Toshiba packs full Windows 8.1 in 8-inch Encore tablet


With the new and smaller Encore model, Toshiba is the latest manufacturer to jump in the 8-inch tablet fray. What sets it apart is the full version of Windows 8.1, the update to Windows 8, and the free Office Home & Student 2013 that comes bundled with it. For the Microsoft Office-dependent student and professional, this is good news. Cloud-based apps that pose as alternatives to Office programs still do not offer the same breadth of functions and features. However, the small screen and lack of a physical keyboard could be a problem. Of course you can use accessories such as a keyboard and a mouse, and connect the tablet to a larger monitor via the microHDMI port. “Mobile” has nothing to do with that anymore, but having the option is good enough for some people. As for running the heavy Windows 8.1, the Encore turns to its Intel Atom processor for help. This also means you can run the full range of Windows 8.1 desktop apps. How smoothly? We have yet to find out. Toshiba’s new 8-inch tablet packs 32GB internal storage, which is expandable via microSD. You can bring with you videos to watch on the IPS display with a 1280 x 800 resolution. The Encore is not exactly the thinnest. In fact, at 10.68mm, it comes out quite chunky. The Toshiba Encore will be available in the U.S. starting November at $329.99. Words Aritha Zel Zalamea