The Swiss Army Knife of Tablets: Toshiba's Thrive - HotHardware

The Swiss Army Knife of Tablets: Toshiba's Thrive

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The Thrive doesn't make any apologies for its size and weight.  It's built with very rugged construction and is designed to be full-featured. It's a tablet, so it's still relatively thin, but Toshiba took the stance that they would address some of the inherent limitations in many tablets already out there; most of which pertain to expandability and accessibility. You'll have to tolerate a slate that is just over half-an-inch thick and weighs a little over 1.5lbs. You wafer-thin types might be inclined to whine about that but we say suck-it-up and deal with it. The Thrive brings a bunch of extra utility, not just junk in the trunk.

 

Ports-a-Plenty Including Full-Sized HDMI and USB

The top edge of the Thrive has a traditional volume rocker, power button and screen orientation lock switch.  Also along the top edge is a full-sized SD Flash card reader slot.  So, why did it take so long to get this simple feature into a tablet?  Good question. Thank you, Toshiba, for giving user direct access to their images and videos recently shot on SD cards. Those gathered around the coffee table thank you as well. Except for Uncle Ernie. He's never into the family photo tour anyway. The bottom edge of the Thrive has two speaker ports and a synch/dock port that has a removable (and easily lost) dust cover. 

However, the right edge of the Thrive -- well, that's where the party's going on.  Here Toshiba located the power input port and a traditional headphone jack.  Next door to those two, behind a small concealing panel (and tethered to the tablet thankfully), are the Thrive's full-sized USB and HDMI ports, as well as a mini USB port. Care to attach a mouse or USB stick directly to the tablet?  No problem.  Toshiba also compliments all of this added functionality with some software as well.  More on this later.

 


 
Along the left edge of the slate, just above its 2MP front-facing web cam, is a back cover release switch.  Push that switch to the unlocked position and then you can carefully pull off the back skin of the Thrive.  From there you have access to the tablet's Lithium Ion battery as well as the blue CMOS battery you see here. Access to the CMOS battery could come in handy perhaps, for hard resets.
      
Toshiba Thrive Optional Dock

Finally, in addition to other accessories, like different color backings and cases for the Thrive, Toshiba sells an optional dock, which can turn your tablet into a multimedia file server for slideshows and video, when connected to an HDTV over its HDMI port.  Just drop the Thrive into the dock and there's no messing with wires to get it hooked up.  You also get additional USB ports and a headphone jack on the dock as well. This setup could even come in handy with a USB mouse and keyboard plugged in, should you want to get some real work done on the Thrive.

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Pretty good features for a tablet, especially the access to the battery. Just like you mentioned Dave every tablet is about the same with some having a distinct feature that will set it apart. I'm in no rush for a tablet so I will just watch as the tech gets better.

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Galaxy Tab doesn't have an AMOLED display at all, it uses a PVA derivate. They don't have the capacity yet to produce such large panels in large quantities.

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Noted and thanks. Corrections made in text and video. Galaxy Tab 10.1 uses a PLS LCD and it still has slightly better contrast and color saturation.

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Swiss Army Knife? Did you forget your title? I assume you were thinking of the design vs other tablets?

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Source: Wikipedia - "The term "Swiss Army knife" was coined by US soldiers after World War II, presumably because they had trouble pronouncing its original name, "Offiziersmesser".

Sometimes, the term "Swiss Army knife" is also used metaphorically to describe usefulness, such as a software tool that is a collection of special-purpose tools."

Hope that helps...

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Dave_HH:
used metaphorically to describe usefulness

So it's a MacGyver tab?


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LOL! Exactly, Neil.

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"Great review. Its a nice Tablet, very nice. does Toshiba offer a larger capacity Battery? 5-6 hours is not enough for my girlfriend or me, she pretty much uses the Ipad all day without having to re-charge, sometimes even days. We will upgrade though, during Christmas time. so this is one option."

-Optimus

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I don't think there is currently a larger capacity battery, Optimus. However, I'd offer that our 5 - 6 hour battery time was in a constant on test condition with the web browser refreshing every 3 minutes. If you give it a rest and let the panel time out between use, I'm sure it would provide "day long" use, so to speak.

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Dave_HH:
If you give it a rest and let the panel time out between use, I'm sure it would provide "day long" use, so to speak.

"That's true, my girlfriend only uses it for an hour or two at a time, so the Thrive will actually last a lot longer than that. I like the Galaxy Tba 10.1 also , had a chance to try out, but some big cons , No USB ,No native HDMI output (have to buy a expensive dock) and no Micro SD slot. Bummer."

-Optimus

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