free.
In addition to the white case option, you can also pick up the Venue 8 Pro 3000 with the Dell Duo tablet case for an additional $15. The standard case color is blue, but it's available in red, purple, black, and gray as well. Alternately, you can grab it with a stylus and folio case for $229.99. If you're looking for better specs, the Venue 8 Pro 5000 offers a better Atom CPU and twice the RAM starting at $249.99.
Whether the Venue 8 Pro 3000 proves to be worth the extra $50 over the Acer Tab 8 W remains to be seen, but ZDNet's own Ed Bott did speak in glowing termslast year. Considering that model cost $100 more than this year's iteration, the modestly improved specs and lower price could help Microsoft continue what appears to be to get Windows 8.1 on more devices.