Toshiba has tried to carve a niche for itself in the tablet market with its 10-inch Thrive. The slate, while not the sleekest or most attractive on the market, can’t be beat when it comes to ports, offering a full-sized USB port, HDMI port and SD card slot, as well as a mini-USB port.
Now the company has released a smaller version of the Thrive, running Android 3.2, which has sacrificed some of that versatility for mobility. But in a hands-on with the smaller tablet, it was clear that Toshiba has taken pains not to skimp on the overall experience.
It still has more ports than the competition, with mini versions of the USB port and micro versions of the HDMI port and SD card slot. The 7-inch screen also packs in a 1280x800 display, making videos bright and images crisp. The tablet was fast, too, thanks to its Tegra 2 processor.
The Thrive 7-inch is also packing two cameras, with a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera with an LED flash. Like the 10-inch version, the tablet comes in 16GB or 32GB models, but unlike its predecessor doesn’t offer an 8GB model or the ability to change the battery or the backplate. Target battery life for the device is six hours.
I’m generally a fan of the smaller tablet. It’s easy to slip into a purse or large pocket and is more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. The Thrive is no different, weighing in at just under a pound.
Its gyroscope also gives it the potential to be a fairly decent portable gaming device — at least, based on by the few minutes I spent playing a racing game on it.
The tablet will be available in December, but Toshiba hasn’t decided the all-important price point for its latest device. Right now, it looks to be a slick little tablet, but with Amazon’s new Kindle Fire announced Wednesday and Samsung’s smaller Galaxy Tab on the way, Toshiba will have to price its tablet aggressively to stay competitive.