So we’ve just finished our hands on review of the new Encore 2 tablet and it’s an impressive piece of kit with a wallet friendly price tag. The Encore 2 is the successor to last year’s Encore tablet and it’s a very nice improvement.
The new Encore 2 has a very sturdy build quality if a tiny bit on the heavy side. With the 10″ model which we reviewed. you get the following specs:
Processors: Intel® AtomTM processor
Storage: 32 GB
Communication: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® 4.0, wireless display, 5 MP auto-focus rear camera, 1.2 MP front camera, built-in microphone
Audio: Dolby® Digital Plus, 2 x 0.5 W stereo speakers
OS: Windows 8.1 with Bing
Microsoft Office 365 one-year subscription, Skype (60 world minutes per month), Fresh Paint, Xbox One SmartGlass
Battery life: Up to 8.5 hours
Colour: Satin Gold
Display: 25.65 cm (10.1”) 1280 x 800 wide view, with 10-point capacitive touch support
Memory: 2 GB
Connectivity: 1x Micro-USB 2.0, 1 x Micro-HDMI®, 1 x Micro-SD/SDHC/SDXC support up to 128 GB, 3.5 mm headphone / mic combo jack
Dimensions: 258.8 x 175 x 8.98 mm
Weight: 555 g
The Intel chip was more than capable of handling the various forms of tasks we through at it and the stereo speakers packed a surprising bunch. We’re a little bit disappointed with the screen resolution but it’s not all too noticable once you’ve used the tablet for a while.
In the back, you get a 5MP shooter and a 1.2MP one up front for your video calls. These aren’t the best of cameras but they get the job done.
On the sides, you get a handy micro-SD card slot, a mirco HDMI out port and the other usual ports you’ve come to expect on a tablet. One thing we find confusing is the placement of a physical Windows button on the top on the device when in landscape. We much prefer a capacitive button on the front of the device.
The Encore 2 comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing which has ironed a few of the complaints with Windows 8 and the real icing on the cake is that you get 1 years subscription to Microsoft Office 365 in the box along with 60 world minutes a month to use on Skype. These really are nice additions to the overall package.
You still get access to the original Windows homescreen which is handy for any trying to get used to the new layout. The new 8.1 with Bing is more streamlined and you get a few more customisation options which is nice. We still feel Microsoft is trying to find their feet with the OS but their definitely heading in the right direction.
We found the battery to last a respectable 8 hours with fairly heavy usage but we made sure to keep the screen brightness to a minimum. If you were to use the Encore for internet browsing and some light gaming, you should get a few more hours out of it on top of the 8 we got.
The new Encore 2 tablet is definitely a nice improvement over it’s predecessor and Toshiba are proving themselves to know how to create a solid and reliable Windows tablet.