You know how Intel said we should expect to see $99 Windows tablets soon? Chinese company Emdoor seems to think that was a high-end estimate.

The company has unveiled a new product roadmap which includes low-cost 7, 8, and 10 inch Windows tablets. This summer we could see a $99 tablet from Emdoor with built-in 3G. And eventually we could see a WiFi-only model for as little as $60.

Emdoor $60 tablet

You’ll kind of get what you pay for with a cheap tablet like this. Expect a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage — just barely enough to hold the Windows operating system and a few apps, games, or movies.

The tablet will likely be powered by one of Intel’s new low-cost, low-power Bay Trail chips for tablets. Another factor helping keep the price low is Microsoft’s recent decision to offer Windows free of charge to device makers building tablets and phones with 9 inch or smaller screens.

We’ve seen plenty of dirt cheap Android tablets sell for well under $99 in recent years. Now that Windows doesn’t cost device makers any more than Android, it looks like bargain bin Windows tablets are on the way as well.

emdoor 99

What makes these devices far different from budget Android tablets is the fact that they’re powered by x86 processors and capable of running full-fledged desktop Windows apps. If the tablets have HDMI and USB ports, there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a $60 tablet, connecting a keyboard, mouse, and display and treating it like an incredibly cheap (and somewhat slow) Windows desktop computer.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a device that’s designed to be held in your hands and used as a tablet, you might be better of sticking with Android devices… for now. There are more than a million apps and games available from the Google Play Store, and while quality matters more than quantity, many of the top apps for Android and iOS still aren’t available for Windows devices (I’m looking at you, Pandora).

via PadNews and Mike Cane

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21 replies on “$60 Windows tablets on the way?”

  1. Not all of android apps work on the tablet. Only several thousand apps work without the developer optimizing them for tablet

  2. I thought about getting a Dell venue pro 8 tablet. For only $300 or less good value. But do I want yet another Windows device to maintain? I just replaced my wife’s win 7 netbook with an Android tablet. So much easier to deal with. The netbook needed just as much maintenance as my other win boxes. Windows updates can easily take an hour. Once it took overnight, and another time I had to do a hard reset and full system reinstall from recovery. Display driver updates that take an hour and bork things. Don’t get me started on codecs and hardware accel just to play h264 mkvs smoothly. Then apps. Keeping Windows desktop apps maintained is mostly an individual thing. I mean, just keeping Flash and Adobe Reader up to date drives me nuts. And app size: why the hell does a win app or game take 25mb or 60mb while the Android equivalent takes maybe 5? And why does Netflix stream much better on my $150 nook hd+ than on my MCPC even after monkeying with drivers and silverlight repeatedly?

    I have a win 7 work box, a win 8.1 convertible, and a win 7 media pc. I KNOW what it takes to maintain them. Do I want my family to get into little cheap 7-8″ windows tablets as casual play and consumption devices? Hells no. Please just shoot me.

  3. right and 2014 corvette stingrays will sell for 200 dollars,,,,really GAFB

  4. Even at 8″ – desktop apps are not going to be much fun. And even docked on a much bigger screen the limited spec of the machine is going to be . . . also not much fun. I like Windows, but come on. 10″ has got to be the bare minimum

    Windows can’t really compete at this price and performance level. Sorry. Someday a Core i5 and 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD and 1920×1080 screen will all fit into 7″ or 8″ and cost $200. You could do that today but it will cost $1000.

    1. Your comment is spot on. The coming cheap Windows tablets would
      be upgraded Android x86 tablets, considering what’s currently available
      in cheap Android ARM tablets now.

      People may start out buying the $99/$60 Windows tablets, hate the
      lethargic and confusing Windows, then putting Android on them,
      in a reversal of what happened with netbooks. Intel wouldn’t
      care either way, as they’d still sell chips, but Microsoft may have helped
      create its own worst enemy.

      The ultimate irony here would be if Microsoft were forced to
      resurrect XP to run on those uber cheap devices, in an even
      more desperate bid to win/retain market share. After all, the
      22% of the PC installed base running now-orphaned XP will
      eventually have to go someewhere, and the cheap tablet
      makers, seeing cheap Windows tablets not selling well,
      will turn to old reliable, Android. Or might Microsoft be keeping
      Windows RT around as a backup to install on cheap x86
      tablets?

      But Microsoft is betting that the frenetic advances in hardware
      will bail it out, and it could be proven right.

      1. RT could certainly be an interesting alternative. Devices with screens below 9 inches now get Windows licenses for free. If certain low cost ARM chipsets meet the system requirements for RT, there could be some decent performing RT tablets out there.

        1. RT is a dead platform. It has no future and no single advantage over Android. But a full Windows tablet has the advantage that you can turn it into a full featured PC if you connect monitor/TV, keyboard and mouse to it. I was using Viliv S5 for many years. Except of it’s very slow Atom CPU and incomplete drivers for GPU, touch screen and GPS, it was a great device. I could use my favorite SW without any restrictions.

          I had absolutely no problem running desktop version of Windows (used both XP and 7) on 5″ screen. Unles you are blind on your hands are shaking you shouldn’t have any problems. Hitting any button or menu item isn’t a problem if you set the fonts a little bigger then you would on a notebook/PC.

          Unfortunately somebody stoled my old UMPC and now I’m looking for a replacement. Give me a Windows tablet with screen under 7″, (working!) GPS, full USB port, HDMI, digitizer and I’m willing to pay up to 500 USD for it. Currently there is not a single device which could replace my stolen Viliv S5.

          If I overcome the fact, that I won’t be able to fit my next Windows tablet in any pocket (like I could with my Viliv), I might choose the Ramos i8 Pro or Teclast P79HD. But these are not available yet.

          1. RT isn’t a dead platform, yet anyway, it’s just one that has a uncertain future… And it does have advantages over Android… Just not as many as full W8 does…

            RT’s main issue is it doesn’t yet have a well developed app ecosystem, both Android and iOS have a far more developed app ecosystem but they both took years to develop it and MS has only really just started… So that difference is uncertain to remain the same forever…

            While the main question is whether RT is even needed because low cost W8 devices pretty much negate most of the reasons to consider a RT device…

            However, MS may still use RT as a gateway to advance their WP devices and start to bridge the gap between their low end devices and higher end devices platforms.

            They’ve already started work on establishing ways for developers to make truly cross platform apps for example.

            That said, I certainly wouldn’t mind a return of UMPC’s or something at least close to one… There are suppose to be at least 7″ devices eventually coming out and we’ll have to wait and see how good they are but keep in mind that even the low end devices that would otherwise run Android are also more powerful than those old UMPC’s powered by the old Intel ATOMs…

            Even a dual core Bay Trail can still provide 50% more performance than the previous Clover Trail and that was more powerful than the ATOM in your Viliv S5…

          2. The main problem with Windows RT is it’s restricted API. The platform is really very unfriendly to developers. Firefox abandoned their Metro version, many others didn’t even start trying. You can’t have many applications on a platform that has just restrictions and almost no users.

            Further Microsoft said they will only have 2 platforms. They certainly won’t kill desktop and probably keep trying it with WP, when they Bought Nokia’s phone division. So the choice of the system to disappear seems to be clear.

            I’m really looking forward to see Ubuntu Touch, they seem to be doing it right. MS simply didn’t.

            I know that today’s HW is much more powerful then what was inside my Viliv S5. But it wasn’t the HW which was outdated. The main problem was broken software (mainly drivers) which never got fixed. This is the main reason why I would prefer an opensource system on my next device. Let’s see what will be offered by Chinese manufacturers…

          3. Firefox abandoning their Metro version isn’t as indicative as you think… First it wasn’t truly a Metro version because it was never intended for RT, only W8… It was really just a Metro mode for the desktop app… While the real reason they stopped development is because they’re stretching their resources too thin…

            People have already started to complain Mozilla was falling behind on maintaining support for their desktop browser, while they’re also working on FireFox OS for mobile devices which is a far bigger project than creating a metro mode for W8…

            And the stated reason of lack of interest in the Beta is flawed because many people were just waiting for final release before trying it out because they didn’t want to use something that would still be buggy and possibly cause system instability… So that was really just an excuse by Mozilla to focus their other interests…

            After all the ModernUI still needs a more developed app ecosystem and most PCs are still using the desktop and thus it’s not a priority for Mozilla…

            Meanwhile, companies like Pandora have cared enough about the ModernUI to force similar 3rd party apps to be removed from the app store while they take their time to properly develop their own app…

            And some companies just had trouble getting through the Store’s certification process… Like VLC has tried to push out a Beta a few times but only recently finally got it out…

            I otherwise agree that MS needs to make it a lot more friendly but there has been some progress since RT and W8 was first released… recently, MS even started to establish what developers will need to make truly cross platform compatible apps that will eventually work on all MS based products from phones to desktops, including the XBox One eventually…

            So, while still rough and could be better they are still working on it and slowly improving it…

            As to the devices like the Viliv… Problem you’re referring to was with issues with hardware like the fact those mobile Z series ATOMs often used Imagination PowerVR GPU, which pretty much had lousy 3rd party support and closed drivers made it almost impossible for users to tweak it themselves… But Bay Trail returns the ATOM to Intel’s own GPU and that means open source drivers and primary support that will be a lot better than what was provided for those old UMPCs…

            Connected Standby, the advance Soix power states, etc. also means a lot better battery life as Intel finally reached competitivity with ARM for power efficiency… So these new devices means you can use them for several hours, some exceed to 11 to over 14 hours…

            Though, hopefully, they’ll either start including more digital pens or opt for the UMPC solution of optical mouse to be built in to truly make these devices as useful… Since the desktop mode is still problematic on small screen with high resolution, even with scaling not everything gets sized properly and with the ModernUI ecosystem still needing development means there’s still a high reliance on the desktop…

            While we only really still have to watch out for the phone series ATOMs, since they’ll still be using Imagination PowerVR GPU’s until at least next year but tablets on up Bay Trail’s are all 100% Intel now…

            And the SoC design and decreasing size of system boards should make it easier for them to squeeze these systems into smaller devices and they’re already fan-less for the Bay Trail T series and thus don’t need to be under clocked like many Z-Series ATOMs had to be to work in UMPC size devices…

            Add MS is helping push competition now with offering Windows free to device makers with products with 9″ or smaller and Intel subsidizing the costs of the ATOM means we may indeed also see devices reach well below $200 and that’ll make it a lot more appealing to people beyond those who just want UMPC like devices back…

          4. Yes, I agree with most of your points. Let’s see if Microsoft can move ahead and offer something interesting. They have enough money to do that, but I doubt they are flexible enough. During last years they were more filling law-suits against competition instead of bringing a better product. But maybe with the new CEO this will change.

            It was not just the GMA500/PowerVR GPU driver. which made the Viliv S5 not as good device as it could be. Also GPS driver is unstable, BT was shutting itself on and off after hibernation and furthermore the included BlueSoleil SW sometimes closed because of missing license (which was not true). And the worst part was touch screen driver. It receives false touches, crashes during calibration etc. The complete SW part was simply unfinished making it unusable for common users. If somebody asks me why UMPCs failed while tablets with phone OS were a big success, after marketing this is the second big reason.

  5. “16GB of storage — just barely enough to hold the Windows operating system and a few apps, games, or movies.”
    Assuming MSFT is not working on trimming the size of the windows install for low end tablets 😉

    1. They tried that, it’s called RT and it’s all but dead. Full Win 8.1 is basically 2 OS’s, desktop and modern. And if anyone has Win 8.1 installed within 16GB guess what – they have already hacked and slashed to the bone, half of the OS is gone. Most clean Windows 8.1 installs are around 30-40GB and that’s no apps at all. Of all the limited specs of these machines, 16GB storage has got to be the most miserable.

      1. “Most clean Windows 8.1 installs are around 30-40GB and that’s no apps at all.”
        No idea where you get your numbers from, but my 64GB (likely 59GB or so as reported by the system) T100 has 30GB left with recovery partitions intact (9GB total) and 4GB of music. Excluding a few apps and programs (Office, Chrome, 3DMark, to name the opulent ones), that comes down to under 15GB for the Windows 8.1 base and drivers.

        Granted, 16GB leaves little room, if any, after a full 8.1 install, but that’s a far cry from an exaggerated claim of 30-40GB needed for a clean install.

        1. Hibernate, System Restore and Page File size are allocated based on available storage and memory amount. IF you have 16+ gigs of ram and a 1+ TB HD with a clean and updated Windows install using the default settings, it can be large. I’ve witnessed people spend loads of money on high end hw who are clueless about configuring Windows.

          Anyway, an SD card slot with 2GB of memory and I’d be curious, if not interested. Anything less and I wouldn’t pay $50 for one… cuz it’d just be a paper weight.

        2. I heard that MS is working to cut down the size of Windows 8.1. It should be possible, there must be tons of unused things like obsolete HW drivers, not useful included SW etc.

          Still 16GB means that all your data must be on a SD card.

          1. It’s the new Windows 8.1 Update 1… For new systems or after doing a clean install reduces the default install size by a couple of GB or up to 60% according to MS…

            Basically they managed to keep a lot more compressed without impacting performance and reduced bloat a bit…

            So, for previous W8-8.1 the system requirements used to be 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage but now they cut that in half with the new update to just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage…

            While, it looks like they fixed the running apps from SD card issue for the WP8.1 update… It’s unknown if that also applies to the W8.1 update 1 but if it does then that makes it a whole lot easier for people to just add a card for extra capacity…

        3. Your device has been pared down. Still you were very smart to get 64gb model. 32 would be pushing it. It will be ok for a while but Windows balloons after using it for a few months. Programs need to live on ssd not flash. Also check the folder in your user folder called program data. This can easily become tens of gb. Windows needs a recovery partition, I have to consider that part of the of OS. On 16gb they probably just omit it. Disaster.

          Buy a new computer with say a 128 gb ssd. Eliminate all crapware. Guaranteed, Windows will occupy at least 30 gb plus recovery. I just checked 3 machines with os on one drive and data on another. I would like to replace hdd with faster ssd. After disk cleanup and deleting all possible, smallest had os of 40 gb, one was 80.

          I am sure they can get Windows to work fine in the showroom on 16gb. A week later you will be tearing your hair out.

          1. Not sure what you are referring to by “pared down.” If you mean that I’m not running the pro version with all its bells and whistles, then sure; pro version isn’t the typical consumer OS anyway. I actually did try to install the pro 32-bit (albeit 8, not 8.1) when I first got it, but had to RMA due to lack of drivers at the time. IIRC the install left 4x+GB free (out of 58.1GB as reported by the OS), with all recovery partitions destroyed and merged, but leaving hibernate, recovery, and page file at default values.

            On the 32GB version AFAIK either it’s actually 40GB with an 8GB partition, or it bundles a disc/microSD with the recovery files.

            Including recovery partitions is almost like including the installation DVDs in the size of the program. Yes, they are generally stored on the same volume as the OS, but they are by no means necessarily so. Windows allows you to restore OS from IMG file, and I promptly backuped OS to image on external HDD right after I got it back from RMA (entire folder created after system image creation is 10.4GB I should add).

            Like Mole said, your hibernate, recovery, and page files affect the space used as well; hibernate and page file differs from computer to computer, and should be much smaller on tablets. IIRC hibernate file is equal to the amount of RAM, and should be turned off on devices with connected standby anyway. Page file is system managed by default, at least on my tablet, but AFAIK it was recommended to be ~2x the amount of RAM. I personally turn off page file on computers with 4GB or more RAM since I am not a heavy user but have left it on on my T100.

            With a bit of knowledge, it’s not hard to trim Windows to under 20GB fresh. If anything the manufacturers would have more knowledge to remove junk than me; after all, they are the ones who put junk on our computers in the first place.

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