Toshiba Excite LE review takes a look at the new exciting thin Tablet PC line

This Toshiba Excite LE review takes a look at the latest Tablet PCs by the IT and electronics giant Toshiba, which not only announces a new pathway that Toshiba intends to take within the market, but introduces the thinnest Tablet PCs the world has ever seen.

 

This Toshiba Excite LE review also reflects on announced extensions of the Excite line, forthcoming Toshiba Tablets PCs and the technology behind the new devices.

It is interesting to note that Toshiba Mobile Display Company, a prominent department within the Electronic Devices and Components Group, has just recently created a joined venture with certain Hitachi and Sony subsidiaries in order to improve the manufacturing of display screens, forming a new force, the Japan Display Inc., which will without doubt be one of the major players in manufacturing of display screens in near future.

The question remains, is Toshiba a worthy contender in the Tablet PC marketplace and will it aid in the joint removal of Apple’s iPad from the currently undisputed throne as the King of all Tablet PCs

Toshiba Excite LE overview

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The first impression that you get when you conduct such a Toshiba Excite LE review is that this tablet is seriously thin. In comparison to the iPad 3, it does not seem thinner, though, when compared next to each other, but when handled separately, the Toshiba Excite LE seems thinner.

Maybe it is the design, which makes it appear thinner than it actually is. Besides, the PR does say it is the thinnest 10 inch tablet and the iPad is 9.7 inches, to Toshiba Excite LE’s 10.1 inches.

Nevertheless, it does look really sleek, with the magnesium alloy cover and the flat design it really is a massive improvement in comparison to Toshiba’s still available THRiVE series.

Technically, the first surprise is actually the use of Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4430 dual-core processor, instead of either Tegra 2, 3 or Snapdragon S3 or S4. It does deliver snappy 1.2 GHz and has the quite powerful POWERVR SGX540 graphics accelerator integrated, which with the 1 GB RAM should suffice for most currently available applications on the Honeycomb Android 3.2 platform.

By the way, Toshiba has the intention to offer an upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 , very shortly, whereby all forthcoming models of the Excite series will have the ICS natively pre-loaded.

Two models with same features except for the storage capacity, 16 GB and 32 GB, are available, with a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion up to 32GB.

 

The unit made available for this Toshiba Excite LE review had also Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB 2.0 ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a Lithium Ion battery capable of holding up for almost nine hours of use.

 

The display is not really stellar, it has a 1280 x 800 resolution, is LED backlit and capacitive, up to 10-point multi-touch capable display with Gorilla Glass, anti-smudge integrated.

Right now, after the market was shocked by the iPad retina display, none of the commonly available displays are as good as that. If you do not expect 264 ppi, then the display is one of the better incarnations currently available on any device other than iPad, the third generation. It is a bit better than that of the iPad2, despite having an almost identical graphic accelerator.

During the Toshiba Excite LE review it was also noted that both cameras were HD capable, whereby the 5 megapixel of the main camera were capable of recording footage of up to 1080p. There is also autofocus, digital zoom and a LED flash.

The secondary camera is a 2 MP webcam for video conferencing and talk, a microphone is built-in as well. The device comes preloaded with Toshiba software and utilities, a full line of Google and Android apps including the Android Market, or Google Play Store , as it is now called. Third party applications include some SilverCreek Games, Quickoffice, the Adobe Reader and Kaspersky Tablet Security. 

The Excite series

Toshiba plans to expand the Excite line with further models, the Excite LE being a “low end” model, with only dual-core processing. The three models, as announced by Toshiba, are all going to feature the new and powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor.

The models will be Excite 7.7, Excite 10 and Excite 13 and will have 7.7 inches, 10.1 inches and 13.3 inches big screens, respectively.

Like previously noted during this Toshiba Excite LE review, the Excite LE was not thinner than the iPad. Toshiba decided to remedy this technicality by making these tablets go as thin as possible, which resulted in all three models having a different thickness.

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Namely the 7.7 inches model is going to be 7.6 mm thick at 0.84 lbs (380 g) of weight; the 10.1 inches model will measure 8.9 mm at 1.39 lbs (636 g); and the 13.3 inches model 10.1 mm at 2.2 lbs (998 g).

The display will be improved as well, and every model will have its own LED backlit LCD AMOLED multi-touch screen, with 1600 x 900 (120 ppi), 1280 x 800 (149 ppi) and 1280 x 800 (196 ppi pixel density), largest to smallest screen respectively.

The quad-core processor will tact at 1.5 GHz frequency, come native with ICS – Android 4.0, have 3G and apparently 4G EDGE built in, but other than that have very similar features and capabilities to the Excite LE.

The seven inch model will be offered with 16/32 GB internal storage, the 10.1 with 16/32/64 GB and the 13.3 with 32/64 GB. The biggest surprise are the prospective prices, which are supposed to go from around $350 for the smallest model to up to below $700 for the largest and most expanded model available. It is also expected that the Excite LE, as well as all the Toshiba Thrive models will have their prices reduced. 

Conclusion

With this new series Toshiba is making a major push to become one of the main players in the Tablet PC market. Making a wide variety of Tablet PCs available, all at affordable prices, but with top of the line features will definitely make a serious impact in the Tablet PC world, particularly after it became apparent that the new iPad did not bring anything really interesting or new besides the really stellar retina display.

These very thin tablets, particularly the 13.3 inches tablet at 10.1 mm thickness, appear very debonair, look very good and are fancy; almost beating the iPad look, maybe even looking sleeker with that magnesium alloy cover and the highly polished, smudge free, Corning® Gorilla® Glassscreen design.

The top model of the Excite line reaching the low-end price of the iPad will definitely make anyone think twice before spending all the money on a device that only looks good, but is inferior in specs and capabilities.

This Toshiba Excite LE review concludes with a sobering fact: Toshiba is a major force within the Tablet PC world and is here to stay. Many of the forthcoming models by the competition will have to compete with these tablets and many will not look good.

Even the iPad does not look good, when compared to these ultra-thin, beautifully designed Android powered beauties. Finally, something new and refreshing has hit the tablet world and we have to thank Toshiba for setting the measuring rod very, very high.

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