Toshiba Tablet (AT100)

Toshiba Tablet (AT100) review: A 10.1in Android tablet with full sized HDMI and USB ports, and a removable battery

Toshiba Tablet (AT100)
  • Toshiba Tablet (AT100)
  • Toshiba Tablet (AT100)
  • Toshiba Tablet (AT100)

Pros

  • Full sized HDMI and USB ports
  • Full SD card slot
  • Removable, replaceable battery

Cons

  • Poor screen quality
  • No 3G connectivity
  • Build quality could be improved

Bottom Line

Toshiba's unimaginatively named "Tablet" (AT100) tries to stand out from the pack by offering a removable battery, full sized HDMI and USB ports, and a full sized SD card slot. Unfortunately, Toshiba appears to have opted for a poor quality display that suffers from ghosting and yellow tinge issues. If Toshiba can fix these issues in an upcoming software update, the Toshiba Tablet is definitely worth a look and provides a few unique features that set it apart from the competition.

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Is it just us or do most Android tablets currently on the market scream "me too"? Aside from a few small differences, most of these devices have the same sized screen with the same resolution, run virtually identical software, and have a very similar feature set and user experience. Toshiba's unimaginatively named "Tablet" (AT100) at least tries to stand out from the pack by offering a removable battery, full sized HDMI and USB ports, and a full sized SD card slot. Unfortunately, Toshiba has opted for a poor quality display that detracts from the Tablet's overall appeal.

Read our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Toshiba Tablet (AT100): Design and ports

The Toshiba Tablet (AT100) is an Android "Honeycomb" tablet with a 10.1in touchscreen. Immediately it is apparent that the Tablet looks and feels much thicker than most other devices on the market, especially Apple's svelte iPad 2. The Toshiba Tablet has a stylish, flat front and rounded edges but at 15mm thick, it's a significantly bulkier device than many of its competitors. Thankfully, the back cover has a rubberised feel and its textured design makes the Tablet comfortable to hold. It also feels slip resistant and is not particularly prone to scratches.

At 771g, we were expecting the Toshiba Tablet (AT100) to be a little unwieldy to hold, but the reality is far from that. It actually feels lighter than both the Motorola Xoom and the Acer Iconia A500, despite the specifications sheet suggesting it is far heavier than both. Combined with the grippy rear cover, the Toshiba Tablet is comfortable to hold with one or both hands. Disappointingly, the cover feels flimsy when pressed in, and the glossy plastic used on the front means the Tablet quickly becomes a grubby mess. We also hate the glossy, chrome plastic surrounding the front and rear cameras — it screams cheap and nasty.

The Toshiba Tablet has a removable and replaceable battery accessible by removing the back cover. A switch on the left side of the tablet unlocks the cover and you simply pull it off to remove. Toshiba sells an additional 6-cell battery for $79.95, and stocks a range of replaceable back covers (in silver, blue, green, raspberry, and lavender colours) for $29.95. Although the covers aren't a huge selling point, the removable battery will suit road warriors and is a feature not offered on any other mainstream Android tablet currently sold in Australia.

Toshiba is best known for its notebook computers and it's clear the company has used this for inspiration when designing the Tablet. The charging connector is similar to one you would find on a regular Toshiba notebook (although slightly smaller), as are the handy indicator LED's for power, Wi-Fi and low battery. Toshiba has also hidden most of the Tablet's ports behind a flimsy plastic cover. On the top you'll find power and volume buttons, along with a switch that locks the screen orientation, while a dock connection (for the optional HDMI multi dock) is located on the bottom. The dock connection is behind a flimsy and easy-to-lose plastic cover that completely detaches from the Tablet when removed.

The Toshiba Tablet (AT100) has a full sized USB port, a full sized HDMI port, and a full sized SD card slot. Though Acer's Iconia A500 and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (with optional keyboard dock) both feature full sized USB ports, no other Android tablet sold in Australia has a full sized HDMI port. This means you can connect the Toshiba Tablet to a high definition television or projector using a regular HDMI cable. Further, the full sized SD card slot means the Toshiba Tablet can support cards of up to 128GB in size — much more than the current 32GB limit of the microSD card slot in most Android tablets.

Disappointingly, the Toshiba Tablet does not charge through its mini-USB connection, though the upside is that the included power adapter can charge the device much faster that a USB connection can. The Toshiba Tablet's battery can be charged to 90 per cent of its capacity in just one hour.

Toshiba Tablet (AT100): Display

Like most Android tablets, the Toshiba Tablet has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800. The screen is responsive to touch, however it often feels a little sticky when scrolling. Unfortunately, Toshiba appears to have opted for a lower quality display than we were expecting. Despite listing an IPS (In Plane Switching) panel as the screen technology of choice — the same technology used on the iPad 2 — the Toshiba Tablet's screen exhibits poor viewing angles, is not as bright as most other Android tablets we've tested and is tough to see in sunlight. We found the automatic brightness setting almost useless in most environments, and generally had to up the brightness to around 85-90 per cent to achieve the best views.

Of even more concern is that the Toshiba Tablet's screen appears to display an annoying yellow tinge, especially when viewing Web pages with a white background. This tinge appears to be evenly spread across the screen, and does not just affect one part of the display. The Toshiba Tablet also appears to suffer from ghosting issues, most evident when rotating the device from landscape to portrait or vice versa on a white background. It also has small, visible honeycomb shapes all over the screen — this imprint appears to be on the layer directly below the outside of the screen and is very noticeable at certain angles, particularly if there is light shining on the screen.

Toshiba says that the Android 3.1 software update will include new hardware graphic drivers which will increase the screen refresh rates, along with colour reproduction. This will more than likely fix the ghosting issue, but whether it corrects the yellow tinge problem remains to be seen. The Android 3.1 software update will be available in the pre-loaded Toshiba Service Station app as an over-the-air (OTA) download in the coming weeks.

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Read more on these topics: toshiba, tablets, Toshiba Tablet, Android tablets

AlfieJr

1

are they serious? a weak product, hardware-wise, compared to just the Xoom and Galaxy, let alone the iPad 2 ... at about the same price. embarrassing. DOA.

what's wrong with these guys? do they think anything is better than nothing?

David

2

I thought it was named Thrive, not Tablet...has the name Thrive been dropped?

jerry

3

I Thoth this tablet yesterday and I assure you it has none of these issues. It came with 3.1 and it rocks! Twice as thick and 10x the tablet should be their motor!! The screen is extremely accurate in color rendition. Great viewing angles. Easy to see in sunlight. There were some reports like you mention in Australia but not the U.S.
Best tablet going right now without a doubt.

Ross Catanzariti

4

Hi David,

I believe it is called the Thrive in the US, but the Australian model is just called the Tablet (AT100).

Critic

5

For crying out loud, in this 'global age' when will they learn, call it the same everywhere! If they don't because of copyright or legal issues, then be more imaginative with the naming!

henry

6

This Australian version was promised to have android 3.1, well that was said last month in July. Where is your promise Toshiba, shameful? I`d say better to buy Apple products as they update their software so frequently, unlike other mfrs, I.e. toshiba.

Rudolf

7

The Thrive is a great tablet, very fast and great design!

Janine

8

My tablet won't talk to my modem (no sim card in tablet) I'm not techno savvy so wondering if there is something simple I'm overlooking. Sim card in WiFi, I have turned on both power and WPS on modem and it says 'connecting' but tablet shows now connection. When in settings and trying to turn on Wifi options it says 'scanning' and goes nowhere. Any suggestions please?

lina

9

My hdmi port does not work..please someone let me know how can I do it. Need to see on my TV screen.

Saaa

10

I have one of these and I love it. But part of that may be that I only paid $200 for it on clearance

anthony

11

I've had this tablet now for over a year and its been just sensational I payed $299 for the 32gb from jb hi-fi with the case and dock its just pure gold I see my friends updating their I pads and galaxy tabs and I'm like what for its still not as good as mine

Jenaii

12

From Toshiba Tablet (AT100) here comes Toshiba Excite AT305T64 Tablet.
Delivering more performance, sleek durability and more essential ports and features than the average Android tablet, the Toshiba Excite AT305T64 Tablet is an all-around tablet designed for home and on-the-go use. http://toshiba-tablet.com/

Don

13

I Have had my AT100 32gig 4.0.4 for 6 or 8 months now and have found it to be extremely fast and responsive and I certainly don't have any complaints for a sub $300 Tablet

Dawn Colburn

14

I love my Toshiba excite! Better than any laptop I have owned! I feel my money was well spent, I would just like to know if there is a data plan I can purchase so I can use of away from home? Can anyone help me with this problem?

doris studer

15

how do I enlarge my icons on my at100 and my fonts

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jois mick

1.5

1

Pros
none
Cons
not intuitive
• • •

I find this tablet to be very difficult to navigate, it shuts down, it cancels my book reading, it stalls when scrolling,,the GPS errors in our location, I get many forced closing in Book Place, satellite does not come in all the time. we have another computer that does not have these issues so it isn,t internet connections. returning this puppy,

frank

0.5

2

Pros
toshiba tablet
Cons
no answer
• • •

how do i fix my broadband to Toshiba Tablet AT100?

James

5.0

3

Pros
Full Size USB
Cons
Weight
• • •

just a bit thicker than Motorola Xoom, otherwise not too bad.

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