Toshiba Encore Mini Windows 8.1 tablet debuts with 7-inch display, $120 price tag

The IFA 2014 announcements are starting to pile up and Toshiba has officially unveiled its new Encore Mini tablet with Microsoft's Windows 8.1 on board.

Small-screen tablets running Windows 8.1 are not a common occurrence, but that doesn't mean we don't get to see any. Not too long ago, Microsoft was rumored to introduce a Surface Mini tablet of its own, but the device never made it to the market. Reports later claimed that Microsoft had indeed planned to launch a Surface Mini alongside its Surface Pro 3, but ultimately dropped the smaller slate over concerns that it wasn't good enough. It still remains unclear whether a smaller Surface tablet will ever debut.

While still don't have a Surface Mini tablet, however, a small-screen Windows 8.1 slate is finally available courtesy of Toshiba. The new Encore Mini tablet sports a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 700 pixels and packs a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor clocked at 1.83GHz under the hood.

Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage capacity, microSD card support for up to 128GB of additional memory, a 2-megapixel rear camera, and a VGA (0.3 megapixel) front camera. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0, while the battery will deliver up to 7.3 hours of use.

On the software side, the new Toshiba Encore Mini comes with Microsoft's Windows 8.1 pre-installed, as well as a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and 1TB of free OneDrive cloud storage.

In terms of weight and dimensions, the tablet comes in at just 12.5 ounces and measures 0.43 inches in thickness, which means that it should be arguably comfortable to hold and fairly portable. The design, meanwhile, is quite basic, with rather wide bezels around the display, but that is to be expected from a tablet in its category. When it comes to available color options, the slate only comes with a white paint job.

As the specs suggest, the new Toshiba Encore Mini aims to attract budget-conscious shoppers, launching in the affordable segment of the market. The specifications don't suggest a stellar performance, but are nonetheless decent for a cheap Windows 8.1 slate. The tablet sports a price tag of just $120 and is already available for purchase from various retailers, as well as from Toshiba's website.

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