The Bottom Line
Jun 20 2012 - The Toshiba Excite 10 is certainly a welcome replacement to the gigantic Thrive the company first released. The tablet is sleek, slim and fairly light such that it feels much more like a tablet should. Even with the shrinking of the size, they didn't skimp on features either by having a quad core Tegra 3 processor, Android 4.0 operating system and even a full size SD card slot. The problem is that there are enough minor issues that mare what would otherwise be an above average tablet. Performance is better than dual core tablets but falls behind other Tegra 3 models. The camera provide some incredibly bad results and the display leaks too much light be be good in low light conditions.
- Much Thinner and Lighter Than Previous 10-inch Tablet
- Quad Core Processor With Android 4.0 OS
- Full Sized SD Card Slot
- Performance Trails Other Tegra 3 Based Tablets
- Very Poor Camera Quality
- Bright Display Leaks Too Much Light
- 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (Cortex-A9) Quad Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 16GB Storage
- 10.1" WXGA (1280x800) Multitouch Display
- 2.0 Megapixel Front Camera, 5.0 Megapixel Rear Camera With LED Flash
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 Graphics
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- micro USB 2.0, micro HDMI, SD Card, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 10.3" x 7.0" x .35" @ 1.32 lbs.
- Android 4.0
Review - Toshiba Excite 10
Jun 20 2012 - Toshiba's Excite 10 is much more of a consumer focused tablet than their first outing with the Thrive 10. That tablet was one of the thickest produced and was done so to incorporate a large number of full sized peripheral ports which was important to the corporate tablet users. The Excite 10 offers a much thinner profile that is just .35-inches thick is incredible thin next to the Thrive but still is thicker than the ASUS Transformer Prime. This thinner profile is primarily the result of moving from full size USB and HDMI ports to micro versions of these two connectors. While the ports did shrink, Toshiba did keep a full size SD card slot which makes it much more useful for dealing with the flash cards typical of many digital media devices.
The exterior design of the Excite is also much more like that of the New iPad or ASUS Transformer Prime in the use of an aluminum exterior back compared to the rubberized texture of the Thrive. This definitely improved the overall appearance but the textured surface definitely gave a much more solid grip when carrying it. It also doesn't seem to have the same rigidness that the Thrive carried.
The processor for the Excite 10 is based around the new NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. This is the first quad core processor to be released for tablets but it actually has a fifth smaller core in what NVIDIA calls its variable symmetrical multiprocessing or more simply variable processing. This will vary the power demands of the processor depending upon the software load. When it is idle or doing trivial tasks, it uses the low power core automatically to reduce power consumption which should help with battery life. Now, the Acer Iconia Tab A510, ASUS Transformer Prime and Transformer Pad all use this same processor but all seem to outperform the Excite 10 likely because Toshiba has a lower clocked version of the processor. Still, it is much better than any of the existing Android tablets using the dual core processors.
The experience is also smoother thanks to the Android 4.0 operating system that fixes many of the issues that plagued Google's Android 3.0 release. The interface has pretty much be left to the stock interface of Android rather than customization you see from companies such as Samsung or Acer. Toshiba does preload it with a fair amount of third party applications but they are mostly useful such as Amazon Kindle, Netflix and Quickoffice.
One area where Toshiba could have spent a bit more time was with the display. It uses the typical 10.1-inch display featuring a 1280x800 resolution so typical to Android tablets. Viewing angles were wide enough for it to be viewed by multiple people or from steeper angles. The brightness was also one of the higher on the market but this has a major downside. When viewing in darker environments, the display has a large amount of light leakage from the edge of the display. This makes it very distracting when being used in a dark room to watch a movie.
The Toshiba Excite is configured with a 25WHr capacity battery pack. This is a pretty typical battery size for a 10-inch tablet but still small compared to the massive battery in the New iPad. In video playback tests, the was able to run for nice and a quarter hours before shutting down. This is pretty much inline with the other Tegra 3 based tablets including the ASUS Transformer Prime and Acer Iconia Tab A510. It still falls an hour short of what the New iPad can achieve with its massive battery pack. On the other hand, this is a huge improvement over the past Toshiba Thrive 10's running time.