For work that I do at home, it’s a no-brainer for me to choose between desktop and laptop. My ol’ and trusty Acer desktop with its huge 22-inch Samsung monitor gives me more comfortable working space and processing power. When on the move, I used to carry around with me my 12.1-inch Acer lappy, which was rather heavy–until Lenovo’s netbooks came out…and when they did, bye bye Acer lappy.
My netbook’s nickname is LennyJr (Lenovo IdeaPad S10). When traveling, I use it for basic tasks–Web browsing, writing, viewing photos, watching flicks.
Now that I’m one with the whole of humankind in crossing the threshold of the Tablets Era, I’m thinking of breaking up with LennyJr to give way to a new “Toshy”–this is my proposed nickname for my new Toshiba THRiVE, if ever I’ll come around to actually getting one. The chances of severing my mobile love affair with LennyJr are quite high. Let me tell you why.
Mobility is a convenience afforded by laptops and netbooks, but convenient mobility is a different creature altogether. A tablet is not just mobile; it is also much more convenient than a netbook or a laptop.
The Toshiba THRiVE is thinner than my Lenovo IdeaPad S10. When folded, LennyJr is about 25 millimeters thick. Toshy is only 15 millimeters thick.
Toshy is a feather at 1.6 pounds compared to LennyJr (at 2.6 pounds). I don’t intend to use my lappies, netbooks, or tablets to build my biceps and triceps. That’s what dumbbells, barbells, and gyms are for. So, LennyJr will have to give way to Toshy. This is the case of whoever has the lighter weight wins.
Toshy does not hunger for the caress of a USB mouse. When working with LennyJr, I often use a USB mouse because the touchpad is just too small and inaccurate. Besides, why bring a mouse? It will only add to the bulk in my bag. With Toshy, the whole display area–all 1280×800 pixels of it–is the touch pad, and part-time keyboard. Can you beat that, LennyJr? Hmpf!
LennyJr has one built-in camera. I use it for video calls and for taking self-pictures. But, Toshy rocks with its two cameras. One on the front, the other on the back. On number of cameras alone, Toshy wins. And, Toshy’s cameras hit a home run, too. The back camera is 5 megapixels and the front one is 2 megapixels. That means clearer, crisper, and sharper photos and videos for me.
I’ve never bothered using LennyJr to take photos or videos of special moments. Not only is the resolution too small–I also find it weird to point a 10.1-inch netbook’s screen at my photo subjects. (My friends might think I’m on crack, you know.)
The best term that I can describe LennyJr’s screen with is “functional.” Although I can easily adjust the screen brightness by pressing function keys, Toshy does the adjustments for me automatically. It simply adapts to the ambient light, and adjusts the sharpness, brightness, and contrast of both images and videos–on the fly! Toshy adjusts them all for me. If that’s not care and love, what else could it be?
Both LennyJr and Toshy have replaceable batteries. LennyJr can stay up for about six hours of non-stop pounding at the keyboard, Web surfing, and such. Toshy, however, seems to have longer endurance: 8 to 10 hours.
Other tablets may be lighter and thinner than Toshy–but that’s because the Toshiba THRiVE doesn’t skimp on battery power. Truth be told, a big fraction of Toshy’s 1.6 pounds comes from the battery pack. But, I’m not looking for a paper-thin tablet, or one that’s as light as a feather. I want one that is comfortably thin and light enough, and has enough juice. Seriously, the very small difference in thickness and weight between the THRiVE and other tablets is something I can shrug off and turn a blind eye to.
Toshy also doesn’t take too long to fill up on power. According to Toshiba, the THRiVE has been equipped with quick charge ability, which allows the tablet to replenish up to 90% of its battery’s power within just 1.5 hours of charging.
The expansion ports are the Toshiba THRiVE’s primary attractions that draw me toward it than toward other Android tablets. Most other tablets simply don’t have them. On Toshy (as on LennyJr), I can plug in my USB thumb drive in the full-size USB port. It also has a Mini USB port.
I can also save files to my SD card, which has its own slot. (My Nikon point-and-shoot camera will grow crazy with joy, but is also currently peeing in its pants, as it feels I might dump it, too, in favor of Toshy’s built-in cameras.)
And, the most lovely of all: Toshy has a full-size HDMI port, which means I can connect it to an HDTV or an HDMI-capable monitor, which I don’t have at the moment. But, I will definitely be investing in one. (Make me win the lottery, and I’ll buy two first thing tomorrow morning–and preorder Toshy on Best Buy on Monday.) That simply means I can show rich, vibrant, and high-definition photos and videos from Toshy to my HD display device. That’s the glory of HDMI. And, Toshy has it. Full-size, too–not like other tablets or smartphones that carry the smaller version of the HDMI connector.
With other tablets, if you buy it black, it will be black forever. If you buy it silver or chrome, it will be like that for good. (The same can be said of my LennyJr.) With Toshiba THRiVE, however, I can give in to my mood swings and let my Toshy’s back cover reflect my mood in color.
The THRiVE’s replaceable back covers are made of plastic and have a soft-coat finish. They may look dainty, but never feel dainty. They’re pretty sturdy–and they better be, because they’re the battery’s first line of defense. The custom covers are not included in the box, though. They cost USD$20 a pop.
The custom colors, though, are just half of the story. For me, the real deal-breaker is the Toshiba THRiVE’s contoured, rubber-like back grip, which makes the device easy to handle with one or both hands.
Toshy is sweetened with Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Need I expound on the merits of Android? Or, specifically of Honeycomb? Or, of the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich, which surely will run on Toshy, too? ‘Nuff said.
And, oh, have I mentioned Android apps? Both free and non-free apps? What about custom ROMs and mods? I can rant and rave about these right here, you know. But, this space is for Toshy. For the rants and raves about Android, feel free to read more than a mouthful about it from Android Authority.
And, take note, Toshiba made a smarter move than other tablet makers. Toshiba didn’t bother throwing in its own customized user interface (UI), so my Toshy is going to have kosher, prim and proper Honeycomb. Toshiba, however, does include several utilities–and they are utilities in every sense of the word. For example: Log Me In (for remote desktop connection), Toshiba’s homebrew file manager, and PrintShare (for printing to networked printers).
Of the various Android tablets being flung around by manufacturers left, right, and center, it’s the Toshiba THRiVE that really caught my eye and aroused in me that lustful, obsessive desire to possess one. My transition from laptop to netbook has been smooth and painless before. I’m sure my transition from LennyJr (a netbook) to Toshy (my dream tablet) will be as smooth and painless.
News sources say the Toshiba THRiVE is going to be available for preorders starting on Monday (July 13) on Best Buy and will start reaching consumers on July 10. I don’t think I can raise USD$430 for a Best Buy preorder on the 13th, or to buy one on July 10, even if I work my ass off 24/7 starting today. But, I’m definitely going to save up for the Toshiba THRiVE.
Meanwhile, back to my writing spree. Double time. I’ve got Toshy on my mind.
Image credits: CNET News, Engadget, Toshiba