Two of the hottest Windows-powered new machines of the fall, Toshiba’s Encore and Lenovo’s Miix 2 8-inch tablets, are now available via Amazon. However, only the latter can be actually had already, whereas the former is only up for pre-orders.
Running Windows 8.1 out the box, the slates are almost identical as far as their hardware goes, yet the Encore is 30 bucks pricier. Specifically, the Miix 2 goes for $299.99 in a 32 GB flavor with free shipping from Amazon and the Encore is listed at $329.99 in a config also packing 32 GB storage.
So ultimately, why is Toshiba asking a premium for its first ever Windows tab effort? In a nutshell, due to a slightly better rear-facing camera (8 vs. 5 MP sensors) and an extra micro HDMI port.
On the other hand, it’s not like Lenovo’s second Miix pad is a pushover and, from an aesthetical standpoint, it might actually be the better choice. It’s both thinner and lighter, measuring 0.31 inches in depth and tipping the scales at 0.77 pounds, compared with 0.43 inches and 1.1 pounds in the Toshiba camp.
Mind you, the upper hand can very easily prove a disadvantage, as there’s a good shot the Encore is a little chunkier to accommodate a bigger battery. For now, Lenovo claims its 8-inch contender can run for up to 10 hours between charges and, if that’s the case, Toshiba will have a hard time in coming out on top.
As far as similarities between the two go, they’re everywhere. The displays are virtually identical, at 1,280 x 800 pixels, equally as zippy quad-core 1.8 GHz Intel Bay Trail CPUs run the shows beneath the hood, along with 2 GB RAM.
You also get Wi-Fi, microSD support, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel HD graphics and 2 MP front cams from both these little guys, so in the end you have a very tough choice to make. Especially if you also add Acer’s Iconia W4 and Dell’s Venue 8 Pro in the equation.