Now that HP, Toshiba, and other big name companies are offering Windows tablets for under $100, what’s a Chinese electronics company known for producing inexpensive hardware to do?

How about introducing a Windows tablet with better hardware for the same price or less?

The Chuwi Vi8 Windows tablet is heading to China in December, when it’s expected to go on sale for about $82. Odds are that the tablet will cost a little more if you want to pay to have it shipped to the US or Europe.

chuwi vi8

Chuwi’s new tablet features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.

That gives it more memory and flash storage than most Windows tablets in the $100 club. But like other cheap Windows tablets, the Chuwi Vi8 will run Microsoft’s full Windows 8.1 operating system and come with a free 1-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal.

Part of the reason Windows tablets are so cheap these days is that Intel has been subsidizing the production of low-cost devices with Intel Atom processors while Microsoft is making Windows software available for free to device makers building phones and tablets with small screens. But some analysts expect Intel to phase out its subsidies in 2015, and if that happens we could see the costs of Windows tablets start to go up.

via HDBlog and Cngadget



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21 replies on “Chuwi Vi8 Windows tablet launches in December for under $100”

  1. Hopefully this can go a long way to killing off devices with any of 1GB RAM, 1024×600 display, non-IPS display, and 16GB storage.

    I guess the key question for this device is how is the battery life? (and, HDMI out?)

    1. Or it could be that regulators get their acts together and stop these predatory practices of subsidies and giveaways… or maybe Wall Street will get impatient first.

      1. Yeah that Intel should be held accountable for selling below cost. Man, just because ARM is kicking their behind

        1. Who said they’re below cost ? A 4K capable ARM chip, comes out the door of a third party semiconductor fabricator, like Global Foundries or TSMC, for less than $8. Intel has 100 times more IP and therefore pays 100 times less for licensing whatever goes in that SoC, and OWNS IT’S OWN FABRICATION END. The scope of the game now, is to make sure to limit uptake of these low end, yet remarkably capable products, on witch they have ridiculous margins, and ensure that a consumer who can pay $500+, wont just default comfortably to a $99 product.

        2. Maybe Intel does, they keep saying they are subsidizing the market, that means that are taking a loss for every tablet chip they make. It’s great for me but predatory for sure.

        3. The margins vary, and Intel doesn’t charge as large a premium for their Mobile SoCs as they do their Core based products…

          Thus the real problem for Intel right now is the lack of market share… So, unlike most ARM FABs, they can’t guarantee enough orders to really lower their unit costs all that much and that’s one of the reasons you can have a ARM SoC go as low as just under $8…

          Since ARM SoCs that get lower quantity orders can still go over $20 for tray pricing and that’s barely over $10 difference for the starting tray pricing for Intel mobile SoCs… while some of the higher end 64bit SoCs that are starting to come out get even closer to the Intel starting tray pricing…

          So Intel has been losing money with the subsidies and has reported significant losses in their mobile division… So they are losing money with the subsidies… But it’s common practice to take losses to break into new markets, like it took years for MS to become profitable with the XBox for example and they took heavy hits in the early years…

          But no one keeps them up forever… Intel has already announced that they will discontinue subsidizing their mobile SoCs sometime next year, not right away but it’s going to be phased out…

          Likely, I’m assuming this part, they’re just going to hold out long enough for their 14nm FAB updates to finally make it to market with the Braswell and Cherry Trail updates and in other markets they’ll going to be finally pushing mobile SoCs with integrated Modems, BT, and WiFi to compete more directly with the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung…

          Intel is also making multiple changes, like providing OEMs a lot more support with a database of reference designs and list of 3rd party parts they can get and not worry about compatibility… So addresses the other reason why ARM usually is preferred because it’s not only the cost of ARM SoCs but the entire cost of the device and the R&D that goes into them that effect costs…

          So it seems Intel is finally getting serious but we’ll have to wait see if they can actually compete without the subsidies assisting them by the second half of next year when most of those updates finally come out…

  2. Just checked on Taobao (Aliexpress in China) and the pre-order price is $799 (CNY) which is way more than $82 usd

  3. RIP Android for Tablets. The bigger fish always eats the smaller fish. At this price point is simply incredible, I will buy these tablets to everybody in family as a christmas gift, only $100 for a hardware of this caliber is totally unbelievable. I’ll buy 4 of these.

    1. The article says that the Intel subsidies will end in 2015.
      Not surprising, since Intel is losing hundreds of millions of
      dollars (if not a few billion dollars) a year on subsidies, just
      like in the bad old days when it blocked AMD by paying off
      PC makers like Dull.

      So, when the Intel subsidies go away, Windows tablets will
      get more expensive vs. Android tablets. Guess which tablet
      people will be more likely to buy then?

      1. Depends, Intel is switching to the 14nm FAB next year… releasing the cost optimized Braswell update, and making major changes to make everything cheaper for the OEMs to make devices based on their SoCs…

        So, depending on how much the subsidies actually effected pricing they may not actually need them any more…

        While there’s also performance and Windows 10 to consider for next year devices as well…

        So, I wouldn’t say it’s obvious yet how it will play out…

  4. As I was suspecting, too good to be true, 799 (CNY) is actually $130 usd, the current price in taobao is 899 (CNY), which currently represents $146 usd, this is 46% more than the suggested $99 price, I’m not buying it. I’d rather pay $200 for a product with reputation as (Hp,Lenovo,Toshiba,Acer) than $160(with shipping included) for a chinese brand tablet.

      1. I just now ordered one with the add-on keyboard cover for $126 incl. worldwide shipping.

    1. Just to clarify, you only do direct currency conversions if you’re going to import a product to the US… Otherwise the pricing in another country doesn’t always apply to how it will be priced in the US…

      China, like most of Europe, Australia, etc charges a hefty VAT but the US doesn’t and this often means the price will be lower in the US…

      However, the reverse effect is if you have to import and not get it directly from a US reseller then the price can be even higher as many import companies charge extra for importing and they have to pay the full price in the foreign country…

      While, keep in mind each country has local companies that may be as well known as you know HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, etc. but they aren’t international companies and thus not well known outside of those countries they do serve…

      All that said, I’d agree with being wary but the specs are a bit higher than we can usually expect from a $99 device and if reviews are good then it may still be worth considering even at a bit higher price… as long as it doesn’t exceed the price of similar spec devices…

      Mind, the mobile market emphasized RAM and storage as deciding factors on price ranges and the $99 range devices usually only get 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage but this has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage…

      The free 1-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal is also worth about $70 as a bonus… So, it’s not outrageous but we’ll have to wait and see about the reviews and whether it even becomes available outside of China…

  5. looks great but where are all the full hd 8 inchers? Unless you want to buy something from China there is ONE alternative, the thinkpad 8, and it’s been out since january and expensive. I have the nexus 7 2012 and 2013, the difference is significant, and that’s on 7″.

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