The textured silver backside of the Toshiba Encore 8 (pictures)
Toshiba's fast Encore 8 is bulky and heavy like a typical Toshiba tablet.
Silver lining tablet
The $329 Toshiba Encore 8 is a Windows 8.1 tablet that features a comfortable yet plasticky build and a solid set of simple features. Despite its extra girth and weight, the 8-inch slate fits comfortably in one or two hands.
Toshiba had to cut some corners on the build quality of the Encore 8 in order to meet its relatively affordable price. However, it still manages to offer Micro-HDMI and microUSB ports on the tablet. The top edge also houses a headphone jack and microphone pinholes.
The Toshiba Encore 8 features rounded corners, which make for a comfortable handheld experience. The power button and volume rocker are located on the top-right corner (if holding in portrait mode), and they're almost flush to the tablet's edge, making them relatively unnoticeable if held in landscape orientation.
The Encore 8 features the textured silver back that other Toshiba tablets -- like the Excite line-up -- also sport. The slate can easily fit in one hand, and the round edges that extend to the front help securely grip the device.
Though tablet cameras are a standard, they don't usually impress with their photo quality. The 8-inch Encore's rear 8-megapixel shooter falls into this category. However, it features the cool Windows 8.1 capability to easily take 360-degree photos by using the native camera app.