In a move to create low cost Windows 8.1 tablet Toshiba recorded the lowest price mark. It has cut the bottom line even more than Microsoft. At first Microsoft got the credit of introducing Windows 8.1 with Bing. Now Toshiba brought its Encore 2 series to low down the price of mainstream Android tablets. The 10-inch version reviewed here will set you back just $270, and the smaller 8-inch version costs just $200.
Toshiba made a number of compromises to hit this low price point, but the Encore 2 runs Windows 8.1 and Office 365 well enough for us to recommend it.
On what basis Toshiba low down the price for Windows 8.1 tablet? The Encore 2′s is not build with best quality. The tablet is sturdy enough that would not be a worry about sliding it into a bag and carrying around all day. The tablet appears plasticky. But the weight is light at just 1.2 pounds. It looks solid with only 0.375 inches thick. Comfortable to handle with one hand for longer periods.
The Encore 2 is powered by Intel’s quad-core Atom Z3735G (a Bay Trail-class processor). The memory is limited to 1GB, not upgradable. This tablet runs Office 365 without a problem (Toshiba includes a one-year subscription with the purchase price).
Toshiba’s windows 8.1 may not be so significant as expected. But the Encore 2 available at low cost than any other product upto now. There are other low price tablets in the market. But they are not exactly to be mentioned as drastically lower. While its PCMark 8: Office score was 22 % lower than that of the $430 Dell Venue Pro 11, it was just 14 percent lower than the $569 Lenovo ThinkPad 10′s.
What compromises must you put up with at prices that low? Surprisingly few. While the Encore 2’s build quality isn’t the best, the tablet is sturdy enough that I wouldn’t worry about sliding it into a bag and carrying it around all day. The tablet feels plasticky, but it’s also light at just 1.2 pounds. And since that weight is in a slab that’s only 0.375 inches thick, it feels solid. I was able to hold it comfortably in one hand for extended periods, and that’s something I can’t usually say about 10-inch tablets.