Toshiba Encore WT8 Unbox, Overview and Tests (Video.) Yes, you can say UMPC.

Updated on 31 December 2013 by

WT8 snapI’ve tested a number of Baytrail devices and, as always with a new platform, there’s potentially a difference between the over-excited experience at the launch event and real-life usage; Sometimes it’s disappointing. In this case, I’m extremely excited because the experience is better than I thought. I’ve just received the Toshiba Encore WT8 (bought for UMPCPortal) and spent 2 hours unboxing and testing in front of cameras. My first impressions in blog-form will take a few days but if you’ve got time to watch through this 40 minute testing video, you’ll see why I’m excited. That’s all I’m saying for now. Your questions are, as always, welcome.


Toshiba Encore WT8 unbox, overview and test.

 

There’s a ‘behind the scenes’ un-edited Google Hangout video available too…

31 Comments For This Post

  1. D T says:

    Watched whole video and thank you very much for doing this.

    Shocked to find the stereo speakers are on the narrow side? Most videos / movies are landscape orientation!! Why?

    What’s the Wh on the battery? I wonder what makes this model bigger and heavier than others.

  2. Chippy says:

    19.5Wh battery. A good size compared to the competition.

    Yeah, the speakers are not positioned well for videos but headphones are recommended in that scenario on all mobile devices.

    Chippy.

  3. D T says:

    Thanks.

    I used to own a Blackberry Playbook briefly. It has stereo speakers on both sides in landscape mode. Ironically few other tablets have this nice design, but I don’t know why.

    Right, the battery is bigger indeed, about 10% more than the Dell etc.

  4. cmvrgr says:

    nice review. I tried it also on 42″ tv with the hdmi cable it works nicely.

    I hope soon to release one with 4gb ram, 128 ssd, 64bit windows, 3g …

  5. Andreas says:

    I have to agree with the other, nice review. Keep up the good Work!

    I do, however, miss a “real” UMPC. All those tablets are missing some very important Things: Keyboard (like the HTC shift, that was a nice KB). Its crucial for a UMPC in my opinion.
    I do allso miss a <5" UMPC. There have really been no replacement for the OQOs, and they are becoming rather slow by todays standardse. The F-07C i have is decent, but soon it can't catch up anymore.

  6. digi_owl says:

    Could have sworn i spotted a recent Acer with a HTC Shift like keyboard.

    As for below 5″, i suspect that market has been handed over to phablets…

  7. D T says:

    I use a bluetooth keyboard. For small size I have 2: iGo Ultra Slim, brush aluminum from the PDA days, still very nice and compact when folded, another one is a generic brand, but with a small glidepad, excellent for desktop mode.

    I don’t agree that there should be a permanently attached keyboard in today’s capacitive touch screen, as not everyone needs it and it will add to weight and size. What I like is a smaller version similar to my Acer W510 and Asus eee Transformer keyboard dock. (Or Asus T100 today).

    But many of these keyboards (except my Transformer) do not have pointing device, only keyboard, unfortunately a pity.

  8. Paul says:

    I agree on the permantly attached thumb keyboard and mouse. I need it. Will buy it if such a Bay Trail device comes out. I even forego my 64-bit and 4+ GB of RAM requirement.

  9. Haris says:

    one word….t100, it has everything except a rear camera.The rest is there.

    I’m wondering if you can attach everything up and charge at the same time.No problem with the t100.

  10. Andreas says:

    But it is enourmous! A 10″ screen is not a UMPC, its simply too big. With such a size, i could just bring a regular subnotebook, or full fledged device with haswell/ivy.

    A device fitting into the pocket would be better

  11. sophocha says:

    for me 8 to 10 inches is not a big difference in size, however there is a BIG difference when I try to be productive (audio editing, video editing, notation, photoshop…you need a mouse for all these)…8 inches is simply too constrictive as well as I have to carry with me a micro-usb adapter all the time (as I’m carrying an external USB behringer mixer).The t100 is the perfect size for both couch surfing as well as being small enough to carry with me when I try to do some work on it.

  12. Mort says:

    @sophocha

    What if you had an active digitizer, a slide out keyboard and a mouse in the bezel or on keyboard? Kind of like the old OQO and Viliv UMPCs.

    Anyway, I don’t draw nor create videos so I’m not sure what’s useful. I do type a lot in a terminal, text editor for C/C++ files and scripts, slides and word processing software. So a physical keyboard and bezel mouse would be nice. I don’t mind the smaller screen in exchange for the portability. Maybe a 5″ slider UMPC can also become my 5″ slider phablet if I use VOIP or there’s a way to make cellular calls.

  13. ArchiMark says:

    Me too, Andreas….

  14. Parslei says:

    Of all the Windows 8″ tablets so far, I’ve played with the Acer, Dell, & Lenovo. The Lenovo is the only 1 that can rival Android/iOS tablets in terms of hardware. Meaning, it’s thin & dense. The others just feel thick & airy. Overall Atom tablets still cannot compete with ARM tablets in hardware & battery life.

    I haven’t played with the Toshiba yet but it looks pretty thick too. Although I like the smooth back & HDMI. The Dell seems pretty popular on Amazon because it’s so cheap, so hopefully it’s popularity means it will actually be supported going forward. Although I have a bad feeling these cheap 8″ tablets are going to be abandoned just like Windows OEM’s have been doing with their laptops for years, making users do all the work for updates.

    Chippy should really focus his energy on evangelizing the Windows platform & not taking shots at the others. I am about as well versed in all 3 ecosystems as someone can possibly be & W8 isn’t even close. Using the desktop as some type of advantage is pretty silly since it isn’t designed for this formfactor & most people couldn’t careless about having it on their tablet. If you spent more time outside of the Windows environment you would understand why so many of us are infatuated with Android/iOS. The world is moving away from “rich” applications & full blown OS management.

    With all that said I am still planning on picking up an 8″ Windows tablet to go with my others, since I like to be fair to all ecosystems.

  15. beomagi says:

    A lot of us were around UMPCs before Windows 7 and desktop on a small high resolution screen is fine. Scaling is important. Good window management apps work well. Saying the world is moving away from “rich” applications and a full blown OS is ridiculous – that’s the mentality that was pushed by windows 8’s design, and chromebooks, and they’re both getting a lashing for reducing our capability.

    While most people multitask less with small mobile devices, I never really felt like I had to stick to one or two apps at a time on my fujitsu u820 or 1630p. those are 5″ and 9″ convertible laptops, both with 1280×800 screen resolutions. Desktop is a major advantage. It’s best with keyboard and mouse, so I’m holding off for what Andreas mentioned – a proper keyboard dock.

    the usability lent them to not only being used for media consumption, but also more productive tasks. The small one ran nginx, and I used it to develop my scripting skill on my commute. The 9″ was used for working on pictures, and remotely connecting to work

  16. Breds says:

    You sound like you’re stuck in the past & in denial of the future.

    Look at the sales of UMPC’s & then look at the sales of modern day phones/tablets.

    You probably hate the cloud as well & prefer to keep everything on external HDD’s.

    Besides, don’t you have some CD’s to rip & a media library to go manage? ;)

  17. Paul says:

    Why do you think a converged device that’s both touch friendly for quick mobile use (ie. what the Modern UI, Android and iOS are used for) and PC tasks (varies from person to person) is not moving towards the future? Such a device will let me combine my phone and notebook which will save me money in the long run (using VOIP or cellular voice may be integrated into Windows somehow). I can connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse for a low end desktop replacement as well. Although, my particular desktop tasks require high performance computing (currently one with a 6 core + 6 HT Xeon and 19 GB of RAM).

    Let’s face it, a touch centric app will never be as robust as a desktop oriented one. A touch only interface can get by with a limited feature set for quick things but being able to switch to a more feature rich desktop version on demand is great! Heck, I have software which vendors have flat out said no Android, iOS and Modern UI versions will ever be made due to the restrictions of touch only UIs. I truly think Windows 8 and Ubuntu Touch are very much forward looking.

    You should stop conforming your usage to what Google, Apple and others are telling you is the future like the many sheep out there in the world.

  18. Beomagi says:

    A reduction in capability for one OS is the future? Touch is the future – merging it well with the desktop (or more accurately, a multi-window interface) is a must. Many of the UMPCs of the past were touch enabled and delivered what we were hoping for – convergence of portability and functionality.

    Limited interfacing with an OS isn’t FUTURE, it’s TRENDY. Otherwise “start8″ wouldn’t be the most popular windows8 app out there…

    I wouldn’t compare sales of phones and laptops – we’re looking at a time where mini devices didn’t have a lot of processing power, so sales were bound to be low. the processing power and screen resolutions are here now though. Also, just as UMPCs were getting started, the eeepc and netbooks surfaced. Atom at the time was considered good enough. Netbooks started out competing with and killing UMPCs, and then grew into 11” underpowered laptops, abandoning their original size.

    I don’t get the cloud/cd comment – again completely irrelevant to the rest of the post. Then again if you put all your faith in “the cloud”…

  19. D T says:

    I disagree.

    There are Atom based Android tablets that are small and thin, just like their “ARM” siblings (I use a quote, b/c ARM is an architecture and IP firm, not a chip making firm and thus should not be used when comparing size and weight b/c they have nothing to do with it).

    And it is still not the fault of Atom today, as the improvement has come a long way for the last 8 years. Blame it on Windows (not RT) that needs more power to run properly (Win 8 is a bit better, but imagine in the XP and Vista days?).

    I don’t get it. Did you guys actually see the video at all? Did you see Chippy pull out the Samsung Q1 (I still have it)? Can you see the size, weight, and the battery life? Can you compare and observe the improvement over the years? Now the weight, size, and battery life is basically ON PAR with Android tablets, and yet you said it is still not as good. You are really splitting hair if you are comparing 10mm and 8mm size, 10 to 20% diff in battery life and weight. It is really not that big of a difference.

    My Symbian OS smartphone can last 4 days, can your Android OS smartphone do that?

  20. D T says:

    I would like to put in some perspective here. Some years back, I was a harsh critic regarding the state of UMPC, MID etc because of the obvious reasons: 1) battery life, 2) bugs and stability of Windows based devices in general, 3) the incompatibility of the desktop UI in a small form factor display, touch interface etc, and 4) size and weight since the iPad launched.

    I recalled Chippy said with much hope, that the Metro UI coming w/ Windows 8 would hopefully improve on this problem. And indeed he was right.

    I wrote extensively here regarding all the problems I have noticed. Like Parslei, I have owned various platforms over the years: my first tablet is the SonicBlue ProGear with Windows 98SE and Transmeta Crusoe CPU (can anyone beat me on this one?). I have owned Blackberry Playbook. I still own iPad (1st gen), 3 Android tablets (not inc those I sold), 3 Windows 8.x tablets. I guess the only one I haven’t owned is the HP Touchpad as I couldn’t get one then (WebOS).

    In all fairness, I think both CPU (Intel Atom in this case) and Windows (Windows 8 and Metro / Modern UI in this case) have come a long way, and has finally reached the milestone that it can finally compete with iOS and Android tablets (if not in the number of apps yet though). So for that alone, this should be celebrated (to the UMPCPortal community), because this wait has been very long in the making.

    But unfortunately, many of you are still not satisfied, still whining that it still is not small or thin enough, some said it’s not 64 bit, etc. But if you see the small changes and big changes, here recently, it is the big changes in recent times. NO wonder there is the saying “haters gonna hate”. Some people are simply not very objective.

    I still think it is almost an impossible feat to optimize Windows in order to run this smoothly in small power systems; and then for the CPU manufacturers that can make such powerful processing and yet consuming so little power. 99% of you missed the point: if you compare the processing power vs power consumption, you will find out the latest Baytrail has won over “ARM” based ones. But if you compare the absolutely lowest power consumption but still capable to do a decent job (such as HD playback), then of course the “ARM” based ones are sufficient.

    I give you an example: I am running Blustacks, an Android Player, on Baytrail based Venue Pro. It is quite useable. Try running a Windows emulator on any Android tablet, such as DOSBox etc, and report back to me when it is booted up on Windows 7. Then you will understand which CPU is more powerful.

  21. Triplicate says:

    How we’ll do these all-in-1 USB docks work? I’m worried about 3rd party drivers & CPU utilization.

    Since this device has HDMI seems like that would be the better option.

  22. Nifq says:

    Can it charge & dock at the sametime?

  23. Robert Black says:

    Steve,

    Of all the 8 inch Win 8 Tablets which one one do you recommend for speed and battery life?

  24. John says:

    Does it support self powered hard disk? Bcoz dell vp8 won’t… Also can we install applications (like ps cc) in memory card?

  25. limburger2001 says:

    I’ve got one and yes, it does support the USB powered portable hard drives. Not sure about your other questions but I don’t believe modern UI apps can be installed on the micro SD card, not sure about desktop applications.

  26. Robert Black says:

    How do you connect a USB External drive?

  27. Robert Black says:

    @limburger2001
    How do you connect a USB External drive?

  28. Bob Deloyd says:

    Yes I do believe this is what we’ve been looking for throughout the years when I started reading your posts many years ago.
    I now have a Dell Venue Pro 8 running Win8.1 and also a Asus 10″ T100…
    The Dell Venue Pro 8 has some WIFI issues because of 2 Windows update: KB 2887595 and KB 2903939 so I decided to just uninstall KB 2887595 and KB 2903939. I then did a restart and the WIFI had returned. I then did a Windows update and hid both KB 2887595 and KB 2903939 and then set the Windows update from automatic to notify me and let me choose what I want to update; just don’t trust it anymore :P
    I did not have this problem on the Asus T100… I consider both fine machines :)

  29. ssagg says:

    I’ve been out for some years (I’ve missed you Steve) and I’surpised to see that in a lot of articles people still talks about oqos and vilivs. It seems that no device have filled the place they used to have in umpc concept lovers.
    Actually I’m typing this on a wphone instead on my w8 Tablet bassicly because of that.
    I still miss the weight of my oqo in my belt an the possibility of pulling it out EVERY time I needed it.
    Now I get this solution in my Phone and don’t think I can get it from one of the existing devices.
    Anyway I hope some 8″ Windows slider that fills my needs to apear anytime.

  30. animatio says:

    @breds: i’m tempetd to call that statement of yours “silly ignorance” of real assets needed.
    these never changed since personal computers entered the field and in fact these were the driving force behind ALL serious work-oriented programming since the early days some 30 years ago. but the industry’s efforts of today are not in this direction any more, but to simple devices for simple users, say consumers not having the slightest idea of heavy professional usage of a modern computer. for such a purpose the whole cloud, android, chrome and similar stuff is virtually useless and in fact a highly risky business by any means. that’s the reason why professional users comment and criticise most of these actual devices. “long time told, never learnt” is the conclusion in respect of the producing industry.

  31. Kabalk says:

    Hello
    According to the specification it have A-GPS (Internet Assisted).
    Can you please try some offline maps and tell us if it works?
    You think it could be used on road?
    Or maybe maps dont work without internet connection.
    Thanks and regards

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