This Toshiba has a very sleek look to it, and it has a sturdy modern design. The back and sides are silver, and the face of the Toshiba Excite 10 is a sleek black border around the 10.1 inch display. The front-facing camera is located in the center of the black border just above the display while the tablet is turned to landscape orientation. The rear-facing camera is located on the back of the tablet along with the Toshiba logo which is located in the opposite corner of the back off the tablet.
Other awesome features included on the Excite 10 include the small HDMI, micro-USB, and SD card slots on the right side, with volume control and screen orientation lock on the left side of the tablet. You can turn to the screen to the orientation you prefer and slide the small button to lock for as long as you want the screen to stay in that particular mode. I haven’t found this particular feature very useful, but I have talked with people who prefer their screen to remain in either portrait or landscape mode. The microphone is a very small opening on the top of the tablet, and the charging port is located on the bottom. The size of the charging port and the gage of the charger cord enable faster charging which is always a plus.
I have to say that I am pleased with the display on this Toshiba tablet. With me, bigger is better. I love large TVs, I practically crave those tenths of inches that keep getting added to the screen sizes of our smart phones, and I had to have the vivid 10.1 inch display that the Excite has to offer. I have enjoyed Netflix, YouTube, and even football games via the NFL game rewind app all in stunning HD. With a display resolution of 1280 x 800, this tablet has a smooth clean picture that is impressive. The touch screen seems to function flawlessly also.
I have yet to encounter the unpleasant experience of having to select an item or link multiple times, because the tablet didn’t register the touch the first few times. On other tablets difficulty selecting small links has caused me to want to regress back to a wireless mouse or something, but the smooth reacting 10-finger multi-touch display on the Excite makes doing anything on this tablet simple and annoyance free. The brightness of the screen can also be adjusted manually, or it can be set to change automatically to adjust to the surrounding light.
I am definitely a fan of Android, so it brings a smile to my face to see a decent tablet running Android in a way that does the operating system justice. The Excite 10 tablet operates using Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, which runs like a dream on this tablet. The included system apps work well with the tech included in the tablet, but I have run into trouble playing certain types of video files using the included system apps. The answer of course is to simply replace particularly disappointing system apps with a preferred app or widget from the many available on android market. Ice Cream Sandwich also works well at conserving battery life and not bogging up the system’s memory. Previous versions of Android have had the unfortunate side effect of sucking the battery life of phones and tablets, but I have used this tablet for over two days of random Netflix watching, Face-Booking, Skype calling, and gaming with the screen at close to full brightness without running the battery dead, which is a relief as I don’t always remember to charge it like I should.
I found the Bluetooth and WiFi functionality simple, fast, and easy to use. Whether I am connected to my WiFi at home or my hotspot on my cell phone, the connection is made quickly, and the internet works flawlessly with all of the apps installed on the tablet. The on-screen keyboard was also a sigh of relief as I have a couple of horror stories with the keyboards of previous tablets. The keyboard is large and unencumbered, and I don’t run into the whole fat fingering keys and constant system-induced typing errors that pester me on other devices. Now, of course, this is partially due to the size of the screen, but, at the end of the day, I am cheerfully typing into the browser or any app without frustration.
The 5 mega-pixel rear camera has a decent quality picture as well, but given the choice between my smart phone and the Excite’s camera I think I would much rather use the better quality, 8 mega-pixel camera on my much smaller phone. Other than including it for the sake of having it, I’m not sure why the rear camera is even there at all. I guess it’s nice to know its back there, but I don’t really see myself walking around with the tablet snapping pictures. The images captured by the rear camera look decent, but just aren’t on par with the standard, decent-quality smart phone. The front facing camera is much more practical, and, at 2 megapixel, it absolutely delivers in apps like Skye, Oovoo, Yahoo Messenger, and many others.
All in all, the Excite 10 presented a pleasant experience for me. It looks like Toshiba has this tablet thing down. I have run many apps all at once, switching back and forth between them, and I have yet to experience any lag or force closing that tends to occur as a result of the lack of memory. I normally listen to the audio from YouTube or Netflix with my headphones, but, every now and then, the awesomeness of this Toshiba tablet will draw a small crowd (usually while I am watching game highlights at work). In this instance I will unplug my headphones and treat everyone to the excellent sound produced by the high quality speakers built into the bottom of the tablet. I didn’t expect much at first. I mean, let’s face it; the tablet is no boom box, but I have to admit that I was pleased with how clean and clear the sound was. There was none of that grainy static that seems to be intermittently present when listening to low quality speakers.
The 16GB version of this of the Excite 10 can be purchased for $459.99, or you can purchase the 32 version for $529.99. I have never really seen the point of paying extra for more memory when I have SD cards all over the house that I can use to expand the memory whenever I want. It seems better to buy the cheaper version, and, when you need more memory, simply purchase an SD card if you don’t already have one. A 32GB SD card can be purchased for around $25.00, so buy the 16GB Excite 10 along with an SD card of up to 64GB and Enjoy! You won’t be disappointed; take it from me.