Toshiba Thrive 7 Tablet Impresses

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Toshiba Thrive 7 Tablet Impresses

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Toshiba today announced the Thrive 7, little brother to their big brother the Thrive 10. Both Thrive models are based on Android and the original Thrive 10 has had some modest success, but the 10" tablet space is a bit more crowded. So it's a smart move for Toshiba to go a bit smaller with the Thrive 7. The Thrive 7 sports Toshiba's AutoBrite™ LED Backlit Display and interestingly has the same 1280x800 screen resolution as the Thrive 10. They crammed the pixels into the smaller screen, so the resolution is amazing from the reviews I've read.
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The Toshiba Thrive 7 sports one-up on the Thrive 10 and that is it's running the newer Android 3.2 Honeycomb, while the Thrive 10 runs 3.1. The rear of the Thrive 7 is textured for more grippiness. It sports front (5MP) and rear (2MP) cameras and now has a camera flash. It uses the NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core Mobile Processor. It is available in both 16GB and 32GB models.

Importantly, the Thrive 7 has micro USB, micro HDMI, and micro SD card ports. It fully supports DLNA so you can stream your video, music, photos to any of your DLNA devices such as TV receivers, media center PCs, etc. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and supports Bluetooth.
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One minor drawback is that the battery is not removable. It's not exactly ultra-thin at .48" (nearly 1/2 inch), but it is only .88 pounds, so it's fairly light. Oddly enough, the stereo speakers are located on the same side on the bottom. While that's great when holding the device in portrait mode, when watching videos in the landscape mode, all the sound is coming out of the left-side. Would be nice is there were an additional 2 speakers on the opposite side which automatically turn on when the gyro senses you are holding it in that position. Then the left/right speakers on the opposite side automatically become "all" left speakers and the pair on the other side all become all right speakers. I suppose a pair of wired or Bluetooth headsets will have to do.

Because it's based on Android, this tablet can run Flash, which as much as Apple trashes Flash, is still an important cog in the Web. I can't tell you how many times I can't watch an embedded YouTube video on my iPad or iPhone because the video hasn't yet been transcoded into a format that Apple devices can play. Very annoying. In any event,  the Toshiba Thrive 7 looks pretty impressive. I might just get one for Christmas. They are expected to be available laste November / early December and cost around $400.

Via Joanna Stern



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