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October 14, 2023

Toshiba Encore 2 Keyboard Review

Toshiba's stab at a low-cost, pen-enabled Windows tablet is a good one. Its 1280 x 800 IPS display offers excellent multitouch responsiveness and the Wacom-branded Toshiba TruPen stylus creates very nice strokes, making this device a very good choice for notetaking at meetings or personal study. The UI is a little cluttered with the hardware Windows key positioned at the top (or left side in landscape mode) and volume and power buttons situated on the right edge, but it's well laid out overall.

The Encore 2 has a nice, slim design that's not as plain as it looks in photos and is more appealing than the plastic casing of the previous generation Toshiba Encore. Its "satin gold" finish is subdued and looks silver in most lighting, but it's a welcome departure from the sea of black tablets on the market.

A micro-USB port, a mini HDMI port and a microSD slot are all on board, along with a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. A headphone jack is missing, but that's not a big deal as most people use Bluetooth headphones with their tablets anyway.

The Encore 2 runs Microsoft's full version of Windows 8.1 with Bing, which includes a free Office 365 subscription for a year. At $200, the tablet is a solid value, but it's not designed to replace a notebook or provide any serious performance for video or graphic design. It's also quite heavy at 0.96 pound, making it one of the heaviest small tablets around.