Toshiba Thrive 7 Review, Honeycomb at 7 Inches

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Toshiba Thrive Specs and Video Demo

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

  Android 3.2, Honeycomb; 5 customizable Home screens

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

Wireless Data Network:
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth V2.1

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 micro HDMI 1.3a
1 x micro SD Card Slot
1 x mini USB 2.0 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

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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