Toshiba announces 7-inch Thrive tablet, we go hands-on (video)

Toshiba rolls out fix for Thrive tablet's sleep problems

Toshiba's super-thin AT200 tablet running late, not out til next year

ASUS TOUGH 7-inch Honeycomb tablet lands in Japan ready for some corporate abuse

It looks like the AT200 isn't the only Toshiba tablet poised to land in time for the holidays. The company just announced the Thrive 7", a (surprise!) 7-inch version of the original. Like its big brother, it runs on Tegra 2 and packs twin 5 MP / 2 MP cameras, though this time around that textured, rubberized back isn't removable, and the rear-facing camera comes paired with an LED flash. As you'd expect, in exchange for a smaller form factor (0.88 pounds, half an inch thick), you'll be giving up the full-sized ports that made the original so unique. Instead, it offers a more typical selection, including mini-USB and micro-HDMI sockets, a headphone jack, docking connector and a microSD slot. Like pretty much every 7- and 8-incher trickling into the market, it runs Android 3.2, and Toshiba did us the favor of leaving it completely unskinned (it did include Swype as a keyboard option, though). No word yet on pricing or availability, though a Toshiba rep confirmed that 16GB and 32GB models will go on sale by early December with a starting price of "less than $400." How low is Toshiba willing to go? Your guess is good as ours but until then, you can meet us past the break for some early impressions and a short vid, too.

This thing's called the Thrive for a reason: it looks like a shrunken version of the 10-inch model we reviewed over the summer. Like its big brother, it has a rubber-coated back with indented lines that cross the lid at different angles. It, too, has 5MP and 2MP cameras, set off by a metal piece with Google branding. This time, though, neither the lid nor the 15Wh battery is removable, and black is your only color option. We didn't have a chance to test out the improved 5 MP camera 'round back, but suffice to say, we consider that more than a cosmetic change.

In the case of the original Thrive, there was no getting around the fact that it was big. Chunky and leaden, at 1.6 pounds. And there was a reason for that: it had full-sized USB and HDMI ports, along with an SD slot, all of which were going to add heft. But the Thrive 7" doesn't offer anything surprising in the way of ports, which might explain why it doesn't feel particularly heavy. Now that full-sized sockets aren't an issue, Toshiba seems to have narrowed the skinniness gap. Put simply, it doesn't feel materially heavier than other 7- and 8-inch slates we've handled recently.

And though we've only spent a few minutes with it so far, we have to say we were impressed by the 7-inch 1280 x 800 display, which looked bright and crisp and responded briskly to our various taps and swipes. We're also looking forward to testing Swype on it, but that's a project for a later day. In general, we'll reserve judgment until we can spend more than five minutes with it (knowing how much it'll cost and what other 7-inchers are on the way would help too!). In the meantime, have a gander at our gallery and walk-through video, and feel free to play armchair reviewer.

Show full PR text

Thrive 7" Tablet, Powered by Android, Features Brilliant Hi-Res Display in Compact, Lightweight Design for Consumers On-the-Go

IRVINE, Calif. - Sept. 27, 2011 - Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the addition of the Thrive 7" Tablet to its expanding line-up of consumer tablet devices. Featuring a brilliant hi-resolution seven-inch diagonal touch display1, the Thrive 7" Tablet offers a complete tablet experience with entertainment-optimized features in an incredibly portable design that weighs under a pound2 and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.

"This is a seven-inch tablet done right," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "The Thrive 7" Tablet is the first seven-inch tablet in the U.S. market to offer a true HD display that when combined with the selection of ports, premium audio, and a better, more robust Android experience make it a great choice for on-the-go consumers looking for a no-compromise tablet."

Optimized for HD Entertainment
The Thrive 7" Tablet's LED backlit AutoBrite multi-touch display features a stunning 1280x800 resolution, putting bright and crisp images from movies, photos, books and games right in your hand. The tablet also incorporates Toshiba's exclusive Adaptive Display and Resolution+®3 video enhancement technologies. The tablet includes stereo speakers tuned with sound enhancement technologies from Toshiba and SRS® Labs that deliver richer audio in music and movies with more natural sound and enhanced clarity.

Powered by Android 3.2 and the NVIDIA® Tegra 2 platform, this tablet delivers a dual-core processor4 for blazing-fast performance for web browsing and multitasking, plus NVIDIA GeForce® graphics5 for console quality gaming. A built-in Gyroscope offers hands-on motion control for the latest Android games. The tablet also includes two HD cameras: a five megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back for capturing high-quality pictures and video on the go, plus a two megapixel camera on the front for video chatting. Toshiba will offer the tablet in two configurations, 16GB or 32GB.

Compact, Lightweight Design
The Thrive 7" Tablet weighs only 0.88 pounds2 and measures just under half an inch thin (0.47 inches), allowing it to fit easily into a bag or jacket. Not just lightweight and easy to carry, the tablet is built for handheld comfort and on-the-go durability, featuring Toshiba's stylishly durable and slip-resistant Easy Grip finish.

Better Connected
Designed for continuity with other digital devices, the Thrive 7" Tablet includes a selection of built-in ports, including Mini USB, Micro HDMI® and a Micro SD card slot, giving consumers the ability to easily sync and share their content. The tablet also includes Toshiba's exclusive File Manager utility that gives users the power to easily move and manage files.

Offering convenient Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity, the Thrive 7" Tablet delivers all the essentials needed to stay connected at home or away. Users can browse the web with Adobe® Flash support, take advantage of maps and location-based apps with integrated GPS and enjoy the full suite of popular Google Mobile Service applications and Android apps via the Android Market.

The Thrive 7" Tablet will be available in December at major U.S. retailers, e-tailers and