Several under $300 Intel 'Bay Trail' Windows 8.1 devices to arrive this fall: Report

A crop of 8- and 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs are coming this fall, with several priced below $300, according to a new report.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft and its OEM partners have been doing a slow reveal of a number of the new Windows 8.1 tablets that are coming to market this holiday season.


For months, Microsoft execs have been promising there would be a new crop of smaller-screen, cheaper Windows tablets and devices arriving this fall, many with touch screens.

On September 12, Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott sped things up and did a near-all-at-once reveal of a number of partially announced and still unannounced Windows 8.1 devices due out this fall. Thurrott's post doesn't mention how or where the details. When I asked, he told me the information came from "sources close to Microsoft."

Thurrott posted to his site specs and screen shots of a number of Windows 8.1 tablets -- including still-unannounced devices from Nokia (the "Sirius" ARM-based Windows RT tablet -- a photo of which, courtesy of Thurrott, is embedded in this post above); Lenovo; and Dell. He also posted specs and a number of still-not-public pricing and battery-life details about some of the devices that Microsoft's partners showed at the IFA and Intel Developer Forum (IDF) shows this week.

If Thurrott's information is accurate, here's what's coming this fall/holiday season:

Acer: Updated version of 8-inch "Bay Trail" W3-810. Battery: 8 hours. Price: $349
ASUS: 10.1-inch "Bay Trail" Transformer Book Trio T100TA. Battery: 12 hours. Price: $329. (This is a complement to the pricier 13.3-inch Transformer Book.)
Dell: 8-inch "Bay Trail" Venue. Battery: 10+ hours. Price: $299
Dell: 10.8-inch codenamed "Midland" running "BayTrail." Battery life: 9 hours (replaceable). Price: $399
Lenovo: 8-inch "Bay Trail" Miix 8. Battery: 8 hours. Price: $249
Lenovo: 10.1-inch "Bay Trail" Miix 2. Battery: 8 hours. Price: $449.
Nokia: 10.1-inch Qualcomm (ARM) codenamed "Sirius." Battery: Up to 10 hours. Price: $499
Toshiba: 8-inch "Bay Trail" Encore. Battery: 6-7 hours. Price: $329

He also included specs on the two new Microsoft Surfaces, the Haswell-based Surface 2 Pro and the Tegra-based Surface 2, which mirror what leaked over the past week. Thurrott added that the coming Surface Mini will also be ARM-based (Qualcomm Snapdragon), as some of us had expected, and will have an eigh-inch screen.

Microsoft is not expected to unveil the Surface mini during its September 23 launch of the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro. It's unclear if Nokia is still planning to unveil the Sirius tablet on or around September 26, as was rumored recently. (However, word is, courtesy of renowned mobile-device leaker @evleaks, that Nokia is going to announce the Lumia 1520 phablet, codenamed "Bandit" on September 26, most likely in New York.)

A reminder -- because no one should assume this is clear to all/most PC/tablet buyers -- the Intel-based Haswell- and Bay-Trail devices can run existing Win32 apps, alongside Metro-Style/Windows Store ones. The ARM (Qualcomm/NVIDIA)-based devices will support very few non-Metro-Style apps (primarily Microsoft Office and some Windows utilities). Haswell is the more powerful, fourth-generation Intel Core processor; Bay Trail is the latest of the less-powerful, but longer-battery-life Atom processor in Intel's family. 


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