Starting prices for Windows tablets continue to fall. Toshiba recently launched one of the first tablets with a list price of $199 and a $99 model is on the way from Chinese device maker Kingsing.
But you can get an even better deal if you pick up a slightly older tablet that’s been discounted in the months since it first hit the streets. That’s because instead of buying a device that was designed to sell for under $199 you can get a model with a faster CPU and more memory and storage for about the same price.
Prices will likely continue to fall in the coming months… but here are 6 Windows 8.1 tablets you can buy today for half the price of an iPad mini with Retina Display.
Update: Note that these prices were captured in August, 2014. Some prices may change over time.
Let’s start off with some of the new models that were built to sell for $199 or less, but make sure to scroll down a bit to find some older tablets with better specs that are now available for the same low prices.
1. Toshiba Encore 2 – $192 (Amazon)
Toshiba’s new Windows tablet is one of the first designed to sell for $199. Amazon already offers it for a few bucks less.
The tablet has an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an Intel Atom Z3735 series processor. It has front and rear cameras, stereo speakers, and a microSD card reader.
This model doesn’t have an HDMI port, but at least it has decent viewing angles, unlike some cheap tablets I’d seen in past years.
2. FNF Fine8 Work Tablet – $165 (PandaWill)
Looking for something even cheaper? This Chinese tablet features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an Intel Atom Z3735E quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.
That might not sound like a lot of space for a Windows machine… and it’s not. But Microsoft has optimized Windows to run on devices with specs like these which means that while you might not have room for your massive music collection you should be able to run Windows and install a few third-party apps without any problems.
The tablet also has a microSD card reader, front and rear cameras, WiFI, Bluetooth, and a mini HDMI port.
3. Cube iWork8 – $185 (Newegg)
Don’t like the idea of buying a Chinese tablet like the FNF Fine8 from an importer like PandaWill? No worries. You can pick up a Chinese tablet like the Cube iWork 8 from Newegg… although the order is actually fulfilled by a partner called Salamoer Store.
The Cube iWork 8 features familiar specs including an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, an Atom Z3735E processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.
It has a microSD card reader, front and rear cameras, and a mini HDMI port.
Note that you might be able to find an even better price for this tablet if you shop at online marketplace AliExpress.
4. Asus VivoTab Note 8 – $199 (Amazon)
The Asus VivoTab Note 8 features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, Windows 8.1 software, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Like many cheap Windows tablets released in late 2013 and early 2014, It’s powered by an Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail quad-core processor.
What makes this model stand out is its pressure-sensitive digital pen. The tablet has a Wacom digitizer and supports up to 1024 pressure levels when you use the pen. You can store the pen in a slot in the tablet’s case when it’s not in use.
This tablet isn’t always available for $199, but Amazon has been offering the 32GB model at that price for a while.
5. Lenovo IdeaTab Miix 2 – $200 (Amazon)
This tablet has the same basic specs as the Asus VivoTab Note 8… butwithout the digital pen.
Like the Asus model, this tablet has an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an Atom Z3740 processor.
Lenovo no longer sells this model in the United States, but you can pick one up from Amazon for $199.
6. Toshiba Encore WT8 – $195 (Amazon)
This is the tablet that the new Toshiba Encore 2 replaces. What’s funny is that you can buy it for just about the same price even though this model has twice as much memory and storage and a faster CPU.
Like the Asus and Lenovo tablets, the Encore WT8 has an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, Atom Z3740 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
It probably won’t be in stock forever, but while it’s still in stores this is probably a better bargain than the new Toshiba Encore 2.
its a little bit old but i use the dell venue 8 pro, it has 2 gig ram and 32gig space, its only 200
not sure, this can run standard win app like *.exe, or is win RT ?
If they would ditch the useless cameras on these, they could bump up the RAM to 2GB for close to the same price. I’ve had tablets for years, and have never even activated the camera on any of them.
It doesn’t make sense to buy a Chinese one with 1GB of RAM, when you can get last year’s more powerful model for almost the same price.
ONDA V975w Intel Z3735D 9.7 Inch 2048 x 1536 IPS 2GB 32GB $212-$250 depending on where you get it, seems to be the sweet spot for the $200 range.
I’m still hoping a small company (maybe even a large one) takes a risk and comes out with a form factor that’s not a slab with a screen. Heck, I’d even take old concepts like flipping and sliding mechanisms.
For now, my Asus VivoTab Note 8 is doing an okay job.
Those old mechanisms cost money, which is why slabs with a screen are all the rage now that touch screens have become reliable. You’re always going to pay a premium for something that requires quality engineering so that it doesn’t fall apart in your hands.
I don’t mind paying a premium. I’m sure small companies would need to raise prices due to smaller target sales as well. I guess I should have made that clear for me being that this article is about cheap tablets. My comment is more for small mobile Windows devices in general.
I hope soon there are 8-9″ tablets with Full HD, 2GB RAM and Intel Atom under $230 from a reputed company like Dell. Waiting for Venue 8 Pro Full HD………. (They recently updated the Venue 8 Android to Full HD so I hope the Windows version update is not too far off).
Maybe after the next Atom release, or some new battery tech. There are new 8″ 4:3 retina tablets that run Windows (see Teclast X89HD), but the main complaint of reviewers seems to be heat and battery life.
Dell has already announced (back in January) that a refresh to the Venue 8 Pro is coming in Q3-Q4. But they haven’t released any specs yet. I believe they called it the Bellaire 2.
Was the first Venue 8 Pro codednamed Bellaire?
Yes it was
These are pretty good prices. It seems like it would be much better to go with one of the older tablets than one of the newer lower-specced ones right now. However, in 6 months I wonder what the pricing for the lower-specced ones will come down to. Maybe $149 or lower?
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