Though Acer pipped everyone to the 8-inch Win8 tablet post when it launched the Iconia W3 in June, Toshiba has teamed up with Microsoft to develop one of the first to feature the latest generation of Intel's Atom processor. The Encore tablet unveiled at IFA 2013 will also run Windows 8.1 and has been optimized for Skype video calls.

Toshiba says that its new 8-inch tablet has been designed to deliver the full fat Windows 8.1 experience to users in a pocket-friendly form factor. Users can take advantage of the operating system's new scaling capabilities to make the most of available display real estate on the 1280 x 800 resolution AutoBrite HFFS multi-touch panel, and it comes with a full version of Office (Home & Student edition) pre-installed. There's also an Xbox SmartGlass app that can turn the tablet into a second screen for Xbox 360 or Xbox One consoles, and a free streaming pass to Xbox Music.

Quality video chats and VOIP calls are promised from a 2 megapixel webcam at the front and dual microphones, and there's an 8 MP camera at the back for capturing stills or full HD video. Connectivity comes in the shape of one micro-USB port and a micro-HDMI port, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology.

As well as up-to-the-minute Atom processing power, the 0.42 in (10.68 mm) thin, 16.9 oz (479 g) tablet also includes something called InstantGo, which allows the device to receive updates while in sleep mode so the system is at its best when resumed. Models are available with 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and up to 64 GB of solid state storage with microSD expansion, and 7 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage thrown in for good measure.

Toshiba's Encore 8-inch tablet will be available from November for a suggested retail price of US$329.99.

Source: Toshiba

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