Following HP's lead with its $100 7 Plus Android tablet, Toshiba has launched three new tablets that emphasize price over fancy features.
At $109.99, the Excite Go (pictured above) is a little pricier than its HP competition, but it offers a couple of key advantages. It ships with the latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, while the 7 Plus sticks with the older 4.2.2 Jellybean. The Toshiba also provides twice the amount of built-in storage: 16GB versus the HP's 8GB.
The Excite Go ships with an Intel Atom quad-core processor, whereas the 7 Plus is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex CPU. Both come with pedestrian 1,024x600 7-inch screens. Toshiba claims superior battery life — 8 hours of general use, whereas HP promises 5.5 hours from the 7 Plus — though it remains to be seen how that plays out in real-life testing.
The decision to go cheap with the Excite Go could work out well for Toshiba, as the 7 Plus is already out of stock at HP's online store. Potential buyers will have to wait, however, as the Excite Go isn't shipping until early July. That availability is the same for Toshiba's new Windows 8.1 slates, 8-inch and 10-inch flavors of the Encore 2.
The original Encore was spotted at IFA 2013 and started at $329.99 for an 8-inch tablet. (The starting price has since been reduced to $299.99.) Toshiba has shaved $100 off for the same-sized Encore 2 edition, while adding a 10-inch version that starts at $269.99.
Like the first version of the Encore, the Encore 2 features 1,280x800 resolution, though that's a little more exciting on the 8-inch screen than the 10-inch model. Like the Excite Go, the new Encore 2 tablets include an Intel Atom quad-core processor inside, though Toshiba hasn't disclosed which one(s). You can configure them with up to 64GB of built-in storage, though it's unclear how much the starting configuration includes — the original base Encore comes with 32GB.
Eschewing the basic black of the Encore, the Encore 2 sports a satin gold matte finish. Toshiba also throws in a free year of Office 365 and promises 10 hours of general-use battery life from the new Encore 2 tablets.