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"Tablet On Steroids": Toshiba Encore

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 16/10/2013

'Its a Pc..only smaller'. And it cost $399. Meet Encore.

Toshiba Encore, one of the first Windows 8.1 tablets, with an 8" inch screen, running Intel's potent quad-core 'Bay Trail' chip, was unveiled today at Toshiba HQ in Sydney.

Encore, a fitting name for a tablet running Microsoft's second attempt at touch-based OS in the form of Windows 8.1 which promises smoother operation than 8, with far more apps now available in the Windows marketplace. 

Encore has AutoBrite 1280 x 800  LCD display, Wi-Fi, 2GB storage, Quad Core, Bay Trail, and a slew of apps including free Skype calls (for 30 days), music, games and also will be best mates with your Xbox and do loads of clever stuff like share content. Its light- weighing 450g and 10.68mm thin. 

It runs Internet Explorer 11 and has the best Skype experience found on a computer (the VoIP app was made in conjunction with Microsoft), with dual mics and 2 X full HD cameras - 2MP front and 8MP rear.

InstantGo technology means the tablet turns on instantly (in a matter of  milliseconds in case you're wondering), so there is no longer a lag, says Justin White, Toshiba  Product Marketing Manager. 

Toshiba says Encore is for workers, students and kids (loads of learning apps like Mathletics), with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 preloaded. 

"Its everything you get in a Pc only smaller", says White. It can be hooked up to a Full HD PC monitor and do everything a PC would do. 

The live Windows 8.1 tiles can be resized to get more info on the homescreen- everything from calendar, news, Facebook. 

Apps, App, Apps

Encore is kitted out with a flurry of content - comes with full 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for work stuff, editing, creating or sharing documents and presentations and 7GB of free online SkyDrive storage.

Its a "tablet on steroids," says White, and can be used as "a primary work device" if a bulky PC is no longer practical. The Pc maker demoed Encore's wizardry as a work machine, hooking it up to a PC. You can add any device to Encore - micro-USB for transferring data, micro-HDMI to hook up the tab to Pc monitor, TV  and micro-SD slot to expand storage. 

But the 8 inch tab is also an "entertainment hub' in 8" - at home and on the move. 

It has Miracast which mirrors content showed on a TV on your tablet and displays extra info about TV shows and movies like details on actors. 

All movies, TV shows purchased on the TV are also stored on Encore, so its handy for catching up with TV on the train.

It also has power high-quality stereo speakers with a Dolby Digital Plus Microsoft Xbox app that comes pre-loaded, it includes a 90 day free music streaming service (over 30 million songs) and free Xbox games.

The 8" windows tab also works great with Xbox Smart Glass where you can share, play on a second screen, transform the tablet into a second display for Xbox 360 or Xbox One.

Microsoft are also throwing in a free Skype call to any phone for 30 days. 

Toshiba's Encore is on sale from early next month for a very reasonable $399 for 32GB and $469 for 64GB. 

And if 8" inches isn't big enough the 8.1 tablet also comes in a bigger 11.6" device, costing $1699. 

Encore is a "limited release" and will be sold at the 3 big retailers - Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi only with possibly more to follow. 

Toshiba Encore tablet:

. 21.32cm (8") AutoBriteT 1280 x 800 PIS wide view angle LCD display with 5-point multi-touch support 

. Latest Intel?Quad Core, Bay Trail-T architecture (Z 3740) . 

2GB LPDDR3 memory onboard 

. Intel? HD graphics . Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 pre-installed 

. Connected standby support (InstantGo) 

. Connectivity: 1x Micro-USB 2.0, 1x Micro-HDMI?,1 x Micro-SD (up to 32GB), dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth? 4.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack 

. High quality stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plusi 

. 2.0MP front camera (1080p video capture) and 8.0MP rear camera (1080p video capture) 

. Dual microphones with beam-forming technology 

. Built-in GPS 

. Battery life: up to 7ii hours 

. Colour: Light gold

 . Dimensions: 213 x 135.9 x 10.68 mm 

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