Look out Samsung – there’s a new, thin, and sexy tablet in town, looking to snatch your crown in the ever-crowded Android tablet market. We’re talking about the forthcoming Toshiba Excite tablets. While the voluptuous Toshiba Thrive series, the company’s first dip in the market, were anything but sexy, they did come with a generous set of features and connectivity ports that made them quite memorable and not entirely dispensable. Now, the Excite series proves the world that Toshiba means serious business. And, this time around, the sleek looks and svelte built were high on the Japanese’ priorities list.
Toshiba is set to unleash two models of the Excite line. The 10.1-inch model is called Toshiba Excite X10, or AT200, and made its debut recently at CES. Meanwhile, the 7.7-inch model – known as the AT270 – was freshly introduced at Mobile World Congress this week. How exactly do these two tablets stack up against their competitors? Here’s the skinny – pun intended – on the two tablets.
First, let’s check out the contenders that are vying for that coveted “best tablet” spot.
A thin tablet does not necessarily make a good tablet, but an ultra-thin build sure creates some nice headlines until the next flavor of the week comes along. Samsung has been consistently churning out thin, powerful, and attractive tablets, with the thinnest one currently being the Samsung P6800 Galaxy Tab 7.7. At a mere 7.9 mm in thickness, it was the thinnest slate in town until Toshiba X10 came and stole its thunder. Albeit, the difference is only 0.2 mm and it’s one you’d hardly notice.
A special mention goes to Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, with its exquisite 1920×1200 display and quad-core processor, all in an 8.3 mm thick casing. Another set of props goes to the Huawei MediaPad FHD, which is expected to be launched in Q2 2012. Coming in at 8.8 mm thickness, the MediaPad is one of the thinner tablet around, but just not thin enough to be declared the winner in the war of the thinnest tablets.
Without further ado, here are the new tablets from Toshiba, which, we think, deserve your complete attention, and maybe even some attention from your wallet.
Toshiba Excite X10
It’s official – we have the thinnest 10-incher Android tablet on the market as of now (at least for the next couple of months). The Toshiba Excite X10 comes in at a svelte form factor that is just 7.7 mm (0.3-inch) thick, and weighs 535g (1.18 pounds). Toshiba has dubbed the X10 as the thinnest and lightest tablet of the moment, so we’ll take their word for it and go along with the flow.
The Toshiba X10 features a classy aluminum back plate and a magnesium alloy surface, and Toshiba didn’t skimp on other goodies either. These include a generous 1280×800 10.1-inch display protected by a slab of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, 1 GB RAM, and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor. For those of you who are interested in taking snapshots, the 2MP front facing and 5MP rear cameras should provide respectable results, especially since the device is equipped with an LED flash to help take better pictures in low-light conditions. Just because it’s super skinny and light, it does mean that the X10 is deprived of functional ports. Complementing its attractive exterior, the Toshiba Excite X10 has a complete set of micro SD, micro USB, and HDMI ports.
Although the tablet will ship out of the gate with Honeycomb, Toshiba promises that an update to Ice Cream Sandwich is just around the corner after its release. Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on the availability of 3G model. You can choose between the 16GB and 32GB flavors, all Wi-Fi-only models. The former is expected to cost $529, while the latter will set you back $599.
Toshiba Excite 7.7 aka AT270
After it was first teased as a prototype model back at CES, the Toshiba 7.7 tablet made a surprise appearance at Nvidia’s booth at MWC. Given the lust-worthy specs, we sure hope this one is coming out really soon. Let’s get it out of our system fast: the tablet comes with a gorgeous 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, with 1280×800 display resolution. As if that’s not enough to get your tech juices flowing, the tablet is powered by a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, making it the perfect device for your daily fix of 3D gaming on the go.
The casing of the Toshiba 7.7 is different from its big brother, hence, it loses some premium points along the way. Gone is the magnesium alloy casing, only to be replaced with textured plastic on the back and glossy glass at the front. Nevertheless, it does look and feel solid, attractive even. We don’t have the exact measurements of the tablet yet, but it’s safe to assume that it might be as thin as the Toshiba Excite X10. The fact that the tablet comes at a smaller form factor didn’t stop Toshiba from including all the essential ports, such as micro SD and micro USB slots, with the exception of an apparently missing HDMI port. The Japanese company is expected to release three models of the 7.7-inch tablet: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
The Toshiba 7.7 tablet showcased at MWC runs what appears to be an unfinished build of Ice Cream Sandwich, which is at least a step up from the Honeycomb found on Toshiba X10 tablet. It is unfortunate to say that the company is yet to release more details about its price and availability. We have a hunch that it will come at a heftier price than some of its similarly sized competitors, due to its high-end Super AMOLED panel.
All in All
All told, the two tablets from Toshiba are set to make forgotten any bitter taste that the previous iterations have left in your mouth. Arriving fashionably late to the market, the Toshiba Thrive didn’t really leave much room to the imagination due to its 16mm thick frame.
Now, the Toshiba Excite X10, crowned as the thinnest and lightest tablet (at least for a while), and the Toshiba 7.7, with its gorgeous AMOLED screen and quad-core processor, are sure to elevate the Toshiba brand to new tablet heights.
What do you think about Toshiba’s latest effort?