Windows 10 Laptops Start At $149

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is reportedly planning to sell two new Windows 10 laptop models for as little as $149. It's seen as yet another attempt to combat the boom in low-cost machines such as Google's Chromebook.

The report comes from Digitimes, an industry journal for the electronics business in Asia. It's usually reputable as it has sources from manufacturers of components for computers and other devices who naturally have advance notice of machines that are in the works. (Source:

Both laptops will have 11.6 inch screens, which are very small for 'fully featured' computers. That's only a little bigger than the most expensive tablet computers and is a size more commonly associated with low-spec models known as netbooks.

Laptops May Have Limited Power

The two models will each use the Intel Bay Trail-T CR processor, which is specially designed to power cheaper laptops. It means the laptops will likely struggle with intensive tasks such as gaming or processing video files, but should be acceptable for people who have more basic needs such as web browsing and document editing, particularly if they don't need to run multiple applications at once.

The trade-off is that this lower-powered processor means battery life should be much longer than with other laptops, though the specific details for these models aren't confirmed.

Separate Models For Consumers & Business

While Microsoft is behind the two laptops, they'll actually each be produced by a different Chinese manufacturer. One is aimed at the general consumer market and will cost around $149. The other, which may have higher specifications, is aimed at schools and small businesses and will cost $179. It's not yet confirmed if the two models will ship worldwide or if they'll be aimed solely at buyers in China. (Source:

While many computers are available at this price, they tend to run non-Windows operating systems, such as Google's Chrome-OS or other Linux-based systems. The nearest price to these systems is the $199 HP Stream 11, though it should be noted that the Stream (as well as Google's Chromebooks) largely rely on having an Internet connection to use online apps, plus the machine has very limited storage at 32GB.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you be interested in a $149 Windows 10 laptop if one was available in your area? Do you think Microsoft is making a smart move to target the ultra-budget market? Or is there too much risk that the cheap machines will perform so poorly that they compromise the Windows brand.

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Dennis Faas's picture

It would be nice to know the processor specs on this unit but I couldn't find any. Intel's new line of Atom (bay trail) chips are very powerful, low power, and come in small form factors, so it will be very exciting to see new developments in the next few years.

For the time being, there's no doubt that $149 is an excellent price point for a cheap Windows 10 laptop even if all it does it surf the Internet. You can get a quad core Android phone or Chromebook for around the same price, and Microsoft knows it. If Microsoft is going to survive in the post-Windows era AND want to ensure Windows 10 is a success, they need to practically give away the hardware and software or people will simply look the other way.

blueboxer2's picture

First, I suspect you are quoting the American price - with exchange rates as they are I'd expect $179 for the lesser one and $209 or so for the larger. If one wanted to get a serious long look at the virtues and vices of Windows with long-term utility for light tasks it could prove worthwhile, if it had memory and a hard disc of adequate size. It would save messing up a serious desktop or laptop in the event Win10 turns up with a notorious hidden flaw. And I think since my cataract operations I could deal with the miniature screen though obviously the resolution used would matter.

Might not buy but I would at least stop and examine it closely on the counter display.