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The Toshiba Thrive tablet will reportedly be up for pre-order beginning June 13, 2011 at Best Buy, along with the usual "office superstores" and "e-commerce players." It will have a mid-July ship date (Engadget says it will be July 10, 2011).
More importantly, the Toshiba Thrive will be shipping with Android 3.1 (codenamed Honeycomb) out-of-the-box, meaning you won't have to deal with the hassle of upgrading the OS yourself. The company may be abandoning its Windows 7 tablet and Chromebook plans, so if you're a Toshiba fan, this looks like your best bet.
The 10.1-inch tablet (1,280 x 800 resolution) is available with three internal storage capacities in Wi-Fi only configurations: the 8GB model is $430, the 16GB model is $480, and the 32GB model is $580. They'll all come with a dual core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 2MP and 5MP front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 3.0+ connectivity, an SD memory card reader, HDMI and USB 2.0 support. A rather unique feature Toshiba is touting is the ability to swap batteries, unlike most other tablets. The back cover will also be removable and replaceable with other covers that Toshiba will sell in a variety of colors.
The Thrive also has a button to lock the screen orientation, a Toshiba-branded file manager, and Swype pre-installed (you can switch to the stock Android keyboard if you'd like). Toshiba is bundling its Resolution Plus software, which it uses to clean up and upscale video in its TVs and laptops. Most importantly, Toshiba claims the battery is rated up to seven hours of continuous HD video playback, and promises to recharge up to 90 percent in an hour and a half.
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