Looking for the best Windows Tablet under $500? Want to know which Windows Tablet you should buy? There are a couple compelling options in this price range. In this article I will review the sub-$500 Windows Tablets I would recommend.
Let me first say that I’m really skeptical about purchasing any Windows 8 Tablet under $500. These tablets will all use Intel Atom based processors and, in my opinion, will be under powered for everyday PC computing. These tablets oftn come with the lowest amount of ram and storage, further cramping your style. Add to this the scarcity of touch friendly apps. At this point in time, if you need to spend less than $500 for a tablet, you are most likely better off getting and iPad or an Android tablet.
That said, if you crave Windows 8 Tablet compatibility but you don’t want to spend a little more for an Intel core based tablet, there are some good options for Windows Tablets under $500. Please see them below.
[Also See: Full Windows 8 Tablet Comparison Chart ]
Best Windows Tablets Under $500
If I were buying a sub-$500 Windows Tablet today, here are the options I would consider:
Option 1: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
If you are willing to spend a mere extra $100 more, you can get a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 tablet. It offers all day battery life, a full size USB port, and an optional keyboard stand. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 also comes with a slot that holds a stylus. Just make sure the model you purchase comes with the stylus (or buy it separately).
Option 2: Asus VivoTab Smart
Another option in the sub-$500 range is the Asus VivioTab Smart tablet. It performs well by Atom processor standards. Plus it offers a clever, if not curious, optional keyboard and case solution. The keyboard doesn’t actually attach to the tablet. Instead, it can sit on a flat surface in front of the tablet. The case can be flipped and folded to serve as a stand for the tablet. When you are on the move, the case can hold both the tablet and the keyboard.
Option 3: Wait for a Second Generation Windows 8 Tablet
Since the next wave of Windows 8 Tablets are being released soon, you may want to wait a month or two before buying a Windows Tablet. The Acer Iconia W3, one of the fist 8 inch tablets to be released, will go on sale in a week or so. Note that you can pre-order the Acer Iconia W3 today. Another option on the horizon is the Lenovo Miix Tablets which is slated to go on sale next month. Unlike the keyboard stand offered for the ThinkPad 2, the Lenovo Miix has an optional keyboard case.
Tips for Buying a Windows Tablet Under $500:
As you consider which Windows Tablet to buy, consider these points below:
- Select a Windows Tablet with good battery life, at least 7 hours or more. One of the biggest value propositions for Atom-based Windows 8 Tablets is that you compromise cost and performance for excellent battery life. Thus, don’t buy a cheap Windows Tablet with a short battery life!
- Consider which ports matter to you. Not all Windows tablets are equal in terms of included ports. Do you need a full USB or SD Card Slot? Do you want an HDMI port? Consider these questions when making a buying decision.
- Consider purchasing a Windows Tablet with a good, optional keyboard accessory. If you plan to use Windows 7 apps on your tablet, you will need keyboard. The on screen keyboard works fine for typing up small messages. However, if you plan to send lengthy emails or edit documents, a keyboard will be a must.
- Consider other Windows Tablet accessories you might need. In addition to keyboard can case accessories, consider if you want a digitizer stylus pen or a docking station for at office/at home set ups. With many of the low end Windows Tablets offering comparable features and performance, a one key accessory may greatly help your buying decision.
Should you by a Windows RT Tablet?
With many plus $500 Windows 8 Tablets now selling at a discount below $500, and with sub-$500 second generation Windows Tablets slated to ship soon, I do not recommend Windows RT tablets at this time. Outside of the ability to run Microsoft Office, I don’t see a compelling reason to purchase an RT Tablet over an iPad, a Kindle, Android Tablet, or a discounted Windows 8 Tablet. With developer support and the Windows RT Eco-system still in its beginning stages, Windows RT tablets are pretty limited right now. Add to this the fact that the cost savings over Atom based Windows 8 Tablets isn’t that substantial.
Which Over $500 Windows 8 Tablet do You Recommend?
If I was buying an over $500 Windows 8 Tablet today, I would get the Acer Iconia W700. In fact, I already OWN the Acer Iconia W700. It’s the fastest, longest lasting Intel Core processor based Windows 8 Tablet currently on sale. It’s currently dedicated as my couch surfing tablet. Check out the unboxing video I created for the Acer Iconia W700:
What Windows Tablets are you considering? Which tablet do you own? Please share the details of your buying decision in the comments section below.