The war between Android and Windows affordable tablets is on… Today at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Toshiba and Acer are among the first PC makers to announce the first very cheap 7- and 8-inch tablets respectively and running the so called “Windows 8.1 with Bing”.
Toshiba is the first company to announce the Encore Mini 7-inch tablet. The device features a 1024 x 600 screen resolution running an Intel Atom Z3735G processor and 1GB of RAM with up to 7 hours of battery life. On the storage front the Toshiba Encore Mini has a 16GB internal storage, but it also features a microSD slot with support for an SD card of up 128GB of external storage. There is also a 2 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera that it should work fine for everyday video chat.
The price for this new tablet is very affordable, only $119.99. It’s available now and even though this is the smallest tablet running a full version of Windows 8.1, don’t expect the best Windows experience, for a little less than $120, you’re getting what you are paying for. According to a report from The Verge, the Encore Mini lacks of a Windows button, which means that you’ll have to resource to the Charms bar to move around. (By the way the Charms bar will cease to exist on Windows 9, so it’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft will deal with these kind of devices now that it’ll be dropping the Charms bar.)
For what I’ve been reading, the viewing angles are terrible and there are some issues displaying Windows on smaller screens. In these small tablets would make more sense to run the Windows Phone operating system, which now is possible, but I guess Toshiba planned the Encore Mini before Microsoft changed the rules in its mobile OS.
Acer is announcing the Iconia Tab 8 W, it’s an 8-inch tablet featuring a 1280 x 800 IPS display running an Intel Atom Z3735G processor with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. As the Encore Mini the Iconia Tab 8 W also has a microSD slot, but this 8-inch tablet also comes with a micro HDMI and micro USB ports, all packed in a 9.75mm profile and weight of 0.8 pounds. Acer will start shipping in October at 149 Euro ($200) and to “Pan America” in November for $149.99. Battery life is claimed at 8 hours and the company will also sell a keyboard called Crunch that weighs 0.4 pounds.
The Toshiba Encore Mini and Acer Iconia Tab 8 W, both will also ship with one free year of Office 365 Personal subscription that packs a 1TB of OneDrive online storage.