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Ever since the release of Apple’s now omnipresent iPad, Android fans have been eagerly anticipating a Linux-based tablet worthy of their own hard-earned dollars. They may have finally gotten it in the new Toshiba Thrive 10.1″, available now from Amazon. On paper, the Toshiba Thrive is a force to be reckoned with in terms of hardware specifications and available software. Today, we’re going to find out if Toshiba’s potential “iPad killer” is really all it’s cracked up to be, and whether or not it’s worth your time and money.
Let’s get the technical details out of the way first and cover what kind of computing horsepower you can expect with the Thrive. Running on an Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU featuring integrated GeForce graphics and 1 GB of RAM, the Thrive packs 8, 16 or 32 GB of internal storage. The display is a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800-pixel HD widescreen capable of 720p native resolution. It also boasts a full-size USB port as well as a mini-USB slot and an SD card reader for extra storage space. Replaceable battery and rubberized, slip-resistant Easy Grip removable covering on the back of the device flesh out the specs nicely.
As far as the operating system is concerned, the Thrive will feature Android’s latest 3.1 “Honeycomb” platform. It also features support for the latest Bluetooth 3.0 standard. Anything in the Android Market is available to Thrive users in terms of applications, so there’s no shortage of options or choice in that department. If you can do it on an iPad, you can pull it off on the Thrive just as well if not better. Thankfully, bloat software is mostly limited to trial versions of QuickOffice and a security suite that’s good for a month.
What customers say
Early reviews for the Toshiba Thrive 10.1″ have been uniformly positive in terms of speed and functionality. The system is sprightly and responsive thanks to its superb hardware, and the stock configuration of the Honeycomb operating system provides seamless and smooth interaction for the user. Though a bit thicker and heavier than some tablets, the Thrive makes up for it with its power and versatility. The battery will provide anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of operation depending on your usage, which isn’t bad considering the computing horsepower the Thrive manages to pack under the hood.
Unlike some Android tablets that have come before it, the Thrive appears to be the real deal and should amount to more than the sum total of its parts. That’s called synergy, folks. With a captive audience of Android lovers yearning for a tablet to call their own, the Toshiba Thrive 10″ may just be the mobile success story of the year. Hopefully, it’ll light a fire underneath other manufacturers to replicate what Toshiba’s done with the Thrive tablet and offer more competition and options in the Android tablet world.