The Washington Post

Toshiba Thrive set for Best Buy launch

The Toshiba Thrive will hit Best Buy stores on July 10.

I got a peek at the Thrive on Thursday from Toshiba reps showing off the product before launch. It’s a 10.1-inch tablet running Honeycomb 3.1 with an NVidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. It has a 2 MP front-facing camera, an auto-focusing 5 MP rear-facing camera and is WiFi only.

The company is marketing the tablet as another screen to work into your existing home gadget ecosystem instead of an all-in-one mobile device, though it cerainly has some business advantages as well.

While the tablet is definitely thicker and heavier than the competition, it also supports a full-sized SD card, full USB port and full HDMI port, making connecting and file management a snap. The company has even baked in a file management app that’s nothing fancy, but is easy to use and navigate. It also has a mini-USB port.

Despite a couple extra Toshiba apps, the UI is pure Android — good news for people who hate overlays.

Toshiba’s taken its time getting into the tablet game and has worked to incoporate what it knows from the television, audio and netbook market. Those tweaks include enhanced graphics taken from its TV line, boosted audio from the tablet’s dual-speakers and a customizable back plate that will actually give you access to your tablet’s battery for a change.

The Thrive isn’t as elegant as some of its competitors, but from what I saw it’s a solid replacement for your old netbook and a reasonable choice for people who don’t want to put up the cash for a tablet data plan.

The Thrive starts at $429.99 for 8GB of on-board storage, $479.99 for 16GB and $579.99 for 32GB.

Related stories:

HP to launch white TouchPad?

HP TouchPad gets mixed early reviews

PHOTOS: Tablet wars intensify

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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