Last year Toshiba released one of the thickest Android tablets to come to market in the U.S., packing in ports and features other slates eschewed, such as a removable battery and full-size USB ports. This year the company decided to go in the complete opposite direction and create the thinnest Android tablet.
The Toshiba Excite X10 debuted at CES this year and impressed us not only with its slim form factor but also the overall design and the fact that it still retained some ports, though fewer and smaller. Today Toshiba is finally breaking the silence on when people get to have this magnesium marvel: March 6th.
Yes, that is the day before the iPad 3 announcement. No one ever said Toshiba doesn’t have balls.
Along with a release date the tablet has a new name: the Excite 10 LE. Brownie points to anyone who offers up the best guess as to what the LE stands for.
Aside from being a super thin tablet — 0.3 inches thick with a 10.1 x 6.9 inch footprint — the Excite 10 LE also has a modern, attractive design. It looks like Toshiba listened to the feedback from the Thrive and tried to incorporate it all into the Excite.
The 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display features IPS technology for wide viewing angles and Corning’s Gorilla Glass for durability. The glass has a smudge-proof coating that, if it works, will keep the front from looking messy and should provide more accuracy when playing games.
The magnesium alloy chassis helps the tablet to come in just under 1.2 pounds. It also just has a nice feel to it even though the edges aren’t rounded or curved.
Though thin, the Excite 10 LE still has more ports than other popular tablets. Aside from the micro USB there’s also micro HDMI and a micro SD slot.
Inside, the Excite runs on a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor and 1GB of RAM, pretty standard for a Honeycomb (Android 3.2) tablet. This combination should provide speedy performance out of the box and when the tablet gets an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) later this spring. There’s also no proprietary skin on top of Android as we see with Samsung and HTC devices, so there’s nothing extra to tax performance or suck battery.
Another notable element is the rear-facing camera. Most Android tablets don’t bother with good cameras, but the Excite 10 LE has a 5MP one. Whether the overall camera experience and sensor is any better than what we normally see is in question, but the higher than average megapixel count is at least an indication that this camera may be worthy of more than just fuzzy pictures for social networks. There’s a 2MP front-facing camera for video chats as well.
On paper this is a pretty sweet package. Enough to justify the price? The 16GB version costs $529 and the 32GB version is $599. A bit above most 10-inch Android tablets. We’re still waiting to see what Apple will do on price for the iPad 3.
Well give the Excite 10 LE the full review treatment soon. In the meantime, does it get you excited for Android tablets?