If you're an artist or student looking for a tablet with stylus-optimized software, Toshiba's $399 Encore 2 Write is the slate for you. This Windows 8.1-based tablet promises best-in-class pressure sensitivity, as well as useful productivity apps. But it's hard to make a dent in the saturated market when it comes to tablets with pen input, so it will have to fight for your attention against cheaper rivals like Dell's Venue Pro 8 and Lenovo's ThinkPad 10 (both of which also come with a stylus).
This Toshiba tablet features an 8.4-inch 1,280 x 800 pixel display that supports up to 10 points of pressure, allowing you to draw or take notes with precision. It's powered by a quad-core 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735F processor and has 2GB of RAM. It can hold 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable via a microSD card reader. It runs the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 8.1 with Bing, and ships with Toshiba apps to help you be more productive, including TruNote for note-taking, TruCapture for whiteboard capture, and TruRecord for audio recording.
During my tests, the Encore 2 Write ran smoothly with several tabs open in Internet Explorer, a few apps open in TruNote, and an episode of Fresh Off the Boat on Hulu. Its eMMC SSD scored 97MBps reading and 47MBps writing large files in CrystalDiskMark. Its 1.2-megapixel front camera produced decent-looking selfies, although the colors were a bit dull and its microphone struggled with higher-pitched sounds.