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  1. HeyCori's Avatar
    Yeah... so I sold my Surface 2 today. Traded it in at Best Buy for the Toshiba Encore 2. The battery must of been completely dead because it's been on the charger for like 20 minutes and won't go past the charge symbol. Not a big deal though. It's resting comfortably in the stand that came with my Wedge Mobile Keyboard.

    I searched some product announcements but didn't see any mind blowing devices coming out this fall that are also in the Encore's price range. Frankly, aside from a more powerful CPU, I don't know what I'd want. There's only 32GBs (same as the Surface 2) but it's time for me to start using my 400GB OneDrive account anyway. I like to think I'll miss the microHDMI and full sized USB port but I don't think I will. I usually ended up using Play To with my Xbox One to watch videos and I'll survive transferring files through OneDrive instead of USB.

    Also, welcome me back Windows 7, I'm home! The PSU died in my Windows 8 computer. I'll get around to buying a new PSU eventually. I'm in no rush though. This computer is old but it's a trooper. And damn it feels good to be using the desktop Zune software again. It's glorious, it really is.

    So what prompted trading in my Surface 2 for a (spec wise) inferior tablet? A plug-in.

    Our public library has a new service called hoopla where users can stream free movies and music. There's an app for Android/iOS but (as expected) there's no app in the Windows Store. It's flash based so no biggie, right? Unfortunately, the site required a plug-in which the Surface 2 can't do. Granted, neither can Android or iOS. Still, it's frustrating knowing that I could have a tablet that accepts plug-ins and it's cheaper than the Surface 2 while offering more applications since it's full Windows 8. I just had to take advantage.
    Last edited by HeyCori; 09-15-2014 at 11:12 AM.
    09-14-2014 05:32 PM
  2. Guytronic's Avatar
    Awww...
    You trader you!


    Encore 2 looks like a great slate.
    HeyCori and Laura Knotek like this.
    09-14-2014 06:29 PM
  3. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Congrats! It was a good run with the Surface.

    Did you get the 8 or 10? I've been pondering an 8" tablet running x86 Windows and have been debating between the Dell Venue 8 Pro and the Encore 2. I'd love to hear a fellow ex-Surface 2 owner's opinion of the Encore 2.
    Laura Knotek and HeyCori like this.
    09-14-2014 11:19 PM
  4. HeyCori's Avatar
    Congrats! It was a good run with the Surface.

    Did you get the 8 or 10? I've been pondering an 8" tablet running x86 Windows and have been debating between the Dell Venue 8 Pro and the Encore 2. I'd love to hear a fellow ex-Surface 2 owner's opinion of the Encore 2.
    I went with the 8 inch. Overall impressions are positive. My biggest complaint would be the display resolution. It's a noticeable drop from 1080p down to 1200x800. Also, color reproduction isn't as accurate as the Surface 2. With that said, the display isn't a deal breaker. Images and videos still look good and I'm starting to adjust to the lower resolution.

    It might also take a while to adjust to no full sized USB port. Fortunately, for the things I can't sync through the cloud, I can at least transfer them via the microSD card since my desktop computer also has a slot on it. I will likely buy a microUSB to USB adapter to see if transfer data like that too. I can't find any info regarding whether the Encore's microUSB supports data transfer or just charging so I just gotta test it myself.

    Speakers are noticeable louder than the Surface 2, which is a major plus because I often had to turn the sound on the Surface 2 up to 100 just to hear anything. I just gotta be careful not to cover them up when I'm holding the tablet. Eight inches is a pretty good size for a tablet, easily palm-able in my medium sized hands. Plus it's more enjoyable to use portrait mode. The Encore isn't the slimmest tablet out there but it's not heavy either. IMO, it looks quite stylish. Although the backside scratches easily according to one of the video reviews.

    The Windows button is on the top side instead of the front. Depending on how you use your device that may or may not drive you insane. I've decided it's easier for me to swipe in from the side and press the virtual Windows button. It's a slight annoyance, but again, not a deal breaker.

    It does seem like the Surface 2 is a tad faster. The Encore 2 mostly runs smooth but will stutter a little bit when switching between apps. I updated the BIOS (Toshiba includes software for it). The update smoothed out some of the performance wrinkles. I haven't had much problem with the 1GB of RAM. Besides, I don't think I'll be doing anything too RAM intensive except media consumption.

    Software wise, you get "Windows 8.1 with Bing." Frankly, I can't tell much of a difference between "with Bing" and regular Windows 8. I had a little over 19 gigs of free space before doing software updates. Now I'm at 15 gigs. As far as desktop applications go, I've only installed Zune and Firefox so far. I think I installed Zune simply because I could. Otherwise, Xbox Music works pretty good on Windows 8. I installed Firefox because the plug-in I needed wouldn't work on Internet Explorer. No biggie, it worked fine with Firefox. I haven't found any major problems with either application so far. I might install Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements since I have the software download through Amazon. It would be interesting to see how the lightweight version of Photoshop runs.

    Luckily, there's very little bloatware on here. The biggest thing was a copy of Norton security which was quickly uninstalled. Toshiba includes a bunch of internet links to their websites and pre-installed Windows Store apps. Both are easy to delete.

    Hope the impressions helped.
    Last edited by HeyCori; 09-15-2014 at 11:15 AM.
    Guytronic likes this.
    09-15-2014 07:39 AM
  5. RumoredNow's Avatar
    ...I'll survive transferring files through OneDrive instead of USB...
    Two Things:


    OK that's 3 things...
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-15-2014 09:53 AM
  6. HeyCori's Avatar
    Two Things:


    OK that's 3 things...
    Not bad.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    09-15-2014 11:19 AM
  7. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I'm digging mine... It's made for PC or Mac to Android, but works fine between full hardware and full desktop tablet with that microB OTG.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-15-2014 11:27 AM
  8. WillysJeepMan's Avatar

    ( ...snipped... )

    Software wise, you get "Windows 8.1 with Bing." Frankly, I can't tell much of a difference between "with Bing" and regular Windows 8. I had a little over 19 gigs of free space before doing software updates. Now I'm at 15 gigs. As far as desktop applications go, I've only installed Zune and Firefox so far. I think I installed Zune simply because I could. Otherwise, Xbox Music works pretty good on Windows 8. I installed Firefox because the plug-in I needed wouldn't work on Internet Explorer. No biggie, it worked fine with Firefox. I haven't found any major problems with either application so far. I might install Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements since I have the software download through Amazon. It would be interesting to see how the lightweight version of Photoshop runs.

    ( ... snipped... )

    Hope the impressions helped.
    It does, thanks!

    Interestingly enough, one of the apps that I planned on installing on a Windows tablet was the Zune software. Even though it had a ways to go to be a fully complete media library management tool, it is far and away still the best available. (IMO)

    I was hoping to hold out for an 8" tablet with an active digitizer, but there aren't any new models on the horizon that will provide one. Although the specs between the Encore 2 and DV8P are nearly identical, I have a hesitancy to buy something that has been on the market for nearly a year already.

    Thanks again for your insights on the Encore 2, they have been very helpful.
    HeyCori likes this.
    09-15-2014 04:56 PM
  9. HeyCori's Avatar
    Update:

    Tried to install Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 but it didn't go so well. The install was going fine but one part was taking like 20 minutes to get past. I got tired of waiting so I canceled the install. I don't know if it was a software issue or simply because the Atom is slow. As a workaround I added a link to image editing site, Pixlr.com. It's great for basic image manipulation and works really well on the Encore 2 (better than on my Surface 2, actually). Pixlr also has a new desktop application that offers some of the best photo filter effects I've seen. At only 30MBs, needless to say, I installed it.

    Sadly, my bluetooth stereo headphones don't work as good. The sound will work fine for 2-3 songs then cut in and out for a few seconds before going back to normal. My Microsoft Mobile Wedge Keyboard still works great as well as my Sculpt bluetooth mouse (the mouse seems to work better than on my Surface 2). It's just the headphones. Maybe it's interference from my wireless network. Not sure.

    The Encore 2 comes with a free one year subscription to Office 365 Personal. I didn't plan on using Office on the Encore but then I saw that Office 365 Personal can be activated on one tablet and one desktop! Now I have Office on my Windows 7 desktop and the Encore 2. And yes, Office runs just fine on the Encore 2.

    Something else that was a good surprise... Office 365 subscribers get 1TB of OneDrive storage. That's a far better value than I thought. Just buying 200GB of OneDrive storage costs $48 a year versus $70 a year for Office 365 Personal. I was probably going to buy more OneDrive storage anyway. Now I don't have to. Office 365 gets me waaaaay more storage (oh and Office too!).
    Laura Knotek and RumoredNow like this.
    09-16-2014 09:39 AM

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