updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu September 2, 2010
Toshiba Folio 100 Android tablet now official
Toshiba after months of teases confirmed its launch into the mobile tablet space through the Folio 100. The 10-inch tablet runs a heavily modified version of Android 2.2 and is one of the first major shipping devices to use NVIDIA's Tegra 2. The dual-core ARM chip is powerful enough to play 1080p over a mini HDMI output but is still efficient enough to give the tablet a meaningful, if short, seven hours of battery life.
Among the changes from the default Android formula are DLNA media sharing and a decision to use Opera Mobile as the primary browser; Toshiba follows other companies in bundling Flash 10.1. It behaves more like a notebook with a USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot to parallel its 16GB of storage, although Toshiba has consciously chosen to mimic Apple's iPad with a proprietary dock; here, it primarily supplies a cradle for playing video.
The slate normally only has Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11n Wi-Fi for wireless, although a Mobile Broadband edition will tote 3G. A front 1.3-megapixel webcam will be standard, and Toshiba is pre-installing Fring to enable video chat from the start.
British residents will get the Folio 100 next month for £329 ($506) after tax, but Toshiba hasn't said if or when it will cross the Atlantic to the US.
Toshiba was once one of Microsoft's more devoted adoptees in the mobile space and still primarily sells Windows Mobile-based phones, but it has broken away in recent months with public Android plans, particularly after the iPad eclipsed Windows tablet PC sales and dwarfed Toshiba's Portege tablet sales virtually overnight. Production may be a problem for Toshiba, as unverified claims have mentioned low shipping numbers that could prevent it getting the necessary reach.