Microsoft recently updated its Windows 8 OEM guidelines by allowing manufacturers to use lower screen resolutions. This seemingly simple decision would mean that smaller, more affordable Windows 8 tablets may join the market soon. As the 1024 x 768 resolution is now supported, we could see an affordable Windows 8 tablet with 7” display.

Previously, the lowest limit of such devices was 1366 x 768, which is a standard resolution for 13.3” to 15.6” laptops. The resolution is currently used by Microsoft Surface RT, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, Asus Vivo and Samsung Slate. Market share of cheaper tablets with 7” display are now expanding, with a number of interesting models, such as Amazon Kindle Fire HD, iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 now uses 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, which is not supported by earlier Windows 8 certification rules. It’s quite likely that we will see a Windows 8 tablet with low resolution display running an Intel Atom processor.

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