Toshiba Thrive Review: Toshiba has long been absent from the Tablet game, and having one of the biggest and most respected PC players missing from this profitable market is a little odd, especially since Toshiba announced an Android tablet was in the works last year. So when they proclaimed a tablet was “just around the corner” at CES this January in Las Vegas and again at MWC a month later in Barcelona, nobody really got excited. Now however, we have a firm release date, specs and price, as Toshiba recently announced the long-awaited tablet would also be one of the first Honeycomb tablets to hit the streets.
July 10 is the drop date for the 10.1 inch Android 3.1 Tablet PC, and the pricing hits three different levels. TheThrive has the base model at 8 GB for $429, you double that hard drive to 16 GB for $479, and get a huge 32 GB model that is probably more attractive to business professionals and gamers for a very reasonable $579. As a comparison, the Apple iPad 2 costs $499 for 16 GB, and $599 for 32 GB, so Toshiba has hit the perfect price range to allow their first tablet offering to thrive in the crowded Tablet PC marketplace, so let’s see if the specs do the same.
Boasting the latest Android operating system (OS), Honeycomb 3.1, that was designed specifically for 10 inch displays, the Thrive immediately gains an upper hand over other tablets with older versions of the Android OS. This is a big deal, since the Honeycomb was the OS used in all the tablet demos at CES and MWC that looked so attractive and impressive.
Money of the features are those required of top-level tablets. Dual cameras are present in all models of the Thrive, but the 5 mp rear and 2.1 forward facing cameras produced better than average tablet results in test shots and video, and the required 720p High Def recording ability is there as well. A High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port allows you to share your video and pics with others on a big screen HDTV or monitor, and mini USB, SD card slot and USB 2.0 ports are also on board to offer more multimedia options.
The Thrive possesses possibly the best, and easily one of the fastest, processors in the Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual Core 1 GHz, and lets you swap out the back for one of many bright pastel colored skins. Overall, with a great cadre of goodies, priced right, and timed well, as the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab furor has died down, Toshiba’s tablet will definitely Thrive when it hits July 10.