Toshiba Encore tablet pictures and hands-on

Toshiba launched the 8-inch Encore tablet at IFA 2013, featuring an AutoBrite display with 1280 x 800p resolution. From our experience, the screen was sharp, the colours were bright and the viewing angles good at 170-degrees. It isn't the Full HD resolution found on the recently announced 8-inch LG G Pad, but we suspect the pricing will reflect this.

We were told it wasn't the final finished device, with the prototype we held being slightly thicker and sporting a plain back where the final tablet would be the true 10.68m thickness with a sunken, dotted background.

We found the rounded edges on the Encore made it easy to hold in one hand, and with a weight starting from 450g, it makes it relatively lightweight, also helping to make a one-hand grip comfortable.

The logo placement on the back indicates that the device is designed for portrait use, and even though you can use it in both orientations, there are a number of apps on the tablet which have been optimised for the portrait position, according to the Toshiba representative. 

Running on Windows 8.1 and Intel's Atom processor, there are a couple of special features that come pre-installed on the Encore, including Xbox "to go" and the full version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 edition. The Xbox feature seems like it will be great for gaming geeks, as you will be able to use the tablet as a controller for your Xbox, as well as a second screen.

We found the tablet was quick to react when we were playing with it, so hopefully that will mean good things for all its accompanying features.

Another feature we are looking forward to trying out properly is the dual microphones with beam-forming technology. These are said to suppress background echoes, and listen to and trace your voice when you are talking through Skype, for example, so the person on the other end receives a clear output of your voice. It also has two stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus so we hope that means you'll be able to hear the response clearly too.

When it comes to numbers, the Toshiba Encore has 2GB RAM and up to 64GB of storage, along with an alleged 7-hour battery life. You'll also get an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera.

The Toshiba Encore sports dual-band WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth, as well as Micro-USB 2.0, micro HDMI and microSD card options.

It will be available before Christmas and will cost £249.99. There is also a stand available which will can hold the device in portrait and landscape options.