updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
Toshiba Thrive tablet gets US release info
Toshiba formally threw itself into contention for US tablets with the launch timing for the Thrive. Its dual-core tablet is now due to ship with Android 3.1 and should ship to Best Buy and other stores on June 13, more than five months after it was unveiled at CES. The Japanese company is counting on undercutting Apple on price by offering an 8GB Wi-Fi version of the tablet for just $429; 16GB and 32GB versions will cost $479 and $579.
Like most other Android 3 tablets, the Thrive has a 10.1-inch, 1280x800 display and is based on an NVIDIA Tegra 2. A five-megapixel back camera and a two-megapixel front camera put it on par with a device like the Motorola Xoom, but Toshiba is counting on notebook-like expansion as its selling point. It carries HDMI video out and a full-size SD card slot as well as equally full-sized USB, which with Android 3.1 can now be used to load photos from cameras or use other add-ons. A removable battery is a rarity in the category, though it limits the lifespan to seven hours of video.
Along with having the latest version of Google's tablet interface, Toshiba is also bringing companion apps, including a video upscaler borrowed from its TVs along with Swype's keyboard and a custom file manager.
Toshiba's scale may make it one of the largest Android tablet contributors. It had tried to field a tablet in late 2010 with the Android 2.2-based Folio 100 but was knocked out of contention by its rush to get an iPad competitor on the market. Build and software quality problems led to a British retail recall that kept the Folio off of shelves until a fix arrived several weeks later and may have contributed to its absence in the US.