While you can’t exactly call Toshiba a player to be reckoned with in the tablet war (then again, who is, besides Apple?), the Excite trio seems to have drawn some attention to the Japan-based manufacturer.
The 7, 10 and 13-inch slates haven’t broken any sales records, but with a pretty well-balanced quality-price ratio, they look to have required a new addition to the family. Enter AT300SE, a rehash of the 10-inch AT300, also known as the Excite 10.
This new tab looks almost identical to its predecessor, packing just about the same amount of heat in a slightly chunkier body. However, at 625 grams and 10.5 mm thickness, the AT300SE can’t be called an overly bulky gadget. Also, hopefully Toshiba used the extra weight to add some sturdiness to the entire “package”, not that that was a major concern before.
Now about that “heat”. The AT300SE is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor (most likely clocked at 1.3 GHz) and 1 GB of RAM, so you can’t really expect the highest level of performance from it, though it’s definitely no pushover either.
The dual 3 MP/1.2 MP cameras are a bit of a disappointment, while the 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD support, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 3.0 are all standard features, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately, the 10.1-inch screen looks mighty mediocre, sporting a 1280 x 800 pixels resolution. That might have been good enough back in May, when the original AT300 was released, but now, with the Nexus 10 boasting a splendid 2560 x 1600 pix res panel, it’s not good.
What is definitely good however is that Toshiba packed the new AT300SE with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which might not be the most recent version of our favorite mobile OS, but it’s darn close. And besides, there are still only a handful of JB-powered tablets around, so this big guy is more than welcome to the select club.
A couple of things about the design, too. Aside from the extra bulk, we can’t say the new tab looks very different than the “old” AT300, though Toshiba seems to have pushed the minimalistic look at a maximum (pun intended). We certainly dig the dotted pattern on the back, but other than that the AT300SE looks too modest and downright boring.
For now, the new 10-incher is only scheduled to be coming to the UK by the end of “Q4 2012”. British folks will be able to get it for £299.99, but we suspect the tab will be hitting other markets, including the US, soon enough. And we’re not just saying that, with an FCC certification from a month ago serving as proof.
Anyone interested in Toshiba’s AT300SE? Is it too modestly looking? Too modestly specced? Too expensive? Or just right?