Toshiba Encore Review and Gaming Performance: Thoughts and Impressions

Posted by B. Johnson
September 12, 2014 | 0 comments
Toshiba Encore Review and Gaming Performance: Thoughts and ImpressionsHi guys, welcome back to this site!

When it comes to sales number every quarter and market share, Apple with its iPads or Samsung with its GALAXY tablets may have something to brag in front of its rivals, including Toshiba.

However, i’m personally really impressed a lot with what Toshiba has in stores especially with its Excite family.

Toshiba Excite tablets may not be the best selling devices as iPads, Samsung or even Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, but at least, they are still good quality products with powerful performance and even great as gaming tablets, not just media-consumption devices.

And that’s thanks to Toshiba’s years of experience in laptop-making business and not to mention, its good decision to use NVIDIA’’s Tegra processors on many of its Excite series.

Toshiba Encore benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway, in the past couple of days, i’ve been showing you guys with some of Toshiba tablets that are mostly powered by Tegra processors – either Tegra 3, Tegra 4 and even old-gen Tegra 2 (and hopefully Tegra K1 as well in the near future).

Some of these devices are mostly great for gaming, especially the ones with Tegra 3 and Tegra 4 of course, while Tegra-2-powered Toshiba tablets are still pretty good for playing games, if not the best.

I’m personally impressed with 2 of Toshiba tablets - Toshiba Excite Write and Toshiba Excite Pro, especially given their Tegra 4 processor.

This Tegra 4 SoC inside these 2 tablets may have that ‘overheating’ issue just like any other Tegra 4 tablets out there, but in terms of gaming performance, there's no doubt that these 2 tablets are just really superior – in fact, on par with today’s flagship tablets like iPad Air, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro/Tab S or Sony Xperia Z2.

From all the Toshiba tablets that i’ve been showing you here in the past few days, all of them are running on Android platform. I’m not saying that it is a bad thing.

In fact, it’s a great thing because by using Android, it makes it easier for the users of Toshiba tablets to find their favorite apps easily on Google Play Store – which has a huge catalog for many popular games and apps on the market to date.

However, i think it would be even more awesome if this company has a wide range of tablets with different type of platforms.

Coincidentally, today i want to show you another tablet from Toshiba that is running on other platform outside Android (of course, it’s not going to be iOS).

The tablet that i’m about to show you right now actually still falls in Toshiba Excite series.

However, the thing that makes it probably a better offering than any other Excite tablets is, its operating system. And it is not running Window RT, but the actual full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS.

The Toshiba tablet that i want to review today is called Toshiba Encore, a Windows 8 Pro tablet powered by Intel processor.

Interestingly, unlike other Windows 8 tablets which mostly are equipped with separate keyboard dock, this Toshiba tablet doesn’t come with any keyboard dock or smart keyboard just like Microsoft Surface Pro.

And that’s because Toshiba Encore is only an 8-inch tablet that is powered by Intel Atom Z3740 SoC, making it a fair contender for other counterparts like iPad mini 2, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro/Tab S or LG G Pad 8.3 on the 8-inch tablet market.

However, given that this Toshiba tablet comes pre-installed with the full-fledged Windows 8 OS – which is a really heavy-weight productivity platform -, i believe that makes this tablet a much better offering than other 8-inch rivals out there on the market.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet, as well as its gaming performance and what games that would work perfectly on this device, then here you go, my personal review of Toshiba Encore.

Enjoy!

Introduction

Compared to any other tablets that are running on mobile platform – like Android, iOS or Windows RT -, Toshiba Encore actually is a much better tablet than most of its rivals out there because it it’s simply running on the actual full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS, which offers users the compatibility to run many of their favorite legacy software from their laptop or PC right away on this Toshiba Encore tablet.

This of course is really crucial to tempt many of laptop/netbook shoppers or even PC gamers out there to switch their targets altogether to this Toshiba tablet, given its ability to run many PC or laptop software.

And that’s the thing that cannot be offered on either iOS, Android or even Windows RT tablets.

However, as a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet, it doesn’t straightly mean that Toshiba Encore will be capable to handle all of the legacy software of PC/laptop.

Toshiba Encore Review and Gaming Performance: Thoughs and Impressions

Despite running on Windows 8 OS, there are still some limitations especially to which type of software that can be ‘executed’ by this tablet, especially its performance hardware.

Thankfully, that’s not the real goal that Toshiba wants to achieve through this Toshiba Encore.

With this tablet, it’s really obvious that Toshiba only wants to deliver a simple media-consumption tablet to the market, not the real full-fledged productivity device like Surface Pro.

And that can be seen clearly by Toshiba’s decision to go with the 8-inch display on this tablet, which is ideal as a media-consumption device.

But that’s the cool thing about this tablet.

Despite being a media-consumption tablet, owners of this device are still able to run many of their favorite Windows software and even games, especially the ones that don’t really require some high-grade laptop specs.

But there are still some questions remain.

With all of the things that being offered on this tablet, including its ability to run Windows legacy software, does Toshiba Encore have what it takes to be a great gaming tablet?

Does this tablet stack up against other 8-inch rivals around the high-end tablet market?

Is it worth it to buy this 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, especially as a media-consumption device?

Well, we’ll get the conclusion of those questions at the end of this review. So be sure to stick around!

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  • No SIM
  • Released Sep 11 2013
  • 15.87 oz (Weight)
  • 8.0 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1280 x 800 pixels, 16M colors (~189 ppi ppi pixel density)
  • Windows (8.1)
  • Quad core, 1.8GHz Silvermont Intel Atom Z3740 Chipset
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus
  • 2 MP front-facing camera
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 32GB
  • Internal 32 GB
  • 2 GB RAM
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • Bluetooth
  • microUSB
  • HTML5 Browser
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • Accelerometer, Compass sensors
  • HDMI port Micro HDMI (Type D)
  • 7 hours for video time
As a pure Windows 8 tablet, it’s a must for Toshiba to equip this tablet PC with some high-grade powerful specs on it - especially on the sector of performance -, in order to be able to handle this heavy laptop-quality OS perfectly and smoothly.

And given that this tablet is powered by the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS, then the hardware specs of this Toshiba tablet must also be on par with laptop’s hardware specs.

That’s actually what happens on this tablet.

Toshiba Encore features an Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor with the clock speed of 1.8GHz per core, accompanied with 2GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics card, which are more than adequate to handle the HD display on this tablet and its full-fledged Windows 8 OS.

The good thing is – unlike other Windows versions, like Windows Vista, XP or Windows 7 -, the Windows 8 Pro OS is not as power hungry as its predecessors, given that it’s using a simple Live Tile UI, which is intended originally for tablet PCs. So having an Intel Atom SoC, 2GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics card are more than enough for this tablet just to run smoothly with no lag whatsoever.

Interestingly, Toshiba Encore comes also with 2 cameras, 8MP and 2MP back and front respectively, which the rear one is able to take some decent quality shots (according to reviews on YouTube).

So even if you’re not into tablet photography at all, you’ll be glad to have such a reliable rear camera on this tablet, which might come in handy in case you forgot to bring your digital camera smartphone at your disposal.

Overall, i’m really impressed with what Toshiba Encore has to offer to the users.

What makes this tablet probably a better offering than any other tablets on the market is definitely its ability to run legacy software or games of your laptop or PC, of course the ones that only require low system requirements.

You may not be able to play the latest graphically demanding games like GTA V or Call of Duty: Ghost, but there are still many lower-spec games out there that can be enjoyed using this tablet.

And that’s a huge plus point on this device, which cannot be found on other iOS or Android rivals.


Screen

One of the downsides found on this Toshiba tablet is actually its medium-resolution display.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying that the 720p resolution on the 8-inch display of this tablet will not look sharp.

Well, that’s so wrong because 720p or HD display already looks pretty sharp on devices with screen size below the 10-inches.

However, compared to other rivals on the market to date – like iPad mini with Retina Display, LG G Pad 8.3 or Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro/Tab S -, then the display of Toshiba Encore may not have something to write home about, especially in terms of sharpness.

According to some video reviews of this tablet that i’ve seen on YouTube lately, there is still the lack of sharpness on the display of this tablet, especially in overview mode (without zooming in).

So if you really love browsing the web or reading contents on tablet, you will always need to deploy the pinch-to-zoom gesture on this tablet.

But even so, having an HD resolution on a smaller 8-inch display still looks pretty sharp for most of users out there.

User Interface

As a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet, Toshiba Encore comes pre-installed with the same looking UI just like any other Windows 8 tablets out there.

In fact, it also looks similar with the UI of Windows RT tablet – like Surface RT from Microsoft or Nokia Lumia 2520.

But the great thing of having this simple Live Tile UI is, Toshiba Encore is able to perform smoothly and even really fast for doing any kind of thing that you throw on it.

Not to mention, thanks to this simple UI, the battery life of this tablet will last much longer even in heavy use because Windows 8 OS is a light-weight OS with simple UI and visual presentation, which is not as power hungry as Windows Vista, XP or Windows 7.

So with this lighter OS, Toshiba Encore can perform smoothly with no lag whatsoever and last much longer than any older laptops with previous-gen Windows OS version.

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In terms of performance, this tablet is really superior on the sector.

And that’s not so shocking given that Toshiba Encore is powered by an Intel Atom Z3740 SoC – which is quad-core CPU and clocked at 1.8GHz per core, coupled with 2GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics chipset.

This of course is more than enough to pack a punch to the performance of this tablet.

As a matter of fact, according to what i’ve seen on some reviews of this tablet on YouTube, I think it’s amazing how this device performs really fast and smooth without any lag.

I mean, really – without any lag or stutter whatsoever, even when executing some heavy tasks like browsing some heavy web pages or simply operating the UI.

I believe this has something to do with the User Interface of this tablet – which is really light-weight for a powerful device that has an Intel Atom quad-core SoC with the clock speed of 1.8GHz per core.

Not to mention, the GPU or the Intel HD Graphics card inside this tablet also takes an integral part in ensuring that every task especially the graphics-related tasks that being deployed on this tablet, can all be executed in buttery smooth performance.

So basically, with this type of hardware specs and of course, a light-weight UI, Toshiba Encore is more than adequate to accommodate any basic to heavy intense tasks that you want to deploy on this device, just like on laptop or PC – from watching HD movies, reading contents, browsing the web, editing Office documents, typing contents, checking out photos or even playing some legacy software or games of your PC/laptop.

It goes the same with the gaming performance of this device.

Thanks to the Intel Atom Z3740 Baytrail processor inside this tablet, along with the 2GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics card – which is really powerful -, you can also turn this simple media-consumption tablet into a pure gaming laptop?

There are many games (especially the older ones with lower-grade hardware requirements) that can be easily accommodated on this tablet in smooth performance.

However, given that Toshiba Encore is not intended originally by Toshiba as a pure gaming tablet, let alone gaming laptop, then this tablet still has its limitations especially in terms of what games that can be played (or even opened) on this tablet perfectly.

So you cannot expect this Windows 8 tablet to be capable to play games like GTA V, Call of Duty: Ghost or other games that require some highest-grade system requirements – like 4GB of RAM, GeForce GT graphics card, or Intel Haswell processor, which all of these specs can only be found mostly on some high-end tablets or laptops such as Microsoft Surface Pro, Sony Vaio, etc.

But even so, despite not being capable to run all legacy games on laptop/PC, i personally think that Toshiba Encore can still be a great gaming tablet.

And that’s mostly thanks to its Intel HD Graphics card, which is really powerful for a media-consumption tablet.



Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Toshiba Encore, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

As a media-consumption tablet with a full–fledged Windows 8 Pro OS, i think this tablet is not gonna have such a long lasting battery life given that Windows 8 OS could be really power-hungry and squeeze the power of Intel Atom Z3740 processor inside this device, even when just deploying some basic tasks.

It’s actually not a secret anymore that the full-fledged Windows Pro OS is a really heavy OS and requires some high-grade hardware specs and especially graphics card in order to run smoothly in perfect performance.

However, given that Windows 8 Pro OS is now not as heavy and power hungry as the predecessors – like Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 7 -, then Toshiba Encore can still be capable to deliver an an-day battery life to users.

But of course, this will also depend on which of user are you.

I mean, if you’re power user and will mostly use this tablet to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like for watching HD movies/tv shows in marathon or playing games in the row -, then you can only expect to see this tablet last probably around 5 to 7 hours.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i personally think that Toshiba Encore can still be a good choice of media-consumption tablet.

As a matter of fact - thanks to its powerful Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Intel HD graphics card, and 8MP rear-facing camera that’s able to take some decent shots (according to video reviews on YouTube), not to mention, the fact that this tablet is running on the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS and capable to run some legacy software from PC or laptop -, i believe this Toshiba Encore could be one of the best 8-inch tablets out there on the market to date, – despite not having the keyboard dock just like any other Windows 8 tablets.

The other thing that makes this tablet awesome is definitely its ability to run some legacy games that you normally play on your PC or laptop.

And this is really cool because there are many older games that can be perfectly executed on this device.

But of course, there's no chance that this Toshiba Encore will be capable to run games like GTA V or Call of Duty: Ghost, especially given that these 2 games require some laptop-grade system requirements, which cannot be met on this Toshiba tablet.

Even so, i still think this Toshiba Encore can be a pretty awesome gaming tablet.

Besides great for gaming, Toshiba Encore will also be great for many other things, like reading contents like books or magazines, browsing the web, listening to music, editing Office documents or even simply checking emails.

So pretty much every thing about this tablet is just great.

It may not be as popular as iPads, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro or other Android tablets out there, but still, having the actual full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS on this simple media-consumption tablet can be really amazing, right?

I mean, with this simple 8-inch tablet, you can have a full-fledged laptop-quality OS on this tablet, plus you can also play many legacy software or games from your PC/laptop on this device, which both can never be offered on Android or even iOS.

And that really adds up a huge point to this tablet compared to other rivals on today’s tablet market.

So to end this review, i’ll try to answer some of the questions i’ve already asked previously above:

Does Toshiba Encore have what it takes to be a great gaming tablet?

Yes – thanks to its powerful Intel Atom Baytrail SoC, 2GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics card inside this tablet, Toshiba Encore definitely has all what it takes to be a great gaming tablet.

It may not be able to play the latest and most graphically demanding PC games like GTA V or Call of Duty: Ghost – which both require some really high-grade laptop system requirements -, however, there is still a lot of games, especially the older ones, that can be perfectly executed in buttery smooth performance on this tablet. And that makes it an awesome gaming device.

Does this tablet stack up against other 8-inch rivals around the high-end tablet market?

Yes – given its highest-grade laptop-quality specs, there’s no single doubt that this Toshiba tablet can really stack up against most of its 8-inch rivals on the market to date.

Its HD display may not be on par with other rivals that already adopt 1080p or even 2.5K display, but when it comes to performance and not to mention, features on its OS, there’s no tablet that can match the whole package that this Toshiba Encore offers to users – a solid all-around media-consumption tablet with a really serious full-fledged laptop-quality OS.

Is it worth it to buy this 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, especially as a media-consumption device?

Yes – thanks to its powerful hardware specs, not to mention, a good quality 8MP rear-facing camera that’s able to take some sharp looking shots, this Toshiba Encore can be a worth buying tablet.

In fact, buying this tablet or any other 8-inch Windows 8 Pro tablets can be a great decision especially if you’re looking for a solid media-consumption and productivity tablet.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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