Microsoft slashes prices on Windows 8 hybrids and tablets

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Now's a good time to buy a Windows 8 tablet or hybrid for cheap, with Microsoft slashing prices on several PCs in its online store.

The Microsoft Store's reduced prices apply to standalone tablets, hybrid PCs with detachable keyboards, and convertibles with built-in keyboards. And these are full Windows 8 devices, unlike the Windows RT tablets whose prices have also been falling.

Here's a list of the deals through the Microsoft Store:

Also keep in mind that these are “Microsoft Signature” devices, meaning that they ship without any pre-installed bloatware.

It's unclear how long these price drops will last. According to CNet, the Microsoft Store had been selling Acer's Iconia W510 for $399—a $100 discount—but the price for that tablet is now back to normal.

What does the price reduction mean?

The reduced prices could be a sign that Microsoft and other retailers are trying to clear out inventory. Although new models aren't imminent, Microsoft has confirmed that it's working on an updated version of Windows, codenamed Blue.

Current deals in the Microsoft Store

Windows Blue is expected to launch this summer, so all signs point to a big back-to-school push in a few months, with new hardware like Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11s and ThinkPad Helix. We may even see hybrids and Ultrabooks based on Intel's Haswell chips, which could provide up to double the battery life over Ivy Bridge-based PCs.

With all that in mind, the new deals on existing Windows 8 PCs could be good for frugal shoppers, but none of them strike the perfect balance between performance and battery life. If you're willing to spend more, you're better off waiting for upgraded hardware a few months down the road.

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