The Swiss Army Knife of Tablets: Toshiba's Thrive
Performance Analysis and Final Thoughts
Performance Analysis: From a pure performance standpoint, Toshiba's new Thrive tablet handles just about anything you could currently expect to run on a tablet. It's generally as fast as any other Tegra 2-powered Honeycomb tablet out there right now. In terms of the benchmark numbers, there are really no surprises, though this is obviously still a very capable tablet.
In other areas, Toshiba's 10.1-inch IPS display also performs well, with good brightness, color saturation and contrast that allows it to be reasonably visible even in outdoor situations. We haven't found a tablet yet that can match the display in Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, but that's a tall yardstick. However, Thrive's display is still very nice, even for the most discerning pixel snobs. With respect to battery life, the Thrive isn't exactly going to be a tablet you'd consider your beast of burden, but it'll still hold up to several hours of web browsing on a single charge. Unlike other tablets though, the Thrive's battery is user-replaceable, so carrying a spare is actually feasible.
There are a myriad of 10.1 tablet options on the market these days and Android 3.1-based offerings are expanding nicely to finally pose a bit of serious opposition to Apple's stranglehold with their iPad line-up. It seems as if most of the current NVIDIA Tegra 2-based Honeycomb tablets out there have their own merits, whether it be Asus' innovative Transformer with its keyboard dock option, Samsung's gorgeous display in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the expandability and ease of access that Toshiba affords with the Thrive.
Toshiba seems to have finally hit squarely on something that many have taken issue with in regards to Apple's dominant iPad offering since its first-gen introduction and even today with the iPad 2. The seemingly simple act of getting your data and content on to a tablet shouldn't be so cumbersome, with the need to synch with proprietary software over proprietary connectors. And a solution to this problem is exactly what Toshiba decided they'd offer users, in order to differentiate their 10-inch Android slate over others in the market. It's not just full-sized USB and HDMI ports that are refreshing; the Thrive's standard SD card slot and removable battery make it one of our favorite tablets on the market currently. Couple that with a price tag of $479 for the 16GB model, or $429 if you don't mind stepping down to 8GB of on-board storage, and you get much more value and functionality in a tablet, so long as you don't mind a little extra bulk. For its uncompromising design functionality, solid performance and competitive price, we'll heartily recommend Toshiba's Thrive to anyone considering an Android tablet PC.