Toshiba intros highly competitive AT200 tablet, Z830 ultrabookBy Matthew DeCarlo
Toshiba's taking full advantage of this year's IFA conference in Berlin, introducing its latest contributions to the mobile computing market: an Android-based tablet and a Portege-branded ultrabook. Although there's no shortage of ARM-powered tablets running Honeycomb, the company's new AT200 slate could deliver some much-needed competition in the increasingly diluted tablet segment.
Along with being incredibly thin at 7.7mm (0.3in – about a millimeter slimmer than the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab), the AT200's brushed aluminum backside is more attractive than the glossy, smudge-prone plastic that envelopes many existing tablets. This may boil down to aesthetics, but such niceties can drastically sway consumers' opinions, especially with so-called companion devices. For whatever it's worth, Toshiba's entrant is also a hair lighter than its rivals, weighing only 1.23lbs.
The AT200 packs a 10.1-inch 1280x800 touchscreen and a dual-core 1.2GHz OMAP 4430 that will outpace the Tegra 2 inside most competing units. Whereas Nvidia's SoC is limited to a single-channel memory controller, TI's chip has support for dual-channel LPDDR2 memory. Additionally, the OMAP 4430's PowerVR SGX 540 graphics core is a bit snappier than the Tegra 2's GeForce GPU.
Toshiba will offer versions with up to 64GB of storage built-in, but we imagine 16GB and/or 32GB iterations will also be served. To help achieve its slender profile, the AT200 has avoided full size connectors, opting for micro-USB, microSD and mini-HDMI ports instead. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are a given, but we haven't seen any mention of mobile broadband connectivity. Toshiba's press release also failed to cite a price and release date, saying only that the AT200 would arrive in the fourth quarter.
The company's new Portege Z830 is equally attractive with a 16mm-thick, aluminum-clad body. Due in November, the 13.3-incher packs up to a Core i7 processor, 6GB of RAM, an eight-cell battery, a 1366x768 matte display, a 1.3MP webcam, three USB ports (one USB 3.0), HDMI and VGA-out, Wi-Fi, WiDi, as well as a backlit, spill-resistant keyboard. Pricing will start at under $1,000.