You gotta hand it to Toshiba. Any other company would have chosen to steer clear of the Apple hype-machine, set in overdrive by the upcoming launch of the iPad3. But not Toshiba. The Japanese will launch their razor-thin Excite 10 LE (formerly known as the X10) in the United States, on March 6, the day before Apple’s big iPad event. Either they don’t care about it, or, they do it on purpose, just to mess with Apple. Either way, bravos for Toshiba.
The Excite 10 LE is a 10.1-incher that we first saw last year in fall, but, at the moment, it was known by its codename, AT200. Since then, the tablet was briefly called the Toshiba Excite X10, which was the moniker it bore when we saw it at MWC a couple of days ago. Just to add to the confusion, the slate was previously released in Japan as the Regza AT7000, and in the U.K., at the beginning of February, as the AT200. And don’t ask us what the “LE” in Excite 10 LE stands for!
In case you need a refresher, here are the specs of the Toshiba Excite 10 LE, due for a launch next week:
- 6.93 x 10.1 x 0.3 inches (176 x 256 x 7.6 mm)
- 1.18 pounds (535g)
- 1280 x 800 LCD screen, capacitive
- Android 3.2 Honeycomb (to be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich)
- TI OMAP 4430 dual-core at 1.2 GHz
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB (or 32GB for the more expensive version) internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 1.3MP front camera, 5MP rear camera
- Battery life – about 8 hours.
As you can see for yourself from the photos and the spec-sheet, the newly-christened Toshiba Excite 10 LE impresses through its thinness. In fact, it’s so thin (the thinnest tablet in the world, says Toshiba), that we’re tempted to call it razor-sharp, without felling too ridiculous for comparing a tablet with a shaving device.
In that sexy, magnesium-alloy body lays a fairly powerful processor, although not the quad-core bonanza that we got to witness at MWC. Note that Toshiba has a quad-core beast of a tablet in the making – the 7.7-inch model we saw at MWC, which also comes with a sweet Super AMOLED screen and an equally sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board. But we digress.
Speaking of Android, the Toshiba Excite 10 LE will ship with Honeycomb, which is kind of disappointing. Toshiba did promise a timely update (later this spring) to Android 4.0, but again, MWC has spoiled us, and we now expect to see ICS on every new device. Silly us! To their defense, Toshiba did start working on the Excite 10 LE over a year ago, way before ICS was on the horizon. But still…
Toshiba Excite 10 LE Price and Availability
Now, now… If you’re eager to get your greedy hands on Toshiba’s sexy new slate, you have just a short wait to bear – the Excite 10 LE will be available from “select U.S. retailers” starting from March 6. The 16GB model will cost you no less than $540, while for the beefier 32GB version you can expect to pay $599. Not exactly cheap (hell, it’s EXPENSIVE), but Toshiba does call its Excite 10 LE a “luxury tablet”.
Just to stir up old transatlantic grudges, Toshiba sells the same tablet, albeit under a different name, in the UK, for £399 (or $630) for the 16GB model and £449 (or $710) for the 32GB. Ouch!
Should you buy the Excite 10 LE? That’s a tricky question. If you’re a spec junkie, you can probably get better specs at a smaller price. Also, with a slew of quad-core slates coming this year, you might want to wait to see what Toshiba’s competitors have up their sleeves. But if you’re looking for a beautiful device to show your status, yes, the Excite 10 LE, with its ultra-thin magnesium alloy body, might just do the trick.
Anyway, it’s great to see that Toshiba cleaned up their game when it comes to tablets. Both the Excite 10 LE and the soon-to-come 7.7-inch model are, in terms of design, miles ahead of the old Thrives.
What do you think about Toshiba’s comeback? Is it worth a look?
“We have engineered this tablet with premium materials and components, given it elegant yet durable styling and more connectivity options than any other tablet in its class, while fitting everything into an astonishingly thin and light design.”
The Excite 10 LE tablet, powered by Android™, carries a starting price of $529.99 MSRP2 for the 16GB model and $599.99 MSRP for the 32GB model.
“Excite 10 LE embodies what a luxury tablet should be,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We have engineered this tablet with premium materials and components, given it elegant yet durable styling and more connectivity options than any other tablet in its class, while fitting everything into an astonishingly thin and light design.”
A More Premium Design with All the Essentials
The thin and light Excite 10 LE features a vivid high-resolution 10.1-inch diagonal AutoBrite™ display3, delivering optimum browsing, reading and entertainment. Designed for durability and style, the device also features a high-quality magnesium alloy surface and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass display with an anti-smudge coating for greater resiliency.
The tablet also comes with an array of connectivity interfaces and ports on board, including micro-USB and HDMI® ports, a micro-SD slot to share content and files with other devices, plus Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity. Stereo speakers with exclusive sound enhancements by Toshiba and SRS® Labs deliver superior audio capabilities. Front and back HD cameras provide convenient photo capture, plus 1080p video recording and video chatting.
Smart Multicore Performance with Long Battery Life
Powered by the 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP™ 4430 multicore mobile processor4 and dual-channel memory, the Excite 10 LE offers smooth web browsing and multitasking plus the performance for high definition video and entertainment. Extremely power efficient, the Excite 10 LE delivers up to 8 hours of battery life.
Powered by Android
The Excite 10 LE tablet features Android 3.2, Honeycomb, and will be upgraded to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich later this Spring. Also included is a full suite of familiar Google™ Mobile Service applications, including the Android Market™, YouTube™, Gmail™, Google Maps™, Music, Videos. Additionally, the tablet comes pre-loaded with a mix of Toshiba software and third-party applications including TOSHIBA App Place, TOSHIBA Book Place, TOSHIBA Media Player, TOSHIBA File Manager as well Netflix™ and Zinio™.
Docking and Accessories
Toshiba will also offer a suite of tablet accessories for the Excite 10 LE, including a docking station, multiple cases and more.
• Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
• 10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support
• 1280 x 800 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio
• Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 multicore processor; 1.2GHz with 1GB LPDDR2 RAM
• 16GB and 32GB configurations6
• 2 megapixel front-facing camera
• 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
• Micro USB, Micro HDMI ports
• Micro SD card slot
• Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
• Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, eCompass and Ambient Light Sensor
• Stereo speakers with sound enhancements by Toshiba and SRS Labs
• Built-in 25 watt-hour rechargeable lithium ion battery
• 10.1″ (W) x 6.9″ (D) x 0.3″ (H)
• 1.18 pounds (535g)
Image Gallery: http://bit.ly/Excite10LE