updated 08:20 pm EDT, Tue September 27, 2011
Toshiba Thrive 7 takes second shot at US
Toshiba in an evening unveiling showed the Thrive 7" tablet. The Android 3.2 slate still carries a dual-core Tegra 2 and even a 1280x800 display like its 10-inch cousin, but it shrinks ports to fit the same expansion in a smaller profile. A microSDHC card slot, micro HDMI, and micro USB let it get expansion through either adapters or direct connections, including with a Toshiba-written file transfer app to let users shuffle files.
Toshiba insists the expansion will let it succeed where other seven-inch tablets have failed. "This is a seven-inch tablet done right," product development VP Carl Pinto said.
The tablet will be comparatively light at 0.88 pounds but will be thicker than the PlayBook or some larger-screened competitors like the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1, at 0.47 inches.
Every device will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, five-megapixel rear and two-megapixel front cameras, and the larger two 16GB and 32GB storage options from the larger Thrive. Despite the size, no 8GB model is shipping.
Toshiba hasn't said what pricing will be, other than likely below the Thrive and the $400 price marker. Stores also won't get the tablet until December, three months after the unveiling. Its site currently, mistakenly lists November for the release window.
Seven-inch tablets so far haven't had much success in the US and, in some cases, have faced the most problems. The original Galaxy Tab was partly limited by Samsung's insistence on carrier deals and waiting too late to introduce a Wi-Fi version. RIM's confidence in the BlackBerry PlayBook's size also wasn't enough to overcome major missing software and saw it ship just 200,000 units worldwide in the summer.
Android has been partly limited by Google designing Android 3 to be optimized only for nine-inch and larger tablets until 3.2 brought support for seven-inch screens.