Aiming to cover all the bases, Toshiba has announced a fresh batch of Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich tablets spanning three different sizes: 7.7, 10.1 and 13.3 inches. Besides a handful of form factor-specific features, the devices share a core set of specifications including a brushed aluminum surface on the back and Gorilla Corning Glass on the front, a 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3, a five-megapixel rear cam capable of recording 1080p video, a two-megapixel front cam and plenty of connectivity.
Although its 1280x800 resolution doesn't qualify for any fancy "retina" branding, the 7.7-incher packs an AMOLED display that promises superior colors and contrast to its larger siblings. Toshiba says the Excite 7.7 is "optimized" for users on the go, measuring 0.3in thick and weighing under a pound at 13.4oz. Connectivity includes a micro USB port and micro SD card slot. Pricing starts at $499 for a unit with 16GB of internal storage, though 32GB will be available and a 64GB is possible if there is enough demand.
The Excite 10 is intended to be Toshiba's mainstream offering, starting at $449 for 16GB, while 32GB and 64GB models will also be available. It sheds the AMOLED display (hence its lower price) and there was no talk of an IPS panel, so we can only assume it's running a conventional TN screen with the same 1280x800 resolution. Interestingly, the Excite 10 touts a 12-hour battery life, so we wonder if the Excite 7.7 fares even better with its AMOLED display, or if it sacrifices some life in favor of a smaller battery.
Most tablets have been 10 inches or under, but Toshiba believes there's room for a larger device more geared toward sharing content in home and business settings. Thus enters the Excite 13, which starts at $629 and packs a 13.3-inch 1600x900 display, a 0.4in thick/2.2lb body, as well as a two-position stand: vertical for viewing and reclined for typing. It has the same I/O configuration as the Excite 10, including a standard SD card slot. WWAN and TV tuner options will reportedly be available, but not in the US.
As noted, all of the slates will ship with Android ICS and Toshiba says it'll bundle some apps such as a media player and file manager, but it won't replace stock interface with its own creation. The Excite 10 is scheduled to ship in the US sometime next month, while the Excite 7.7 and 13 are due a month later in June. The company is also preparing a back-to-school refresh for the same timeframe, which includes updated C, L, S, P and Qosmio notebook series, as well as LX815 and LX835 all-in-one desktops.
The Toshiba Thrive (1,280 x 800 resolution) is available with three internal storage capacities in Wi-Fi only configurations: 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. 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.
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