Budget-friendly Toshiba Encore 2 Windows 8 tablets start at $200

The Encore 2 starts at $200 and comes in 8- and 10-inch flavors, but they offer largely identical features.

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Associate Editor Nate Ralph is an aspiring wordsmith, covering mobile software and hardware for CNET Reviews. His hobbies include dismantling gadgets, waxing poetic about obscure ASCII games, and wandering through airports.
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The 8- and 10-inch Toshiba Encore 2 Sarah Tew/CNET

Toshiba is adding two more tablets to its Windows 8 lineup, the 8- and 10-inch Encore 2. These devices are decidedly budget -- starting at a mere $199.99 -- but Toshiba hopes to tick enough of the right boxes to pique interest.

Call them the Encore's encore -- the original Toshiba Encore ($330, for 32GB of storage) didn't fail to impress, but was ultimately bested in our eyes by the $300 Dell Venue 8 Pro . Toshiba's response: cut the price, without cutting out much in the way of features. Both tablets offer a 1,280-by-800-pixel-resolution IPS display, a quad-core Intel Atom CPU, and a claimed 10 hours of battery life -- that dips down to 8 hours if you're watching video. They can be configured with up to 64GB of internal storage, and offer microSD card slots that support up to 128GB SDXC cards.

The Encore 2 sports an "elegant Satin Gold finish" and stereo speakers. Sarah Tew/CNET

A built-in Micro-HDMI port and support for Miracast wireless streaming also keeps things entertainment-ready. Toshiba has also thrown a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal into the mix, should access (albeit temporary) to Microsoft's productivity suite be enough to seal the deal. Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11n Wi-Fi and a Micro-USB 2.0 port, and they also offers a 5MP rear camera.

Both tablets will be available in July -- the 8-inch will start at $199.99, while the 10-inch variant will start at $269.99. Whether or not either one is a smart buy will need to wait until we can get them in for review.