Another day, another new tablet from an aspiring mobile contender. Toshiba packs many features into its Thrive, which is why we consider it the Swiss Army Knife of tablets. But how does it stack up to the competition? We run it through expert analysis.
In Disney's 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the name given to each little person really captured the neurosis of every character. Can you name them all? There was Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and, of course, Dopey.
The tablet market has its own marked characters. The iPad 2 is Vogue. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is Slim. The Xoom is Exclusive (always the first with Google updates, after all). Asus' Eee Pad Transformer is Convertible. And Acer's Iconia A500 is Expandable, due to its full-sized USB port. Although HP's TouchPad is effectively dead (ate the poisoned Apotheker apple), let's call it Beefcake for its not-so-thin profile.
Toshiba's Thrive is the seventh tablet in this line-up. It's harder to peg with just a single word, though.
The tablet fight is still being fought between Apple's iPad 2 and the Android-based competition. But because each product based on Google's operating system offers something unique, there's never a clear frontrunner when it comes to going toe-to-toe with the incumbent from Cupertino.
|Acer Iconia A500||Asus Eee Pad Transformer||Motorola Xoom||Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1||Toshiba Thrive|
|Full-Sized USB Port (Ext. Storage)||X||-||-||-||X|
|SD Card Reader||-||-||-||-||X|
|microSD Card Reader||X||X||X||-||-|
The Thrive successfully delivers a very comprehensive list of features, which is why it's a little different. It includes a full-sized USB port, a pair of cameras, HDMI output, and an SD card reader. No other tablet has combined all four of those yet. The closest contender is Acer's Iconia A500 Tab, differing only in its support for microSD cards (instead of SD cards). The thing is, you can always adapt smaller microSD cards to the larger slot.
Moreover, Toshiba's offering is the first 10.1" Android-based tablet to ship with an available 8 GB capacity point, which should make it a more accessible choice for those who want a full-featured tablet at a lower price.