Earlier last week, we got some leaked information about the upcoming tablet from Toshiba called Thrive. Today I had the opportunity to meet Philip Osako, Director of Product Marketing at Toshiba, who gave us a demonstration and a little more background on the development of the Thrive. Starting June 13th you will be able to pre-order the tablet at all major retailors starting at $429 for the 8GB version, $479 for the 16GB, and $579 for the glorious 32GB version.
What Mr. Osako stressed is that rather than taking the typical approach of making a phone first and then just jumbo sizing it, Toshiba wanted to build a product from the ground up. With their years of experience in the consumer technology market, they know that introducing new products to consumers can be difficult. Their goal was to develop a transition product - designed for people coming from a laptop or a netbook to a tablet. That was the motivation behind having a normal sized USB plug, a regular SD Card slot, full sized HDMI, and a removable battery. In this round of development, reducing size was not the goal, and it shows: the Thrive is .6 inches thick and and weighs in at 1.6lbs. Toshiba also wants users to be able to customize their products, thus they added a removable back plate that can be changed out for 5 additional colors. Under the back plate, the battery is easily accessible.
The Thrive will be running Android 3.1 (which it will ship with) free of any overlays. Mr. Osako said they looked at simple enhancements that act as a value add, like adding dual SRS speakers and Resolution +. They have also added custom apps that we did not see in CES, which provide for better media and file navigation. Also integrated in the device is Toshiba’s Quick charge technology that allows you to get to a 90% charge in only 1.5 hours.
Toshiba also introduced us to two new cases and two new docking stations. One of the cases was build for viewing; the other was more for practical usage. One of the docking stations was more for bedside charging and listening at a reasonable cost of $39, the other for a TV hookup with an HDMI output and 2 USB slots for $59.
So let’s regurgitate the stats that have been already provided:
- 10.1" display (1280×800)
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
- 2.0MP front-facing webcam
- 5.0 MP rear camera with autofocus
- Stereo speakers
- USB, mini-USB, and HDMI ports
- SD card reader
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Gyroscope, Accelerometer, e-Compass, GPS and Ambient Light
- Screen rotation lock switch
- User-replaceable battery
- Interchangeable rubber back plate, available in a variety of colors (each costs $19.99)
Here is what we covered today:
- Operating System on Launch – Honeycomb 3.1
- 6 different color back plates – Ships with Black, but also has Blue, Purple, Silver, Green, and Pink, all available for $19.99 each
- User Replaceable Battery is $89.99, that comes in a size of 2030mAh and a tested runtime of 7 hours continuous HD playback
- Quick charge technology for 90% charge after 1.5 hours
- Toshiba Built Applications – Toshiba File Manager, Toshiba Media Player
- Preinstalled Apps – Printer Sharing, LogMeIn, Need for Speed, QuickOffice
- 2 Docks, one with power and audio for $39, and the other for power, audio, USB, and HDMI for $59.
Bring on the demo units!