Canada is a premier destination of Android devices, with three smartphones heading to where the Red Maple Leaf is. The HTC Sensation 4G is set to be released on Bell in July, and the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Samsung Galaxy S Infuse 4G are also on their way to Canada.
Add Toshiba to the list. Canada will soon be seeing the Toshiba THRiVE, which will go by a simpler, more modest name once it reaches Canadian shores: the Toshiba Tablet. Other tech news sites say Toshiba will probably rebrand or rename the Canadian version of the THRiVE, although it is possible that “Toshiba Tablet” will remain its name within Canada.
Toshiba’s very first-ever Android tablet will arrive in U.S. stores on July 10 and in Canada after a month (i.e., in August).
The simplicity of the name–Toshiba Tablet–however, does not do justice to the many eye-popping features that the Toshiba THRiVE brings. It is expected to lock horns with other supertablets such as the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Acer Iconia A500.
Amazon is also planning to bring out its big gun–a Tegra-3 10-inch tablet codenamed “Hollywood”–before school re-opens. The Android tablet scene may become livelier and the inter-tablet battle fiercer, with Apple’s iPad 2 and Research in Motion’s Blackberry PlayBook potentially eclipsed, if not totally obscured.
The Toshiba Tablet/THRiVE will be available in three versions, priced at US$430, US$480, and US$580 (for the 8-, 16-, and 32-gigabyte versions, respectively) and will be available to Canadians through retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, and Future Shop. It can also be ordered from www.shoptoshiba.ca.
The full specs of the Toshiba Tablet are as follows:
|Processor||NVIDIA Tegra 2 (dual-core)|
|OS||Android 3.1 Honeycomb|
|Screen||10.1 inches, 1280×800, with Toshiba Adaptive Display and Resolution+
|Keyboard||Virtual keyboard (Swype)|
|Storage||8 GB; 16 GB; 32 GB|
|Camera||5 MP (rear); 2 MP (front)|
|Audio||Microphone; speakers; headphone jack; SRS Labs technology|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB port (both full-size and mini), full-size
|Battery||removable; max. 8 hours (continuous HD movie viewing)|
|Software||Log Me In (remote desktop connection); Toshiba File Manager;
|Weight||1.6 lb (726 g)|
|Price||US$430 (8 GB)
US$480 (16 GB)
US$580 (32 GB)
|Availability||June 13 (preorders on Best Buy); July 10 (target release date for
U.S.); August (for Canada)
The Toshiba Tablet/THRiVE’s functionality and features can be further expanded through several optional accessories. One is the battery pack, which is completely removeable and replaceable. Yet another are the custom back covers, which are available in 5 colors (blue, raspberry, lavender, silver, and green). The custom back plates cost US$20.
Also available for US$60 is the Toshiba Multi-Dock with HDMI, which will allow the Tablet to connect to an HDTV or an LCD monitor through an HDMI interface. The dock has two full-size USB 2.0 ports–both handy for connecting the THRiVE and other USB peripherals such as keyboard, mouse, or an external hard drive. The dock also includes a 3.5-mm audio port for external speakers or headphones. The THRiVE’s AC Adapter can be plugged into this dock to charge the tablet.
There’s also a pared-down version, the Toshiba Standard Dock with Audio Out, priced at US$40. No HDMI port on this one, although it has an audio jack and is small enough to fit anywhere and to make the THRiVE’s inbuilt ports still accessible. The accessory allows the Tablet to tilt at an angle comfortable for typing on the virtual keyboard or through a separately sold Bluetooth keyboard. The Standard Dock also charges the tablet.
Last of all is the Portfolio 360 Case (priced at US$60) which can rotate or tilt the tablet at several angles–in either landscape or portrait mode–without taking the tablet out of the case. The stylish case has a hard-shell exterior and is made of synthetic black leather.
Toshiba has a long-established name in the laptop market, and is venturing into the tablet market with the THRiVE. The company recently said they have designed the THRiVE with laptop users in mind.
“O Android,” indeed for Canada. Will you be getting the Toshiba Tablet/THRiVE instead of a new laptop or netbook? Why or why not?