updated 01:30 pm EDT, Sat August 27, 2011
Toshiba plans metal-bound Android tablet
Toshiba plans to make up for many of the mistakes made with the Thrive tablet through a much improved model uncovered in an Italian leak. The new version would scrap the thick and heavy rubberized design for a much thinner, brushed metal design. Expansion would still be a focus, Notebook Italia saw, as Toshiba would switch to micro HDMI, micro USB, and microSD to get similar features, just through adapters.
Much more isn't known, although it may show up at the IFA show September 1. If so, it wouldn't ship with anything later than Android 3.2 and would still probably use an NVIDIA Tegra 2 underneath. Whether anything else will be changed, such as cameras or storage, is just as uncertain. Any device might not ship early given Toshiba's long lead time from before.
The design shows Toshiba in a more humble and determined position than when it first showed the tablet at CES in January. In a rush to show that it had an iPad competitor in the works, it showed the Thrive before it even had a name and half a year before it was ready to ship. Toshiba spent months attacking the iPad 2 and its lack of Flash without having an actual product on shelves.
When launched, the slate was given generally low reviews both for bulk and low battery life but also for a near-repeat of the buggy release that hurt the release of the Folio 100 last year. At the time, the tablet was pulled from UK shelves after many complaints. The Thrive faced a major glitch that sometimes prevented it from waking from sleep but had its teething issues patched quickly enough for it to only temporarily pose a problem.