Toshiba Excite Tablets Push Design Limits of Android Devices

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-04-10 Print this article Print

The largest of Toshiba's super-thin Excite tablets features a 13.3-inch display. Like the 7.7- and 10.-inch models, it features a new Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core chip and Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Toshiba has followed its March introduction of the world€™s thinnest tablet, the Excite 10 LE, with an introduction to possibly the world€™s largest consumer tablet, the Excite 13. Featuring a 13.3-inch scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass display, it€™s the Papa Bear in a new trio of Excite tablets, all running Google€™s Android 4, known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

The 13.3-, 10.1- and 7.7-inch tablets all run a brand-new Nvidia Tegra 3 processor with GeForce graphics that Toshiba calls the world€™s only 4-plus-1 mobile quad-core chip.

€œApps run faster, games are played at console-quality, HD video is smoother, plus it features a unique fifth battery-saver core to handle everyday apps, extending battery life,€ according to Toshiba.

All three Excite tablets also feature a 5-megapixel back camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, stereo speakers, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Excite 7.7, Toshiba€™s first with an active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) display, weighs 13.4 ounces, measures 0.3-inches thin and features a microSD slot, a microUSB port and 1GB of memory. Intended for on-the-go use and gaming, it comes loaded with Google apps, including YouTube, Maps and Gmail, Toshiba Book Place, which offers access to 3-million-plus ebook titles, a Media Player with support for content sharing, a file manager and popular apps such as Zinio and Netflix.

The Excite 10 weighs 1.32 pounds, measures 0.35 inches deep (the newest iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, on the diagonal, is 0.37 inches) and has a reported battery life of up to 10 hours. Its display features a resolution of 1,280 by 800 and 10-finger multi-touch support.

And finally, the Excite 13, offering what Toshiba calls €œmore screen real estate than any other tablet on the market,€ weighs 2.2 pounds, is 0.4 inches thin and has a battery life up to 13 hours.

Designed for couch potatoes, kitchen-counter use and maybe keeping small people quiet in a backseat, its display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 1,600 by 900, which is paired with a four-speaker sound system and what Toshiba says are €œexclusive sound enhancements€ made for Toshiba by SRS Labs. There€™s a gigabyte of memory on board along with Micro USB and Micro High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) ports and a full-size SD card slot.

The Excite 10 will arrive soonest, at the beginning of May, starting at $450 for a 16GB model, $530 for 16GB and $650 for a 64GB model.

The Excite 7.7 and 13 follow behind it, arriving in early June. The 7.7 will come in a 16GB model for $500 or a 32G for $580, and the Excite 13 in a 32GB model for $650 and a 64GB model for $750.

Since the launch of its chunky, rubber-rimmed Thrive tablets, Toshiba has learned that consumers want thin and light tablets. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, it introduced the Excite 10 LE, a tablet roughly the depth of Motorola€™s super-thin Razr phones, which it managed to still equip with connectivity interfaces and ports.

Introducing the company€™s newest Excite models, Carl Pinto, a Toshiba America vice president of product development, said in a statement, €œOne size does not fit all, so we are carefully considering how and where people are using tablets and designing form factors to best suit various needs.€


Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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