Toshiba Tablet (AT100) preview

Toshiba AT100 preview: Toshiba's 'Honeycomb' Android tablet features a removable battery, and replaceable back covers

Toshiba recently announced that its upcoming Android tablet, simply named the "Toshiba Tablet" (AT100), will launch in Australia at the end of June. It features a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800, full sized HDMI and USB ports, and a removable battery.

Read our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Almost every major tech manufacturer has released, or is planning to release an Android tablet in 2011. Aside from the versatile ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, and the smaller, 7in HTC Flyer, most of these Honeycomb tablets seem to scream "me too" — many of them have similar screen sizes, and near identical specifications. Thankfully, Toshiba at least seems intent on distinguishing its AT100 Android tablet from the rest of the pack.

The Toshiba AT100 Android tablet has a few key features that set it apart from many of its competitors. In addition to a full sized USB port and an SD card slot, the Toshiba AT100 has a full sized HDMI port — this means you can connect it to a high definition television or projector using a regular HDMI cable. While 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.

The Toshiba AT100 also has a removable and replaceable battery, along with removable back covers that will be offered in various colours and designs. Toshiba will sell an additional 6-cell battery for $79.95, and will also sell a range back covers featuring a slip-resistant surface for $29.95. The back covers will be sold in silver, blue, green, raspberry, and lavender colours. Toshiba will also sell a HDMI multi dock ($89.95) that will charge the tablet and enable users to connect a hard drive or keyboard, along with a portfolio case with adjustable stand ($49.95).

Pre-loaded software includes Toshiba Media Player which enables streaming of music and videos to a DLNA Wi-Fi enabled TV, along with Toshiba's resolution+ technology that the company says enhances videos by up scaling and increasing the resolution of the original source to create a clearer image.

The rest of the Toshiba AT100's features are standard. The tablet runs Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' software, with no word on when an update to the latest 3.1 version will be available. Naturally, the AT100 includes features like tabbed Web browsing, and Adobe Flash Player for viewing Web video.

The Toshiba AT100 Android tablet is powered by a 1GHz dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, and has 1GB of RAM. Toshiba has also confirmed the AT100 will come with 16GB of internal memory. One aspect not in its favour is weight: at 771g, the AT100 will be by far the heaviest Android tablet on the market in Australia.

The Toshiba AT100 also has two digital cameras on board: a front-facing, 2-megapixel camera that acts as a webcam for video calling, and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear that takes still photos and records standard definition video. The AT100 is a Wi-Fi device, with no 3G connectivity.

The Toshiba AT100 Android tablet will be available in "late June", and will start from $579. It will be sold through major retailers, and not through carriers.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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