Toshiba is bringing Windows 8.1 to the 7-inch tablet form factor

At Computex, Toshiba and Microsoft jointly introduced the first 7-inch consumer tablet to run Windows 8.1, making it the smallest size Windows slate to date. This follows on the heels of Toshiba's 8-inch Encore 2 tablet announcement.

In its blog, Microsoft states that the tablet is "co-developed by Microsoft and Toshiba and in close collaboration with Intel, Goodix and AMI;" the device should be coming at a competitive "value-driven price point" in the coming months. An exact release date was not given.

The 7-inch Encore will likely compete in the same space as Google's Nexus 7, a popular and compact 7-inch Android tablet that comes in at an affordable $200 price point. Given that Toshiba is already pricing its 8-inch Encore 2 at $200, the Encore 7 tablet may come in under $200.

Microsoft had announced at Build that it would remove Windows' licensing costs to devices with screen sizes under 9 inches. This would help facilitate the Encore 7's lower price point.

In addition to the 7-inch Encore, Panasonic is also working on a 7-inch rugged Touchpad FZ-M1 tablet that runs Windows. That device is aimed at the industrial market and was showcased at CES earlier this year.

Source: Microsoft