Nextbook: Windows-powered tablet-notebook hybrids in SA

Microsoft and Makro announced at a press event in Johannesburg on Monday, 10 November 2014, that they have launched new low-cost Windows-powered tablet PCs in South Africa.

Called Nextbook, these tablet PCs are among the first Windows Reference Design devices available in South Africa, Microsoft said.

The Nextbook tablets come in two sizes: 8-inch for users who want to read e-books or watch movies while commuting; and 10.1-inch for consumers who need more screen real-estate for squeezing in more columns into their Excel spreadsheets.

Both tablets feature a USB port, will come with the full Windows 8.1 operating system, and have a one year subscription to Office 365, said Melanie Botha, consumer channels group executive at Microsoft South Africa.

Botha went on to explain that the Office 365 subscription comes with unlimited OneDrive storage and 60 free Skype World Call minutes per month.

The 10.1-inch model also comes with its own hard cover keyboard which lets the tablet attach to a notebook-like keyboard and multi-touch trackpad.

For the moment the Nextbook tablet PCs will only be available from Makro stores in South Africa, with the 8-inch model retailing for R1,499 while the 10.1-inch Nextbook is set to sell for R2,999.

Asked how much stock they brought into the country to start with, Kevin Maier – merchandise manager for Makro South Africa – said they have 4,000 10.1-inch Nextbook units and 2,500 units of the 8-inch model. Both versions went on sale yesterday, 9 November.

Some of the key specifications of the 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)
Rear camera 2MP 2MP
Front camera 0.3MP 0.3MP
Storage, internal 16GB 16GB
Storage, expandable microSD microSD
Chipset Intel Atom Z3735G Intel Atom Z3735G
Processor 1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core
Battery 6,000mAh 4,000mAh

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Nextbook: Windows-powered tablet-notebook hybrids in SA