Toshiba Thrive 7 Review, Honeycomb at 7 Inches

13 thumbs up

If 2011 was the year of the tablet, then Q4 2011 had to be the quarter of 7-inch versions.  With a late-in-the-year burst of releases from various manufacturers spurring break-out products like the Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, it's as if manufacturers made a concerted effort to target lower price points in an move to capture opportunity upsides during the holiday season.  There's little question Amazon's product, with its $199 price tag and an entire platform of media services and brand recognition behind it, made a big splash and now the competitive offerings are ramping up.

Meanwhile, Toshiba was a shade on the late side to the 10-inch tablet party with the original Thrive released early this year, but they're ready to strike while the proverbial iron is hot now in this late seasonal market buzz for 7-inch devices.  We called the 10-inch Toshiba Thrive the "Swiss Army Knife" of tablets back when we reviewed it, with its copious amounts of connectivity options and full-sized ports.  It's a large-than-most tablet but the sort of device that differentiates itself in a crowd of too similar designs. 

The second coming of the Thrive, the Toshiba Thrive 7 that we're going to take a look at today, however, has to squeeze features and functionality into a decidedly smaller form factor.  Though Toshiba once again does there level best here, to offer as much openness to connectivity as they can in this smaller version of the Thrive.  We'd almost call this version the "Thrive Mini."  At the internal component level, the Thrive 7 shares a lot of similarities with the original 10-inch Thrive, it's just packed into a petite frame with a slightly trimmed down price tag of $379.

Before we delve into the particulars, let's give you a quick, hands-on nickle tour of the new Toshiba Thrive 7".

Toshiba Thrive Android 3.1 Tablet
Specifications & Features
Display:  7.0" high-resolution (1280x800) widescreen, 16:10 aspect ratio, Capacitive Touch, Multi-Touch, scratch resistant glass

Platform:
  Android 3.2, Honeycomb; 5 customizable Home screens

CPU:
  NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 @ 1GHz
Memory: 
   1GB
Storage:
  16GB/32GB Models

Wireless Data Network:
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth V2.1

Camera:
2MP Pixel Front Camera, 5MP Pixel Rear Camera, 720P HD Video


Audio:

Toshiba Sound Enhancements, SRS Premium Sound Stereo Speakers, High Quality
Mic

Interfaces:

1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack (Headphone)
1 x micro HDMI 1.3a
1 x micro SD Card Slot
1 x mini USB 2.0 Port
1 x Docking Connector
Sensors:
Ambient Light Sensor
Gyroscope
Accelerometer

Multi-Task Support :
Yes
Flash Support :
Yes

Software :

- Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) Operating System
- TOSHIBA App Place, TOSHIBA BookPlace™, TOSHIBA Media Player, TOSHIBA Service Station, TOSHIBA File Manager
- Adobe® AIR® Runtime, Adobe® Flash, Kaspersky Tablet Security, LogMeIn Ignition, Hardwood Backgammon by SilverCreek Games, Hardwood Euchre by SilverCreek Games, Hardwood Solitaire IV by SilverCreek Games, Hardwood Hearts by Silvercreek Games, Hardwood Spades by Silvercreek Games, MOG Music, Printer Share™, Quickoffice®, Need for Speed™ Shift by EA

Battery: Up to 6 hours: 15Wh Li-Polymer Battery

Finish/Color: Easy Grip Back Cover in Black Tie
Dimension: 7.44" x 0.48" x 5.04"
Weight: .83lbs.
Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty
MSRP:  $379


 
The specs list above really says it all.  The Toshiba Thrive 7 is, for all intents and purposes, a 7-inch version of the original 10-inch Thrive, including the NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC platform its built upon.  Which of course is not a bad thing at all.  Tegra 2 Android Honeycomb-based tablets are solid solutions. In addition, the one thing the Thrive 7 has going that the Kindle Fire can't claim, is a wide open Honeycomb OS, complete with the Android Market.  Though many power users might point to the fact that the Fire can be rooted, the average mainstream consumer is likely not willing to go that route.  It is within this mainstream customer base that the Thrive 7 can, dare we say, "thrive."
 

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Good review. Didnt know they were even coming out with a seven inch tablet. Seven seems too small to me and ten a tad too large. Id love to see more 8-9 inch tablets, hopefully something with a quad.

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 I wish i could get one without cameras. Almost perfect. Geeked

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This Thrive 7 looks to be an alright tablet altogether. i like the extra HDMI, and USB capabilities. although i would feel alot better about the Thrive 7 if the camera was a bit bigger than just two MegaPixels. mabe at least five on the front webcam would be nice, so when you do facetime, the faces arent all blurry.

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This tablet looks ok and probably a pretty good all-around tablet but i still don't think it's going to be better than the samsung galaxy 7.0 plus. Toshiba just doesn't make the most quality tablets and they are always kinda bulky in my opinion with more options than my laptop. People want tablets to be super portable and to do a few things well. I just feel that Toshiba has a few things backwards and i recommend taking a look at some good android tablet reviews at www.tabletcritique.com

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If you need a WIFI tablet that you can take along almost amywhere, you will probably want a 7" tablet. Among those, the most useful currently on the market is the Toshiba Thrive 7.

Setup: Flawless and easy.

Price: Although this tablet costs roughly double that of the Kindle Fire (for example), its higher price is more than justified. Very sharp high res screen; fast; lots and lots of potential storage memory; Android Honeycomb 3.2 operating system; full access to the Android marketplace.

Email and other applications: Fast.

Aesthetics: Your choice--do you favor the Thrive 7's rugged body with a sure grip or a competitor's shiny body that may slip from your hands and break? Shiny and broken is bad.

Power connector: Overlook the fact that the Thrive 7's connector is large, dumb, and proprietary. No product is perfect.

Battery charge longevity: Excellent.

Screen size: Once you accept the fact that a 7" tablet is a compromise compared to a 10" tablet, remember that 7" can go almost anywhere. My wife can put her Thrive 7 into all her pocketbooks. Try that with a 10" tablet.

Camera: Very sharp and accurate, although there is a noticeable shutter lag.

CONCLUSION: The Toshiba Thrive 7 is pretty much as advertised; at a reasonable price; with no real competition yet.

My advice, if you're will buy the Toshiba Thrive 7, I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: Prices-comparison.info/Toshiba-Thrive-7

Hope this review helpful.

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