Toshiba Thrive : more connected than most of the others
It was way back in January when Toshiba launched a teaser site revealing the tablet, but close to six months later – Toshiba’s Thrive tablet still has not been released. Finally, we have news that the tablet will arrive on July 10th.
Just before release, Liliputing folks got to play with a display unit of the Thrive, and they found out it is one of the most feature-rich tablets in the market today, both in terms of innovative software and hardware connectivity options.
The Thrive has a 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 pixel display panel and a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. This is pretty standard but there are a few tricks up Toshiba’s sleeve – the tablet comes with full sized USB port, full sized HDMI port, and full sized SD card slot. Most of the tablets today do not have USB 2.0 ports, so it becomes virtually impossible to access data stored on an external drive – unless you buy a special conversion cable.
Apart from that, the Thrive comes with replaceable back covers and battery. You can choose among a variety of color covers to give the tablet a distinct look. Also no other Honeycomb tablet we know comes with a user replaceable battery. The good thing about having one is that you can simply buy a new battery without having to go to the service station. Keeping an extra battery will act as a backup power source as well.
The Thrive score well on the software front as well, with an indigenous file browser that can cover the external storages. You can play media straight out of that external drive of yours. A printer sharing tool should make sending files to a printer easier. There is a custom media player that, apart from playing media, also lets you send them to an externally connected PlayStation or Set-up box.
The Thrive is not the most elegant out there with a plastic changeable back cover behind a highly glossy panel. There is a silver metal piece surrounding both the cameras that looks blatantly out of place. The plastic cover on top of the I/O ports looks like it might come off anytime.
The base model of the Thrive tablet will cost $429.99 and come with just 8GB of storage. You can get a 16GB model for $479.99 or a 32GB model for $579.99. With native USB 2.0 support, we do not think buying extra internal space will become a huge advantage.
Below is a hands-on video taken by Brad Linger of Liliputing where you can see the tablet with a dock station and external keyboard in operation.