Toshiba unveils $430 Tegra 2-powered tablet

Well, it’s nice to see at least one other tablet maker isn’t shooting for absolute price parity with the iPad. Toshiba has introduced its 10.1″ Thrive tablet, and it’s started taking pre-orders ahead of the device’s mid-July retail release. The Thrive will set you back $429.99 with 8GB of storage capacity, $479.99 with 16GB, and $579.99 with 32GB.

The Thrive belongs to the growing club of tablets powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip. It also has a 10.1″ multi-touch display, 1GB of RAM, Android 3.1, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, dual cameras, a “user-replaceable backplate & battery,” and an assortment of “full-size” USB, HDMI, and SD card ports and slots. In other words, aside from the relatively spartan 8GB storage capacity, this looks like a fairly full-featured tablet.

I’m seeing one notable catch, though: the Thrive’s physical size and weight. Toshiba quotes a thickness of 0.62″ and a weight of 1.6 lbs—quite a bit thicker and slightly heftier than Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer, which offers similar specs and 16GB of storage capacity for just $400. Of course, neither device comes anywhere close to the iPad 2, which is 0.34″ thick and weighs 1.33 lbs.

If you don’t mind your tablets slightly chunky, Newegg and Amazon are already taking pre-orders for the 8GB model. You can pre-order right from Toshiba’s website, too.

Comments closed
    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago

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      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      Spammer.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    These articles are getting old for me. I STILL don’t want or need a tablet.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      You know? I’m sort of on-board with this statement. Tablets are neat and all, but I really don’t see why they’re suddenly so revolutionary, other than that a certain fruit-named company has decided to tell the world that they really need a tablet because tablets are just so much cooler than boring old notebooks.

      I struggle with this because, to me, there are three things that make a computing device: Form factor, featureset, and software. Tablets are nothing more than PC’s in yet another form factor, and they should be treated as such. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer? Brilliant concept. Between the Transformer and the Acer Iconia Tab W500, my ideal portable computing solution is so close I can taste it.

      But what are those? Those are [i<]good ideas[/i<]. Yes, the tablet thing [i<]does[/i<] offer [i<]some[/i<] advantages over the notebook -- most notably with the integration of the touchscreen, the accelerometer, and the digital compass. You kind of need the tablet form factor to really make use of those features, it's tough to use the touchscreen on a tablet PC folded into notebook mode, and it isn't particularly useful to do that anyways. But the pure tablet [i<]loses[/i<] some functionality, as well. You can't watch movies on them very easily, unless you happen to have a case that helps it stand or something to lean it up against. Notebooks are happy to support your widescreen in a visible manner wherever you set them. You can't type anything with any degree of speed, and that includes Swype -- Swype works great for phones, not for devices with fourfold the screen real estate. Notebooks come with this great thing called a "physical keyboard," makes typing a breeze. It's the functionality that we've lost in the so-called "tablet revolution" that has me breathing fire. Apple "invented" the iPad, and absurdly gullible people went out an bought it in droves. This had the effect of causing competitors to revise their tablet strategy, which before the iPad, focused on business users almost exclusively. Now, they focus on iPad purchasers almost exclusively, and aiming for that market segment alone has basically resulted in competitors ignoring the business uses entirely, and focusing on "OMFG SHARE YOUR MEDIA AND PICTURES AND MUSIC AND SHIT" and "PLEASE BY ANOTHER 3G PLAN FROM YOUR OVERPRICED TELCO OVERLORDS BECAUSE TETHERING IS TOO HARD FOR YOUR SMALL MIND CONSUMER." It pisses me off. The best tablet won't be a pure tablet, and the hype surrounding the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer has proven that. The best tablet will be a tablet/notebook hybrid, where the screen pops off and can be used in the typical tablet fashion. All of the main internals will be in that screen -- the CPU, the GPU, primary non-volatile storage (be it an HDD or an SSD), RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sensors (proximity sensor, aGPS, digital compass, 3-axis accelerometer). The screen will also have a limited availability of ports, some USB 2.0 ports (I'd love to see a USB 3.0 port in there), full-size flash memory card reader, stereo audio, and HDMI. The keyboard chunk will basically be an expansion dock that just so happens to perfectly fit the tablet itself, and it will possess extra battery capacity and, perhaps some extra ports -- like VGA (just in case), some more USB's, maybe an eSATA/USB hybrid, maybe a Firewire port, Gigabit Ethernet... and maybe an ExpressCard|54 slot. It'd be icing on the cake if, when you attached the screen/tablet part to the keyboard/notebook part, you could swivel the screen like on typical Windows tablet PC's. Hell, I wouldn't even mind a stylus, no matter what that self-absorbed prick Steve Jobs thinks. I like stylii. That would be the perfect portable computing device to me, and it's not a tablet. It's more of an evolution of the notebook, which just so happens to include a tablet. But seriously, the "TABLETS AHR GOEEN TO CHANGE ERRYTHING" flamers drive me to literally [i<]kill[/i<] Mac users. Literally.

      • albundy
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed. I’ve been trying to convince myself why i need one. i can understand schools replacing textbooks with these, and those that take many vacations needing some form of entertainment on the go, but otherwise I see no use for it. There are so many improvements all tablets need, like video calling via skype, google voice, etc. Android games are pretty lame. whats the point of tegra 2? marketing and sales are sugar coating these things to be something that still needs refining. I think I will wait for Windows 8 and see what MS offers.

    • potatochobit
    • 8 years ago

    I dont think most will notice .3 pounds

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      yes, most people would notice .3 pounds

        • potatochobit
        • 8 years ago

        people dont hold tablets with one hand, they are usually rested and angled
        no one will notice a difference in .3 pounds unless they were holding both tablets side by side

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        I agree.

        I just wouldn’t f***ing care, given that that .3 pounds affords me twice the RAM, a better CPU, a more flexible, open operating system, some industry-standard I/O ports (like USB, SD Cards, HDMI) versus the Apple-standard I/O.

        Thanks. I’ll take my .3 lbs to avoid rewarding a company that does everything in it’s power to lock consumers in. Apple plays the “vendor lock-in” game far better than Microsoft — their customers do it willingly. Boggles the mind.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    That’s kind of attractive, but I’m more lusting for a shiny new Android phone (edit: my current phone is an old Samsung with a slide-out sideways keyboard that uses .jar files for “apps”) than a tablet at this point.

    Is there any hope of an Android 2.2 device getting 3.x support? Does it matter?

      • mcnabney
      • 8 years ago

      The 2.X line is for phones.
      The 3.X line is for tablets.

      But technically you can shive either OS onto either platform.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Well that is definitely news to me – I thought 3.x was for all types of devices. 2.2 is the latest in the 2.x family, right?

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          2.3.4 is the latest in the 2.x family

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      We live in an amazing new world where anything and everything can and will be rooted however you want it to be.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I’m not really interested in hacking the phone myself, just curious if vendors other than Apple update phones nowadays. It’s been too long since I have phone shopped.

          • DancinJack
          • 8 years ago

          You also void your warranty if you root. You can unroot and solve that though.

          I think Google said Ice Cream Sandwich will unify the tablet and phone OS stuff. I don’t know what they’re going to number it though.

          2.2.2 is what I have on my Droid I. A lot of phones have just recently been getting 2.3.3/4. You wouldn’t miss any features if you got a 2.2 device out of the box instead of 2.3.

          There are a few new phone threads in the forums if you want to get into this more.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 8 years ago

            Every xda forum I read says 2.3 is noticeably faster than 2.2, regardless of the phone. Better memory/app management, etc etc

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    This one’s destined for a price drop in the near term. No way it even stands up for a few minutes against Asus’s Transformer with those specs at that price.

    Toshiba should have just gone ahead and priced it at the sub-$400 pricepoint it’ll wind up at because then it would have picked up some favorable reviews.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 8 years ago

    The Samsung galaxy tab 10.1 and 8.9 are nicer on hardware, thinner, better build than these, but also more expensive. The other day I held, played around with a BlackBerry Playbook, and to be honest, apart from the OS, it’s the device I’ve physically liked the most

    • yokem55
    • 8 years ago

    I’m wondering why Asus is having no problem hitting the $399 mark for the 16GB Transformer with a nice IPS display when everyone else is having a hard time getting there? Could the reason that the dock seems overpriced be that they are using the extra margin there to subsidize the tablet side of things?

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe cuz they had such success with the Eee netbooks? Maybe they figure everyone will jump in on it. It looks that way too.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<] Of course, neither device comes anywhere close to the iPad 2, which is 0.34" thick and weighs 1.33 lbs. [/quote<] Really, REALLY ? The wording of this is incredibly misleading. 0.62" 1.6 lbs vs 0.34" 1.33 lbs +0.28" and +.27 lbs sounds "close" to me.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      20% heavier and 82% thicker, that’s a big deal.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        [b<]I'm going to use Apple logic.[/b<] A nickel weighs 5g and a penny weighs 2.5g. 100% heavier. 5x the value. Therefore, the Thrive is at least 2x more valuable than the iPad2.

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 8 years ago

          Oops, wrong logic. For Apple it is the other way around: It is thinner/lighter, therefore it is MAGICAL.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      The weight difference is tolerable, but being almost 2x thicker makes it much less appealing.. unless the extra thickness is used to cram in a slide-out keyboard.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        Or a bunch of incredibly useful ports ? Or a larger battery ?

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah I like how they’re slowly getting cheaper. I’ve got a Nook Color and, while neato, it’s a dog. I’m looking forward to a speedy replacement around its size. Hopefully smaller tablets don’t go the way of the 9″ netbook (ie disappear).

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      Have you rooted and OC’d it ? The 400mhz helps greatly, and a newer base droid version really makes a difference in “peppiness”.

        • swaaye
        • 8 years ago

        Yup. I’m on the bleeding edge at 1200 MHz and CM7.1.0 beta3. But it still is a dog for all of the fancy websites of today.

        Part of the problem is that Android 2.x’s browser is junk. The weird memory / garbage collector stutters are really annoying. Opera Mobile is faster but super annoying in its own ways so I use Dolphin HD which relies on the Webkit stock browser.

    • Dizik
    • 8 years ago

    $579 for the 32GB variant? Why would someone get that when the 32GB ASUS Eee Pad Transformer costs $499? Also, the 16GB Transformer costs $399 while the 16GB Thrive costs $479. I’ll admit up front that I’m a little biased, considering that I just got my Transformer on Saturday, but seriously….$579 for a tablet with a non-IPS screen? Is the inclusion of the USB slot on the tablet worth the additional $80? The USB and full-sized SD slots are the only thing lacking on the Transformer, but that doesn’t matter if you end up getting the optional keyboard dock. Sure, it’s an additional $150, but it gives you not only two USB slots and a full sized SD card slot, but the additional battery.

      • HiggsBoson
      • 8 years ago

      That’s interesting. Sounds like they’re gauging just on the basis of differentiation of specs, not the actual cost of things. Sounds like something right out of Apple’s playbook if you ask me. Every generation of every iDevice has added the 2-3 things that everyone said was missing when the previous generation came out, and Apple lauds it as some massive improvement. With the rapid pace of development, it seems the best bet is just to wait a few generations for a core set of specs to start stabilizing.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 8 years ago

      So, how do you like your Transformer?

        • Dizik
        • 8 years ago

        I absolutely love it.

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    As much as I enjoy my Xoom, it is overpriced. This Toshiba tablet seems more in line with what they should be charging, and even still these prices need to keep dropping.

    • A_Pickle
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Of course, neither device comes anywhere close to the iPad 2, which is 0.34" thick and weighs 1.33 lbs.[/quote<] ...and has a measly 1024x768 pixel screen, and doesn't have any USB ports, or HDMI ports, or SD card expansion slots, and has a locked-down operating system from a company that discourages any use outside of what it deems "normal." Also, it has half the RAM of the Transformer and the Thrive, and much lower resolution cameras. ... ... ...I better buy an iPad!

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Adding an SD expansion slot would mean lost flash memory revenue. Apple makes a ton of money overcharging for memory when the customer doesn’t have any after-purchase method of expanding.

    • Thresher
    • 8 years ago

    I am really glad to see some downward price pressure on these things. I also like seeing companies are starting to segment the market beyond just whatever Apple is doing on prices.

    Personally, at $300, the 16GB would be a no brainer for me. At $430 for 8GB, I am still a bit reticent to part with the money. I’m still not sure what I would use it for, but at $300, at least I wouldn’t feel like I am wasting money if I try it and don’t find a use for it.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    After talking to a friend and industry contact about the delay in tegra 2 powered tech I’m inclined to wait for Kal-el chipset since tegra 2 is over half way through its own life cycle. The 4 core successor should move way more rapidly through the R&D pipeline without the android 3.0 hold up looming of tablet products anymore. From what I understand the tablets we are seeing now, Motorola and other major players had ready 12 months ago but where waiting for honeycomb and drivers for that to surface. Hardware seems to be racing ahead of the software development right now.

      • Hattig
      • 8 years ago

      Differentiating (and gauging) on the flash seems to be the rage these days. $50 per 8GB for this device, for example. Hopefully someone will break the trend soon. At least it supports full size SD cards.

      Kal-El does look worth waiting for in my opinion, the UI should feel a lot smoother with what it offers.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        A battery-powered device that requires a quad-core processor for a smooth UI experience? Something seems wrong.

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 8 years ago

          The question i’d wonder is if 4 cores running at 40% load uses less power than 2 cores at 80% load.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I like cores that run at 100% load, finish the job quickly, and then shut off.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            You can’t really finish the job of running a GUI.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            You probably won’t be able to make that comparison between Tegra 2 and 3. Piling on seemingly unnecessary cores for the same application is usually done to lower clock speed and voltage for the entire chip, saving power.

            The grand mystery is whether or not this is an act of logical balance or Nvidia style excess…

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