Toshiba readies low price Windows 8 tablets

Toshiba says it will launch two Encore 2 tablets in July.

The company plans a $US200 eight-inch tablet and a ten inch version that will sell for US$270. Going on past prices, New Zealanders can expect the models to sell here for a little over $300 and $400 respectively.

You get a lot of tablet for your money. Both models run a full version of Windows 8.1 on Intel Atom processors. They have 1280 x 800 resolution screens, internal storage with optional expansion through a microSD card slot, and a micro USB port.

There are also stereo speaks and a micro HDMI port. American customers will get a one year Office 365 subscription as part of the deal.

Toshiba says the devices have 10 hours battery life.

These are aggressive prices, the first fruits of Microsoft’s decision to drop Windows licence fees for small tablets.

It’s interesting that Toshiba has chosen to go with a full version of Windows 8.1 in an eight inch tablet instead of Windows RT. While full Windows is more flexible, RT offers a safer, closed system that’s easier to manage. Maybe that’s not important to consumers, but it’s a big deal for corporate tablet buyers.