Getting your hands on a budget tablet for around a hundred bucks isn't particularly challenging, but these decidedly underwhelming gadgets typically don't come with the latest version of Android. Toshiba intends to do budget shoppers one better by providing them with a 7-inch tablet with Android 4.4, all for $110. This little guy goes by the name of Excite Go.
Toshiba pisses me off. It's a company that released one of my favorite Android tablets of all time (which is also subsequently abandoned after 4.1). When I know that a company is capable of putting out good gadgets but they continuously release garbage, it frustrates me. Announcement after announcement, I think this could be the one – this might just be the next good Toshiba device. And every single time, I'm disappointed.
With little fanfare, the first available devices running Nvidia's Tegra 4 ARM chip have popped up at Best Buy and Amazon. The Toshiba Excite Write and Pro tablets are 10.1-inch slates based on Tegra 4, whereas the Pure is another Tegra 3 device. All three new slates appear to be available for purchase right now.
The Tegra 3-based Pure tablet is a midrange affair with a 1280x800 resolution 10.1-inch screen. It comes with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.
Say hello to Toshiba's 2013 Android tablet lineup. Though the company still hasn't made a dent in the tablet market, it's not for lack of trying, and the latest trio of ten-inchers proves that they're not ready to give up the ghost. All three have roughly the same body and dimensions: the Excite Pure is Toshiba's new low-end offering, the Excite Pro is for gamers and resolution junkies, and the Excite Write steps up to Samsung with both high-end specifications and a digitizer-stylus combo.
Toshiba is kind of all over the place when it comes to Android. It has released some absolutely fantastic hardware in the past, but the lack of support for said hardware is awfully damning when it comes to recommending its devices in good conscience.
Still, it looks like the company is knee-deep in the development of a new tablet, which is currently being called the "AT10LE-A," and is said to be powered by NVIDIA's newest baby – the upcoming Tegra 4.
Hot on the heels of the Jelly Bean update for the Excite 7.7, Toshiba is also pushing the OTA to its larger brother, the Excite 10. Reports are scattered and details are pretty scant at the moment, but we have confirmed that it's rolling out now.
It appears that the OTA – which brings Android 4.1.1 – is being pushed in stages to both the AT300 and AT305. You can see if it's available on your device by heading into Settings > About Tablet > System Updates or by jumping directly into Toshiba's Service Station.
Given Toshiba's track record with Android updates, I thought I'd never get to write this post. Alas, here it is – Android 4.1.1 is officially rolling out to the Excite 7.7. At first blush, it looks like Toshiba did a good job on this one. It actually uses the new "hybrid UI" (like on the Nexus 7), which leads to a much better experience on smaller slates like the 7.7.
The update clocks in at a cool 348MB, so be prepared to wait for just a bit to grab this Jelly Bean goodness.
When it comes to Android tablets, Toshiba hasn't really been the "brand to buy," so to speak. It's not that they put out bad hardware, because that's simply not the case - the Excite 7.7 is one of the best Android tablets I've ever used. It's that they don't promote - or more importantly, support - devices after release.
Case in point: today, the company has announced a new member to its Excite line, the 10" Excite SE.
Last month, owners of Toshiba's 10-inch Thrive tablet were dealt a blow when the manufacturer announced that the tablet's official update to Ice Cream Sandwich would be delayed to "early Fall." This news came several months after Toshiba had initially indicated an "end of Spring" release target for the update.
After all of that, it appears that the Thrive is finally receiving its update to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich today – for real this time.