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Toshiba's first Android-powered tablet was just given an official U.S. release date. According to a press release issued by Best Buy on Thursday, the Thrive will be available for in-store purchase on July 10. Interestingly, while Best Buy and several other Toshiba retail partners have been taking pre-orders for the 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB models since mid-June, the latest announcement only refers to the two larger models -- priced at $480 and $580, respectively.
In any case, it seems you won't have to wait until Sunday to get your hands on a Toshiba Thrive. There have been reports that several stores begun selling the tablet this week ahead of its official release -- you'll need to check with your local Best Buy -- and today the 8GB and 16GB models appeared on Newegg and Amazon ready to go out the door.
The Toshiba Thrive will be shipping with Android 3.1 Honeycomb out-of-the-box with a starting price of $430 for the base model. It has a 10.1-inch display with 1,280 x 800 resolution, 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.
In terms of software Toshiba is bundling something called Resolution Plus, which it uses to clean up and upscale video in its TVs and laptops, as well as a Toshiba-branded file manager and Swype for faster typing (you can switch to the stock Android keyboard if you'd like). Most importantly, Toshiba claims the battery is rated for 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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