Toshiba's 7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet costs $119.99, includes a year of Office 365

Android has come to dominate the low-cost tablet market, with increasingly capable devices – such as the brilliant Google Nexus 7 – available to buyers for surprisingly little money. But Microsoft's decision to drop its OS licensing fees for small Windows devices earlier this year – along with the launch of a new Windows 8.1 with Bing version – marked the start of its push back against Android's dominance. 

Toshiba's new Encore Mini is one of the first ultra-affordable Windows tablets to emerge from Microsoft's efforts with its hardware partners. "We worked hand-in-hand with Microsoft to deliver a high-quality small-screen Windows 8.1 tablet at an entry-class price point," said Toshiba's Philip Osako, director of product marketing, in a news release. 

At just $119.99, the Encore Mini is one of the most affordable Windows devices ever, and features a 7-inch 1024x600px display. It also comes with full-fat Windows 8.1, rather than the more limited Windows RT, and the deal is made even sweeter with the inclusion of a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription – including 1TB of OneDrive storage – which would usually cost $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year.

Let's take a look at some of the Encore Mini's other specs: 

  • Quad-core Intel Atom processor
  • 16GB onboard storage (plus microSD support up to 128GB)
  • Front-facing camera
  • 2MP rear camera
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Weighs around 350g
  • 11mm-thick

The device looks pretty decent for the price on paper, but of course we'll have to wait until we can get our hands on it before we can assess whether or not the user experience amounts to much. 

We expect to see many more low-cost Windows devices in the days, weeks and months ahead – and that's a great thing for buyers shopping around for bargains. As more manufacturers launch similarly affordable devices, the growing competition will no doubt lead to ever-more capable tablets at even lower prices. 

Source: Toshiba | Images via Toshiba

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple (finally) breaks silence on Celeb media hacks

Next Story

Lenovo announces new gaming PCs and laptops

30 Comments

Please Login or Sign Up to post a comment.

AsherGZ said,
And a Wacom stylus while we're at it.
I don't care if it's Wacom. Just a decent stylus. But honestly, charging while attaching usb devices means this is a workstation and a tablet.

These small tablets are screaming to be everybody's go to machine frankly.

Scabrat said,
Does it have GPS? I want one that has GPS! =)
I doubt it, sadly. I would like GPS in my Surfaces and my DVP8. However, IP geoloc lets me get localized results kinda reliably.

It doesn't look like it has GPS. On Toshiba's website in the specs under Location it lists "digital compass".

http://www.toshiba.com/us/tablets/encore/mini/WT7-C16

Yup, and now with x86 devices this cheap running regular windows there is no point to RT. Honestly though, I would have loved a unlocked version of Windows on ARM, but what we got instead was a big disappointment, so I don't mind so much that it didn't take off. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out...

Choices are good, Windows on ARM plus universal apps is nothing wrong. The infrastructure MS build for ARM, makes it appealing when apps start appearing for RT and windows.

Think about it, let's say I got an android device which run on ARM, MS decides that I can wipe all android trace on that phone and load WP on it with apps already in place.


domboy said,
Yup, and now with x86 devices this cheap running regular windows there is no point to RT. Honestly though, I would have loved a unlocked version of Windows on ARM, but what we got instead was a big disappointment, so I don't mind so much that it didn't take off. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out...

I have Asus Eee PC 1000H (1024x600) which running Windows 8.1 Update. Still, I can't access to Metro apps due the low resolution. Is there any confirmation that Microsoft has enable Metro apps to run on 600px?

francescob said,
I'm pretty sure Metro apps didn't work at all without 1024x768 minimum. Has Microsoft removed the requirement with an update?

Arib Ismail said,
I have Asus Eee PC 1000H (1024x600) which running Windows 8.1 Update. Still, I can't access to Metro apps due the low resolution. Is there any confirmation that Microsoft has enable Metro apps to run on 600px?

You are both right, I miss read the comment... it needs to be 1024x768 or above to use and snap apps with 8.1. With 8.0 it was at least 1024x768 to use and at least 1366x768 to snap.

I hope there's going to be a patch for this... because my netbook is still pretty good and it runs Windows 8.1 better than Windows 7. Can't wait to reinstall 8.1 once it's supported.

Agreed, it's not a native one at all, and it's not something you can use for all drivers, because I suspect the work around is done in that level.
But it wouldn't do much in my case, my Asus EeePC 1000HD has the Intel GMA 915 GPU chipset, which isn't even WDDM 1.0 compatible.. :/

Reseller prices may vary. MSRP means “Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.”

So yeah it won't cost 120$ but way way more for what it seems a very low-end piece of garbage.

Uh, no. 'Actual' prices are nearly always at or below MSRP. Only exceptions are when something is very 'hot' and the retailer jacks the price. This won't go for more than the MSRP.

How is only 16GB going to work? Win 8 over time will fill up that space by itself with no programs installed, that winsxs folder will keep growing over time.

That being said smaller Win8 tablets are awesome. I got an Acer W4 64GB 8 inch tablet a few months ago for $260 on amazon and that tablet is the most useful pc I've owned probably int he last decade it also get 9hrs of battery life.

No kidding! This is cheaper than a lot of cell phones. Reminds me of an article I read a while back saying everything is getting cheaper and harder to fix and due to the low price points people don't care and just throw away and replace with new.

How powerful is it though? Can I extend the display to a second monitor using Miracast and use it for working on multiple Office documents, browse the internet with several tabs open and stream Netflix in HD?

I'd really like to see a review of this gizmo on Neowin. Is it tolerable, or frustrating to use? That's about all I want to know about it without buying one first.

AsherGZ said,
How powerful is it though? Can I extend the display to a second monitor using Miracast and use it for working on multiple Office documents, browse the internet with several tabs open and stream Netflix in HD?

Shakes the Magic 8 Ball. "Doubtful"