With so many different tablets currently flooding the market it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. The Toshiba Thrive is Toshiba’s first tablet offering and it is fairly late to enter the market. But is the tablet actually any good? It’s received a lot of hype and many people have been really getting excited about its release date. But the question stands, is it all just talk or is it really worth it?
The Thrive is a very nicely designed tablet which looks very stylish and high quality (feels solid too). There are also three status lights for the Battery, Wi-Fi and Power around the edge of the tablet. One very cool feature is that the rear of the tablet is coated in rubber and this makes it much easier to grip the tablet. This also means that it’s fairly comfortable to hold.
The back rubber coated cover can even be removed and replaced. Different colors available include pink, green, lilac, blue or silver.
Unlike many tablets (including the iPad and iPad2) the battery on the Thrive is removable (big plus over the iPad). This means that demanding users can actually carry around an extra battery if they need to. On average, we’ve seen the batteries last for around 7 hours of normal use, which is in line with most other tablet computers.
The Thrive is available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions, but it can also be expanded by using SD cards. Lots of tablets feature SD cards these days to expand the storage space. However, the thrive is one of the first which actually supports the use of SDXC cards. This means that you can put a 128GB SDXC card inside if you really need that much storage.
The other benefit of a SD card slot is that you can view the photos from your digital camera without needing to use a dongle or bother connecting it to USB.
The cameras on this tablet are fairly good. The rear camera is 5 mega pixels and this makes it possible to take some great photographs. We found it works best in well-lit conditions but will struggle in low light levels. There is also a front facing 2 Mega Pixel camera which is suitable for video chats.
Another area which makes the Thrive stand out are the number of ports around the edges of the tablet. At the right side of the tablet there is a small flap which can be pulled up with your fingernail. This reveals mini USB, USB and HDMI ports.
What is so great about this is that they are full sized USB and HDMI ports. In other words, there’s no need to worry about carrying around adapters or using special leads. Instead, you will be able to use any standard USB lead and connect it straight up to your camera.
As it runs Android Honeycomb 3.1, it supports USB host. This means you can connect USB hard drives, webcams, or anything else which is supported. You can even use a USB mouse or keyboard if you want. We loved this..
There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom, and a power port on the left hand side of the tablet.
With so many tablets already available on the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to differentiate their tablets. The way that Toshiba has done this is by building a solid, high quality tablet with useful ports.
The best thing about this tablet is that it has full sized HDMI and USB ports. This makes it possible to connect a variety of peripherals without any adapters. The addition of an SDXC slot is great for expanding storage space and even looking at photos from your camera.
This might not be for everyone, but if expandability and connectivity are high up on your list when choosing a tablet, then the Thrive is perfect for you.