Remember when an Android tablet with a $150 price tag was considered dirt cheap? These days you can find Windows tablets that cost just about half as much.

The cheapest Windows tablet from a big-name PC maker may be the $120 Toshiba Encore Mini, but Chinese device maker Pipo is launching a new 8 inch Windows tablet which will sell for just 499 yuan, or about $81.

pipo work w4

It’s called the Pipo Work W4 and the tablet features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pxiel IPS display, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It’s powered by an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core Bay Trail processor.

The tablet supports WiFi and Bluetooth, has a 2MP rear camera, a 0.3MP front camera, and a 4500mAh battery.

Now that Microsoft is offering Windows for free to device makers building tablets with 9 inch or smaller displays, some of the cheapest tablets to run Microsoft’s operating system are just about as cheap as some of the least expensive Android tablets.

Pipo isn’t a big brand in the west, but don’t be surprised if stores that ship Chinese tablets around the globe offer this little guy for around $100 in the not too distant future.

via Mike Cane

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24 replies on “Pipo Work W4 is an $81 Windows tablet (for China)”

  1. My Pipo W4 arrived last week. It’s been quite a pleasant surprise. At first I was skeptical…but at US$110 delivered, I had to give it a try. Good performance, good battery life (4500 mAH) and build quality at this price range. Screen has a decent resolution and the plastic case is NOT flimsy. Overall…incredible value IMO. After a few days with the device I went ahead and ordered another for my parents.

    One issue…why are there NO PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS covering these devices? I suppose the journalists have been replaced by advertising hacks.

  2. Windows 8.1 is terrible in tablet. No apps. No Apps! It is a terrible experience.

    1. Its not. I have Windows 8 tablet and its the best thing I ever bought. There are a lot of quality apps. You just have to look. I will never consider buying Android or Apple tablets again.

    2. Idiot – Win 8.1 runs EVERY program you already run on a desktop or laptop. Have fun with your little toy apps on Android or Apple. These aren’t Win RT!

    1. That FullHD screen seems a bit stretched. Sure, it’ a “full” screen, and it’s HD at 1280×800…

  3. I have the PIPO W2 (Z3735D, 2gb, 32gb) and it´s a great little piece of hardware. Im very impressed, I even tried some old games (Batman AA, Mass Effect, Portal). Can´t say much about memory usage in a 1gb tablet, mine works ok in normal everyday use (browsing, 1080p movies, light gaming), but regarding disk space… in a 32gb tablet I had 19gb of free space, so in a 16gb tablet it should be around 4gb of free space…

    1. You would think, but WIM-Boot solved that issue, you can get as much as 11GB on a 16GB tablet… until you start installing updates… At this price I’m thinking about buying one just out of curiosity. It’s cheaper than a RasPi with a screen, I’m sure I’ll find a place for it. Worst case, Granny get’s it this X-mas as a digital photo album…

  4. I don’t know about these Windows tablets with 1 GB of RAM. MS may have reduced the memory requirement for Windows 8 from 2 GB to 1 GB but I doubt they did much under the hood to accommodate it, otherwise, something that big would deserve a full version bump.

    I have a Windows 8 tablet and it hits 1 GB of RAM from using either the Modern or desktop UI pretty easily. Of course, that doesn’t include buffers and caches. I’ve played with some 1 GB tablets and paging occurs even when doing basic tasks.

    I guess I shouldn’t expect much since even Android and iOS (at least my iPad Air) have low

    low memory issues with 1 GB of RAM.

    1. >MS may have reduced the memory requirement for Windows 8 from 2 GB to 1 GB

      They haven’t. 8.1 update 1 uses the same memory amount as previous gens, except that the memory manager is more aggressive and swaps background tasks out faster. The upside is that it’s normally fine for the one foreground task you’re doing. The downside is that if you swap between tasks, or if the one task uses more than a nominal amount, it chugs.

      The short version is that it should be OK if you stick to the paltry Metro offerings, which is what these are designed for. Don’t bother with multitasking.

      The 16GB storage will cause problem down the road, as these still require updates, and WIMBoot prevents the updates from being integrated into the core files. You will run out of space fairly quickly, but only after the return period is up.

      First-hand experience.

      1. On paper, they lowered the memory requirement to 1 GB. In, reality, like you and I said, they just page/swap out applications which isn’t new. That’s how it works in most OS’s for over a decade.

        In the end, 1
        GB Windows devices will provide a poor experience especially when using the browser in either Modern UI or desktop mode. Android and iOS devices with 1 GB of RAM, browser tabs get killed off which is a pain. It may be like netbooks all over again.

      2. Depends, a updated WIM file can be created by the user… People are already doing this to convert their present devices to run a WIMBoot…

        Of course, this only applies to users who are willing to go through the trouble of going through the procedure but most users will likely not do so…

        Though, the companies supporting their devices could always release updated images… Annually would probably be fine, but most of these companies aren’t likely to provide that kind of support… Especially, for such a low price range product and the way the market is geared to keep on selling us new models every year…

        So, in practice, these products will likely be handled as pretty much disposable…

        Though, like the 32GB models, system maintenance can help prevent updates from using up too much space… CCleaner and other tools can help… While, remember that many of these tablets will still have microSD card slots and thus the storage can be supplemented to make it a bit easier…

        But, hopefully, by the time the next gen Braswell/Cherry Trail start showing up next year that we’ll see 64GB and higher capacities start to become the norm, along with at least 4GB of RAM… Though, we may have to wait till they transition to LP-DDR4 RAM by the end of next year…

        1. >system maintenance can help prevent updates from using up too much space…
          >CCleaner and other tools can help…

          As far as I’m aware, all current 8″ tabs w/ 32GB or less use WIMBoot, and cannot integrate Windows updates. Even with a normal (non-WIMBoot) setup, updates won’t be integrated with the default system maintenance settings. It requires manual intervention. That, or manually run DISM at the commandline with the appropriate params.

          CCleaner does not integrate Windows updates.

          WIMBoot is a kludge to have cheap Win tabs to compete against cheap Androids. The plan was probably to have RT on cheap tabs, except RT flopped, so x86 Win was pressed into service. WIMBoot is a bad deal, as aside from the problems mentioned, it worsens the already-anemic performance of these entry devices with multiple indirection I/O. MS itself doesn’t use WIMBoot on its Surface devices.

          Six months from now, it’s a safe bet we won’t see WIMBoot any more.

          >hopefully, by the time the next gen Braswell/Cherry Trail start showing up next year that we’ll see 64GB and higher capacities start to become the norm

          Unlikely. Anything that increases system specs will increase cost, and unless Win9 (mobile version) is much more compelling that it can command such price premiums over cheap Androids, then cheap Win tabs will be the rule. From the various leaks so far, Win9 is more about catering to the desktop than doing anything to improve the Metro side.

          1. Uh, you may want to edit your post because nowhere did I state that the updates would be integrated on their own… I clearly stated it had to be done either by the user or by the company that made the device providing such support…

            I also did not say CCleaner would help with integration, but it can help from keeping the updates and other temporary and junk files from eating up all the drive space too quickly… along with the use of the microSD option to expand storage options… Just like they would with the regular non-WIMBoot installations!

            And no, we will be seeing WIMBoot for years to come… The performance hit is negligible… You get a bigger hit with Bitlocker enabled… While such overhead would be unnoticeable on a higher end system with a true SSD…

            People are already using it on higher end devices as, again, people can create their own WIMBoot file and thus convert their installation into a WIMBoot installation…

            It’s only because these low cost tablets also use slow eMMC and so little RAM that it’s noticeable at all…

            And no, if you knew anything about the upcoming hardware updates then you’d know all costs are accounted for in those estimates…

            Braswell is specifically designed to lower costs! It’s moving to a smaller FAB, uses less parts, Intel went to great lengths to finally make it easy for OEMs to source 3rd party parts, they’re integrating more on the SoC to reduce board size and overhead costs, etc. So it simply won’t cost as much to make a Braswell device as it was a Bay Trail device…

            While LP-DDR4 RAM will allow increased capacity because it can provide more capacity in the same size chips as LP-DDR3 RAM but also still uses less power… which is one of the main hindrance to mobile devices having more RAM because it causes the device to use more power and that kills battery life, which is a priority for mobile devices…

            Sure, initial costs of the LP-DDR4 RAM will start out higher than LP-DDR3 but once it becomes the new standard then they can offer more capacity for less than it would have cost for LP-DDR3 and still offer similar battery life to boot…

            They’re already pushing what the max RAM support is for these mobile devices… Braswell doubles the max support for tablets from 4GB to 8GB, ditto with ARM SoCs like Nvidia’s K1, etc…

            Devices like the Samsung Note series presently push the limit of what they can offer with a compromised capacity of 3GB but as the power requirements and total system costs go down then they can start offering more…

            And no, the desktop changes are just what is in most news sources but if you read the actual sources carefully, you’d have noted they also mentioned that for tablets Windows 9 will do the opposite and prioritize Metro…

            Really, just read up on MS Threshold to get a better idea of exactly what they’re working on… Windows 9 is simply the next step for Windows to evolve into a platform that can serve as a All In One OS that adapts as needed to whatever device form factor you are using…

            WP and RT are also going to be merged going forward and eventually MS will merge all their OS platforms and allow apps to be used for any one of them on any device you use…

  5. The price point is so low that the question of usability arises.
    The first really cheap android tablets were truly terrible and not daily use ready.
    I would love to read a hands-on review of one of these units.

  6. Funny how even super cheap tablets in China are less bulky than even some that sell at over 200$ in the US.

  7. Micro Center is selling a tablet with similar specs, the Winbook TW800, for $99.

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