Typing on the
virtual keyboard was a breeze, and I used Gmail quite a bit on the Thrive to
compose messages or respond to Google+ comments. You'll get used to the
clacking keyboard sound, I promise. Swype gesture technology is available for
folks who prefer it.
The Thrive has
a standard 5-megapixel rear-facing camera for average pics, though the 2MP
front-facing Webcam will give users a nice face-to-face video chat session, as my
testing with Skype Mobile showed.
issue with the Thrive is the hardware. I strongly dislike the ruggedized, rubberized
and texturized Easy Grip removeable cover. I don't care that you can swap out
the battery with this feature; it feels like a military-grade machine.
In fact, I
moved recently and I showed the AT&T U-Verse installer the Thrive and joked
that it would go great with his work Panasonic Toughbook. He agreed. You can
drop it, kick it or sit on, it and you won't hurt it. (However, I wouldn't do
it to this test model; I break it and I buy it.)
okay with the idea of a removable cover, but this plastic shell feels awkward
on or off. Moreover, the cheap metal camera bezel on the cover is an eyesore. I
wish it were rubber, too.
rubbers, you can buy Blue Moon, Raspberry Fusion, Lavender Bliss, Silvery Sky
and Green Apple covers for $19.99 if you don't like the black one with which it
smaller, more niggling point. While I appreciate all the various ports and the
way they're rendered in the Thrive's hardware, I believe you should never
clutter the power button. It must be pronounced and easy to access.
No dice here;
the Thrive's power button is grouped with the volume buttons and a screen
rotation lock in a rubber bezel on the right side of the device (when in
portrait mode). Try manipulating these in the dark or without looking. They're
not pronounced enough in my opinion.
averaged five to six hours of solid use each day I tested it-not as good as the
Tab 10.1 or the iPad at all-even though Toshiba professes 11 hours on a full
charge. Really? With Thrive, you need to make sure that the tablet switches off
WiFi when you're not using it or you will drain power fast.
I found the actual software experience of the tablet enjoyable, but I'm not
comfortable with the Easy Grip removable back cover.
what Toshiba was going for, but I don't want a tablet with removable parts.
take the cover off my laptop; why would I remove my tablet's cover? For
fashion's sake? Pshaw.
At 1.6 pounds,
it's also too heavy for my tablet experience. I couldn't use the Thrive as my
primary device for media consumption, but that's me.
plenty of people who like the look and feel of it. And it's hard to beat the user interface
and user experience of the Android 3.1 software, assuming you're one of the Android aficionados who
doesn't hate the Honeycomb experience.
The 16GB Thrive
I tested costs $479, but if you're feeling less storage hungry, go for the 8GB
model for $429.99. More greedy customers can buy a 32GB monster for $579.99.