It’s been a very long time coming, but it appears that Windows-based products are finally coming within striking range of Chrome and Android-powered devices across the spectrum, from phones to tablets to notebooks. Particularly in phones and small tablets, Android sales have exploded (obviously), while, at the same time, encroaching into the heart of the value notebook segment, with value-priced Chromebooks.
A week ago, while perusing the Laptop Best Sellers list at Amazon, I noticed an influx of Bay Trail-M powered 15.6″ notebooks in the $249 segment. A bit more digging showed that multiple 8″ tablets were also being offered at the ~$200 price point. What’ll be interesting is to see what price point the Toshiba Encore 7″ will reach, given it’s a doppelganger for the $109 Android version (Toshiba Excite Go). On the smartphone front, the Lumia 520/521, the first Windows Phone to be somewhat successful (in terms of sales volume), continues to sit in the top 3 Amazon pre-paid phone best sellers. Soon, it’ll be followed by the price-wise competitive (in developed markets) 530 and 630/635 devices.
It isn’t a homerun by any means. There are still cheaper or better spec’d Android and Chrome devices everywhere you look, but these Windows devices are now at least in the realm of consideration, as it pertains to the price segments a significant portion of the market does their business in. I will also admit to having some pride in helping this become reality, with work on various OS SKUs and Bay Trail-Entry (the SoC that powers the Toshiba Encore 2 lineup).
$220-250 notebooks (apparently popular enough that many go in and out of stock at various retailers)
- Acer Aspire ES1-511-C59V
- ASUS X551MA
- Dell Inspiron i3531
- HP 15z/15t
- Toshiba Satellite C55-B5298
~$199 small tablets
- Acer Iconia W4
- ASUS VivoTab Note M80TA
- Dell Venue Pro 8
- Toshiba Encore (v1 and v2) 8″