Windows 8.1 tablets that cost less than a PS4 game on the way

Pipo W2
The W2 is one of the first tablets to adopt the new Wintel approach

The influx of super-cheap Windows 8.1 tablets shows no sign of abating, with a trio of Chinese-made tablets arriving at a price that barely cover the cost of the components.

With Apple dominating the premium end of the tablet market, the bargain basement is throwing up the most intriguing offerings, with products such as the Tesco Hudl 2.

But Windows 8.1 tablets are pushing the price even lower, and three tablets were demoed at the recent Hong Kong Trade and Development Conference that hit a price point of just 399 Yuan - which equates to around US$65, £40 (excluding VAT) or AU$75

The Cube IWORK7, the Emdoor EM-I8170 and the Ployer Win8 tablets all boast that jaw-droppingly low price - and presumably profit margins likely to be in the single figure range.

All three devices use the same hardware template, with an Intel Atom Z3735, a quad-core BayTrail model, 1GB of RAM and 16GB onboard storage.

The first two have a 7-inch, 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution while the Ployer sports an 8-inch display possibly with a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution.

Flooding the market with cheap tablets seems to be Intel and Microsoft's chosen strategy to stem the threat from Android and ARM, especially in emerging markets like China and India where the bulk of the global device growth is expected to happen over the next few years.

But what about the quality? TechRadar tested the Pipo W2, one of the first of these ultra-cheap tablets. This first demoed six months ago with a price tag of US$99 (about £66 or AU$110), and we found it a perfectly adequate tablet.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.