Toshiba Thrive meets Ti-Sheba!

When Toshiba finally decided to throw their hat into the Tablet ring I, Ti-Sheba, decided to catch it. It comes straight out the box with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, Full-sized HDMI and USB Ports, and a Full-sized SD card slot-It had me at “Hello”

In black and white it’s a Geek like Me’s perfect tablet. Replaces my laptop but can still fit in my purse, and I don’t need to pack the charger even when I will be out for the entire day.

BUT is it a serious contender?

DESIGN

The Thrive comes with a rubberized user replaceable back cover in Black Tie (black). The back cover has a slip-resistant Easy Grip finish making it comfortable to hold. Six optional colors available so you can personalize your tablet BUT they are sold separately. If holding the tablet in landscape mode you’ll find the power button, volume controls and the screen rotation lock button on the top left. Then on the top far right there is a full size SD slot. Along the right side you’ll find the mini USB Port, HDMI Port and USB Port, nicely covered with a black rubberized door. You’ll also find the Headphone/Mic jack and AC Power Port on the right hand side. Along the bottom you have 2 Stereo Speakers (on opposite sides) and Dock Connector nicely spaced out. Finally, on the left side you will find a 2 megapixel Web Camera facing and backward facing is the 5 megapixel camera framed with a metal piece with a very distinct “with Google” written across it. At 1.6 lbs I found holding it with one hand while I navigate with the other not a problem because it doesn’t feel heavy.

DISPLAY

The 10.1” diagonal LED-backlit multi-touch touchscreen display has 1280×800 resolution perfect for surfing the web, watching movies and gaming. It’s widescreen with a 16:10 ratio. The Toshiba Adaptive Display Technology adjusts brightness and contrast on the screen to the surrounding light conditions and the Toshiba Resolution+ Video Enhancement Technology up converts standard definition movies giving them an HD feel. Add that to the gyroscope and accelerometer sensors you can tilt the tablet through 360 degrees of rotation, which makes playing games like Need for Speed addictive.

Worth It?

The Thrive is running Android 3.1 Honeycomb. But, what makes it worth the purchase for me is the Toshiba File Manager and PrinterShare. The file manager lets you choose whether you want to search in the tablets internal memory, an SD card, or a USB hard drive you will then see the files displayed in a grid. You can select a file to copy, paste, cut or delete either individually or in a group. It works basically like the Finder in OS X and takes virtually no time at all to transfer files like photos from one device to the tablet. PrinterShare, allows you to find printers that are in range and print photos and documents wirelessly via WiFi. It took me no time at all to open the app, print out my homework and go on about my day. The resizable widgets and pre-installed third-party apps like LogMeIn Ignition, Quickoffice, and Kaspersky Tablet Security also help make this a worthwhile purchase.
Obviously absent were pre-installed Facebook and Twitter clients and I could have done without the Toshiba App Store but I’m sure it will blossom eventually like the Android Market did. Speaking of which, I was able to remove most of the battery draining apps off of my HTC Evo 3D since the Thrive battery lasts much longer and I don’t need to charge it during the day even when I use it heavily to conquer several tasks at once. Now that all my favorite Android apps are compatible with my tablet I can very happily move on to the iPhone 4S and have the best of both worlds ;)