Windows 8.1 based Toshiba Encore Mini to take on cheap Android tablets

windows_tabletWindows 8 tablets were often viewed to be expensive devices. They never really managed to cut through the price barrier of the low-cost Android tablets that would often cost lesser than $200 (Rs 12,000). But that is a thing of the past, because with the Toshiba Encore Mini, Microsoft begins its assault on the low-cost Android tablets. The tablet costs just $119.99 (Rs 7,248), and it has a 7-inch screen. This is a fruition of Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 with Bing program and also the fact that Microsoft has removed the licensing fee for every sub 9-inch Windowsdevice. As Toshiba does not incur a steep licensing fee for the operating system, it is able to price it comparatively to an Android tablet.

The tablet weighs 354 grams and is 10.9mm thick. For obvious reasons it does not pack cutting edge hardware. It has a 1024×600 pixels 7-inch screen, a quad-core Intel Atom processor, which means that it runs legacy x86 applications and has 16GB of onboard storage. There’s a web camera on the front and a 2-megapixel camera on the back.

Most tablets, including Windows tablets, which run on ARM processors from Qualcomm and Nvidia cannot run classic Windows software like Adobe Photoshop, but as the Encore Mini packs an Intel processor, it technically has the ability to run such apps.

Other amenities include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a microSD card slot supporting 128GB microSDX cards and a microUSB port.

Apart from this, Toshiba also launched the ChromBook 2. Toshiba claims that it has a 13-inch screen inside the shell of a 12-inch laptop. The ChromeBook 2 is offered with both a standard HD screen and a 1080p full HD screen, depending upon the amount the consumer is willing to pay.

It is powered by an Intel Celeron processor, 2/4GB of RAM, and features audio technology from SkullCandy, a company that’s known for its fashionable headphones. Toshiba claims that the model with the HD screen will get 11.5 hours of battery while the model with full HD screen will get around 9 hours of battery.

In terms of connectivity options, there’s a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI out, an SD card slot, security lock and an HD web camera. It will be priced between $249.99-$329.99 or Rs 15,000- Rs 20,000.

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