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Toshiba Encore 2 tablets are the first to offer subsidised Windows 8.1 with Bing

Toshiba Encore 2
The new Encore 2 from Toshiba

Update: Toshiba confirmed that the processor powering the Encore 2 tablets is the Z3735F, a Silvermont part with 2MB of cache and a 1.33GHz base frequency.

Toshiba added two new tablets to its portfolio, a 8-inch model that replaces the original Encore (launched last year at IFA) and a 10.1in Encore 2.

Both models, WT10-A and WT10-B, will be running Microsoft's newly announced Windows 8.1 with Bing, a cheaper version of the operating system that is available only for manufacturers.

There's also a one-year subscription to the full version of Office 365 (complete with Powerpoint, OneNote and Outlook) with one hour of Skype per month plus Fresh paint and Xbox One SmartGlass apps bundled.

The two SKUs also have a similar hardware specification. They run on an Intel Atom-based quad-core processor (probably Silvermont based) with 32GB storage capacity, a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a rear 5-megapixel camera with a front facing one, two speakers featuring Dolby Digital Plus and up to 8.5 hours battery life.

When it comes to expansion and connection capabilities, the new Encore 2 com equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, a microUSB 2.0 port and a microSD card slot.

The bigger of the two weighs 555g and has 2GB of RAM while the smaller one weighs 385g but has only 1GB of system memory. The latter is also missing a micro-HDMI connector.

Expect the smaller version to cost much less than the bigger one; other than the lower specification, its screen size means that Toshiba won't pay a penny (or a cent) for the Windows license.

Pricing has yet to be announced and Toshiba stated that both should be available from August onwards.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.