We caught wind of a pretty beefy looking tablet coming up over the horizon from Toshiba at CES 2011 and it reared its head again a couple of weeks back. Twitter even gave us a name courtesy of some chatty actors starring in what was expected to be its TV ad debut, the ‘Thrive’ and now said mysterious tab is officially here, almost.
The Thrive is now the confirmed name for Toshiba’s big tablet and pre-sales kick off as soon as next week! It’s one of the thicker tabs, relatively speaking at 0.62″ but that’s not without its benefits. The biggest difference is the inclusion of both a full-sized USB port and a full-sized HDMI along the bottom (so no MHL adapter required here) plus this thing just looks sturdy as a result. Spec sheets still quote the Thrive as running on Android Honeycomb 3.0 but Toshiba are now saying that it’ll ship with 3.1 instead so it’s a win there too.
Hardware is solid and for the price, sits nicely in amongst some similarly specced candidates. For $429 you get a 10.1″ tab running Honeycomb 3.1, a Tegra 2 powered interior with 8GB of internal storage and an IPS display. For $479 you get twice the internal storage and for $579 you get a full 32GB too. For the fashion conscious amongst you prospective buyers, you can also buy a selection of colored back panels at $19.99 each and underneath you also have access to a removable battery, which is handy.
Toshiba have kept things simple with their blend of Android Honeycomb, it’s near enough stock Android say for their Resolution+ brightening technology and an “enhanced” file manager. Other than that, they’re planning on bundling a few third-party apps on there too such as QuickOffice and LogMeIn.
Toshiba aim to put the Thrive out on sale from July in the US, there’s no mention of a 3G model here so for the moment, these prices are for pure WiFi models. What Toshiba have hinted at is that they don’t plan on stopping with the Thrive this year. Not until probably Q4 will we see anything else but my bet says we’ll get a similarly specced smaller version before the year is out, 7″/8.9″ perhaps? If Toshiba does deliver that would put their new tablet duo square inline with Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tab twins, mmmm I smell a comparison coming on…
To see more of the Thrive, its feature site can be found here. It’s not branded as the Thrive yet but by the start of next month, it’ll no doubt get an update.
UPDATE: We got in touch with Toshiba UK to ask if the Thrive would be making its way across the pond any time soon too, this is what they said:
So a somewhat cryptic, but positive response, it’s as usual a matter of ‘watch this space’ but that certainly didn’t sound like a no, guesses would be that if the Thrive were to come to the UK, it’d probably come to the rest of Europe as well.