Toshiba Thrive 7 Review, Honeycomb at 7 Inches
Performance Analysis and Final Thoughts
Performance Analysis: Performance-wise, Toshiba's new Thrive 7 tablet is generally as fast as any other Tegra 2-powered Honeycomb tablet out there right now, though it did pace slightly slower than the other Tegra 2 slates and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus in a few of our tests. This variance was fairly insignificant and general responsiveness with the device was satisfying.
In other areas, Toshiba's gorgeous 7-inch IPS display also performs well, with good brightness, color saturation and contrast, along with reasonably good viewing angles. With respect to battery life, the Thrive 7 didn't break any uptime records in our testing but it offered a solid 5+ hours of constant web use on a full charge. Unlike Toshiba's 10-inch Thrive tablet however, the Thrive 7's battery is not user-serviceable.
Ultimately, the same cast of characters face the Toshiba Thrive 7 competitively, as did the 10-inch version of the Thrive earlier this year, with two notable exceptions; in the high-end it's Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and in the low-end it's Amazon's Kindle Fire. For about the same price (a $20 premium), the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus offers the very potent dual core 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos SoC that proved itself faster in all of our benchmarks versus the NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC (System on a Chip) that is powering so many Honeycomb slates these days, including the Thrive 7. The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus also sports Samsung's gorgeous PLS display technology and is significantly thinner, though it doesn't have near the connectivity options of the Thrive 7's assortment of micro-sized ports. The Kindle Fire, of course, is almost a full $200 cheaper than the Thrive 7, but also has a generally lower-end TI OMAP dual-core chip, with only the tablet's docking connector to support USB 2.0 connectivity, only 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. Not to mention it runs Android 2.3 and is partially hamstrung without access to the Android Marketplace, though obviously it's ripe for rooting.
So, in reality, all this leaves the Thrive 7 right about where the Thrive 10 sits in the market as well. This 7-inch tablet offers a relatively well-rounded Tegra 2-driven experience in an open platform that allows the user to have maximum access and connectivity to it, right out of the box. With its mini-USB port, micro-HDMI port and micro-SD card slot, as well as a 5MP auto-focus camera with flash, you've pretty much got all you'd want for features in a 7-inch slate, without sacrificing portability. That's the upshot. The downside is, the Thrive 7 doesn't really stand out much in terms of performance or price. Toshiba does, however, fill a smaller niche' in the market with the Thrive 7, much the same way they did with the Thrive 10. If you're looking for a complete solution that's well-built and supports all current technologies available in the tablet market today, the Thrive 7 is a competent, though not awe-inspiring option.