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.