The Swiss Army Knife of Tablets: Toshiba's Thrive

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Toshiba Thrive Specs and Video Demo

Android Honeycomb based tablets are beginning to feel like they're a dime a dozen. 10.1-inch slates are coming out of the woodwork from a bunch of major players, and for all intents and purposes, they're built upon very similar base platforms with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor powering them. Capacitive touch displays, integrated 802.11 WiFi, 8 - 32GB of ROM storage, 1GB of RAM, accelerometers, gyroscopes, front and rear facing cameras and Android 3.1 -- you know the drill.

Fortunately, beyond the cookie-cutter reference platform, some manufacturers are building tablets that stand out from the crowd.  Asus stepped out early with an innovative approach to expanding the tablet experience and Samsung decided to take on the iPad 2's thin and sleek design approach but augmented that with what is arguably (or perhaps not depending on your tastes) the best looking tablet display currently on the market.

Toshiba historically has been known for building notebooks that perhaps aren't as thin and sleek as other machines but rather have a build quality and feature set that is best-of-class.  On the tablet front, Toshiba's first effort with an Android-based 10-inch slate looks to be cut from the same cloth.  The not-so svelte Toshiba Thrive showed up here recently for testing and a run-through with our usual fine-toothed comb of analysis.  How does it measure up in the buzzing hive of Honeycomb goodness already in the market?  You're about to find out.

Toshiba Thrive Android 3.1 Tablet
Specifications & Features
Display:  10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800) LCD
Capacitive Touch, Multi-Touch, Scratch resistant glass

  NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 @ 1GHz
  8GB/16GB/32GB Models

Wireless Data Network:
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n@2.4GHz

Bluetooth V3.0 + HS

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


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


1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack (Headphone)
1 x Full-Sized HDMI 1.3a
1 x Card Reader, Full-Sized SD Card Slot
1 x Full-Sized USB 2.0 Port
1 x Mini USB Port
1 x Docking Connector
Ambient Light Sensor

Multi-Task Support :
Flash Support :

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 Mobile

Battery: Up to 11 hours: 23Wh Li-Polymer Battery

10.75" W x 0.62" D x 6.97" H
Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

We know what you're thinking and yes, the Thrive is over a half inch thick.  But before you get your slide rule in a jam, take a good look at the type and number of ports on this tablet.  Toshiba is one of, if not the first, manufacturer we've seen offering a full-sized SD card slot in an Android 3.1 tablet.  You also get a full-sized HDMI port and a full-sized USB port with the Thrive, so there's good reason for that bit of extra bulk, but it doesn't stop there. The back skin of the Thrive (as you hopefully witnessed in our video preview above here) is also removable and its battery is user-serviceable.  As such, the Thrive has a few things going for it that a lot of competitive tablets don't.

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