At its Build developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft said it would be offering $0 copies of Windows 8.1 to hardware manufacturers to encourage them to build ultra-cheap Windows tablets. The first of those we’ve encountered has an Australian release date scheduled, and a bargain price: $199.
The Pendo Pad 8 goes on sale from 25 September (that’s this Thursday) in Target stores; it’s already listed in Pendo’s online store.
As you might expect given the price point and Pendo’s existing models, the specifications aren’t particularly good: it has only 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The screen is 8-inches, it has 2MP front and rear cameras, Bluetooth and a mini-HDMI output, and comes with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.
Given that Office 365 Personal costs $89, you’re potentially getting the tablet for $110 if you don’t already have an Office 365 subscription. Whether that low price point will persuade the iPad and Android-loving masses to take up Windows 8.1 remains to be seen. Android tablets regularly sell in this price bracket, while the iPad remains a costlier experience.