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.
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.
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).