Toshiba builds a bigger tablet


— 11:07 AM on June 15, 2012

For a while now, we've wondered aloud about what it might be like to use a larger tablet. The screens on most of today's slates measure 10 inches or less, but there's some appeal to a display with more real estate. Toshiba apparently agrees, because its new Excite tablet comes in a 13.3" flavor.

Mercifully, the screen doesn't have the 1366x768 resolution seen on all too many 13-inchers. This puppy offers 1600x900 pixels on what appears to be a TN panel. Toshiba doesn't mention IPS technology on the tablet's product page, which is usually a good indicator that it's not present.

The few reviews that have popped up online don't have good things to say about the screen, which is reportedly rather dim. Gizmodo also encountered problems with the Gorilla Glass, which can stick to the underlying LCD and create visible "puddles." That issue can apparently be alleviated by twisting the tablet like an ice cube tray. Yikes.

The Excite 13 has other notable features, including a Tegra 3 SoC, a full-sized SD slot, and Android 4.0. Gizmodo says the battery lasts for 11 hours, an impressive feat given the larger screen. But the Excite is also quite heavy, at 2.2 lbs, and it's not cheap. The 32GB version is set to cost $650, while the 64GB runs $750. That's more than the new iPad, which crams more pixels into its smaller, higher-quality screen.

I still like the idea of a larger tablet, but the Excite 13 doesn't look like it's nailed the formula. A good screen is more important than a bigger one.

   
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