Last week Microsoft South Africa proudly launched the Nextbook, a low cost tablet with desktop class features.
The demand for tablet devices continues to remain high around the world and even more so within developing regions, like South Africa, where consumers are beginning to crave larger mobile screens to surf the web, access multimedia, check social media and be productive whilst on the move. However, a major problem within the developing world is that most feature rich tablets continue to be out of reach financially for many people.
To help combat the issue of affordability and cater to the needs of citizens within developing regions, Microsoft South Africa has partnered with Makro to offer a series of low-cost devices called the Nextbook.
The Nextbook is available in two sizes: 8-inches (R1 499) for users who want to read e-books or watch movies whilst commuting; or the 10.1-inch (R2 999) for consumers who wish to do that and still have additional screen real-estate for increased productivity.
The most striking aspect of these new tablets, besides the absolutely stellar pricing, is their build quality. Both tablets feel like premium devices, each weighty and very solidly built. Even more impressive is the fact that each tablet is actually running a full version of Windows 8.1, allowing for desktop functionality at a fraction of the price of a desktop computer.
Each Nextbook comes with a one year subscription to Office 365, unlimited OneDrive storage and 60 free Skype World Call minutes whilst the subscription is valid. Each device is also equipped with one micro USB port, one mini HDMI port, a MicroSD slot (up to 64GB), headphone jack, microphone and rear facing camera.
The 10.1-inch model also comes with its own hard cover keyboard and trackpad, which attaches to the tablet and effectively turns it into a “laptop”. Sadly, the added functionality comes at the price of doubling the weight of the tablet.
The Nextbook is one of the first Windows Reference Design devices available in South Africa and is currently available exclusively at Makro stores throughout South Africa.
Some of the key specifications of the Windows Nextbook devices are summarised in the table below.
|Specifications||Nextbook 10.1″||Nextbook 8″|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1||Windows 8.1|
|Display||10.1″ WXGA (1280×800)||8″ WXGA (1280×800)|
|Storage, expandable||microSD (up to 64GB)||microSD (up to 64GB)|
|Connectivity||WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0||WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0|
|Chipset||Intel Atom Z3735G||Intel Atom Z3735G|
|Processor||1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core||1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core|
|Price||R2 999||R1 499|