Microsoft slashes tablet prices online and in-store

If you're keen to pick up a Windows tablet, then some brand-new discounts at Microsoft's online and retail stores might just be that final push that sends you over the edge to shoppingville – or something equally dramatic like that.

According to InformationWeek, Microsoft has slapped a fresh batch of tablets with a pretty decent discount, bringing a number of them to (or below) £152 each. The sales included the 32GB edition of Dell's Venue 8 Pro – an Intel Atom Z3740D-powered device with an 8in touchscreen, but that sale has now ended.

However, many reductions are still underway. From there, the tablets jump up to £152 for the now-discounted 32GB Lenovo Miix 2 8 (£30 off) and the 32GB Toshiba Encore WT8-A32M (£49 off). Both feature 8in touchscreens, two gigabytes of memory, and run Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processors.

Yes, there is a difference between that and the Z3740D chip found in Dell's Venue 8 tablets. The latter comes with a single-channel memory controller versus the Z3740's dual-channel controller, but the differences in performance – if any – are likely impossible to tell with the naked eye. The dual-channel controller gives the chip the capabilities to support a higher display resolution, but Dell's tablet – like the other eightin devices at Microsoft's store – comes in at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

Here's the thing, though: It's difficult to tell just what prices Microsoft has dropped recently, versus which tablets have already been discounted at the Microsoft Store period.

That's important to know, for the timing of Microsoft's sales varies. The Dell Venue Pro tablets were only on sale through yesterday, whereas a number of the other sales are persisting until February 9.

Either way, if you've been on the fence about a Windows-based tablet, now might be a good time to give your decision-making process another go-around.