updated 06:45 pm EST, Sat December 10, 2011
Toshiba Thrive 7 ships Dec 11 but yet has no price
A Toshiba teaser confirmed Saturday that it would ship the Thrive 7 to the US on Sunday, December 11. The company's second tablet in the country will arrive as promised, albeit after a three-month wait. Unusually, Toshiba made no mention of the price, although it's presumed the starter 16GB version will cost less than the $399 for an 8GB 10-inch Thrive.
Much of the capability of the Thrive 7 is the same as for the larger version, down to its NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, 1280x800 screen, five-megapixel rear camera, and two-megapixel front camera. Most of the differences outside of the screen center on the switch to micro HDMI, micro USB, and microSDHC instead of the full-size ports. Its 0.88-pound weight is somewhat offset by a bulky 0.47-inch thickness.
The launch wouldn't necessarily be significant by itself if not for Toshiba's claims. It argues that the Thrive 7 is a "seven-inch tablet done right," touching on both the failures of every other similarly-sized tablet so far as well as Apple's own dismissal of the category. Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs is well-known for having called seven-inch tablets unworkable, noting that they gave up too much usable screen area and often didn't really have a price advantage.
Sales for Thrive 10 have never been given out, but NPD retail estimates make it doubtful that they will be high. Research has so far shown that Toshiba doesn't register in the top five non-iPad tablets sold so far in the US during 2011.