Much like columns of Russian tanks in recent days, Windows 8.1 tablets are advancing into new territory. Archos has announced a Win8.1 tablet that will cost only $149 when it hits stores in October. That's $50 cheaper than the most affordable Win8.1 slate on the Microsoft Store right now.
Dubbed the 80 Cesium, the upcoming Archos device will have an 8" IPS display with a 1280x800 resolution, and it will be powered by an "Intel Quad Core processor." Considering the form factor we're looking at, I expect the Intel chip will be of the Bay Trail (or maybe Moorefield) variety. Either that, or Archos somehow crammed a 45W mobile Haswell under that eight-inch screen.
Archos' announcement doesn't address memory, storage, battery life, or any other specs, so you'll have to use your imagination there. Just keep in mind that Windows 8.1 supports devices with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage capacity. At $149, I doubt the 80 Cesium will exceed those minimum specs by much, if at all.
Tablets like these are, of course, the result of Microsoft's new policy, which allows makers of sub-9" slates to get Windows 8.1 for free. The new policy could help Microsoft make inroads against entry-level Android tablets like the Kindle Fire... provided the 80 Cesium and its ilk are actually any good, that is.