Hands-on: Toshiba Supersizes Ice Cream Sandwich With 13″ Android Tablet

Now available in small, medium, and large.

When Toshiba first announced the Thrive tablet, it was critiqued for being too large.  While a slimmed down model was seen at Mobile World Congress, it looks like Toshiba is still keeping it plus sized. The 7.7″ Toshiba tablet from MWC has turned out to not be  a Thrive, but an Excite, and it has some older siblings — a 10.1″ model and an exciting 13″ model. While the Excite 7.7 is the only one to sport an AMOLED screen, the larger screens are good enough for everyday use. A better question is who exactly was salivating for a 13-inch tablet?

Last week, we had a chance to go hands-on with all three models. The Excite 7.7″ is the best looking sub-10″ tablet I’ve used, and the AMOLED screen is stunning. The 10″ model is just sort of there. While it’s a great tablet, with all the features you’d want in a 10″ tablet — memorable styling, light weight, and the latest generation Nvidia chips, complete with Android 4.0 — I don’t see a compelling reason to buy it just yet.

What about the 13″ behemoth, you ask? The Excite 13″ weighs as much as the previously-maligned Thrive. However, I think people will be a tad more forgiving in this case, as you get a bit more screen real estate. Who exactly needs this device though? I can see digital artists liking it for the larger canvas, but beyond that, I’m not seeing a reason for those extra inches. Then again, I mostly use my tablet on public transportation, where a 13″ tablet is a signal to the world saying “rob me.”

What’s your take on the Excite 13″? Is it what you’ve been waiting for or a solution in need of a problem?



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