I am reviewing Toshiba’s Thrive AT1S0 7″ Android tablet, which is also known as an AT150 tablet. This unit is pitched as a “coat-pocket” or “e-book” tablet rather than the the “cradle-around” tablet that the iPad and similar 10″ products are, essentially offering higher performance and capability than a typical “e-book” reader or similar device.
|Screen||7” widescreen(1280×800)||LED-backlit LCD|
|Operating environment||Android||3.02 Honeycomb|
|Bluetooth||2.1 + EDR|
Proprietary Apple-style docking connector
|Audio||3.5mm headset jack,
Digital audio via Micro-HDMI
|Cameras||Front||2Mp on short edge|
The unit itself
Aesthetics and build quality
The Toshiba AT1So 7″ tablet is a well-built thick unit with a black-plastic ribbed back, in a similar vein to most of the good-quality 7″ Androiod tablets. It can easily fit in to a coat pocket which improves on this device’s portability credentials.
The LCD display is an easy–to–view unit that has highly responsive graphics. The only letdown about the display here is that it is very glossy and can attract fingerprints easily.
Audio and Video
The AT1S0’s AV subsystem does perform properly even as I was watching video-on-demand content from the SBS Website. As typical for portable devices, the speaker quality leaves a lot to be desired due to the requirement for allowable size in these devices’ design. But, once used with headphones, the Toshiba tablet just performed very well with the audio reproduction.
This tablet, like most of its similarly-priced Android-powered peers, has two cameras – one on the front and one on the back. But if you do want to use Skype or other Android video-conferencing software, you have ot have it in the portrait arrangement for it to work properly.
Connectivity and Expandability
With most Android tablets, there is the ability to expand on these tablets’ function very easily.
There is a microSDHC slot so you can increase useable memory up to 32Gb or use the microSD cards as swappable media. There is a miniUSB socket so you can connect the unit to a computer or transfer data between other devices; or you can use the Toshiba “docking” connector for this same purpose. As well, you can connect the tablet to an external display using a micro-HDMI connector for that big-screen view. These are hidden undar a rubberised plastic strip on the same side of the unit as the volume and on-off buttons.
It still performs very snappily for most Android devices and has been able to work with online photos and videos very quickly. Even activities like browsing between screens is very quick and smooth.
Limitations and Points Of Improvement
Toshiba could use the standard micro-USB connector for power and data in addition to the Apple-style docking connectorm so you don’t have to worry about having to use or not lose a special cable for this unit. The docking connector that Toshiba implemented here could be licensed out to all Android and Windows Phone 7 devices as a standard “data/digital-audio/power” connection with docking stations and accessories. This is especially if they have to compete with Apple’s iPad platform when it comes to allowing others to design docking stations and similar accessories for these devices.
They could also deliver this unit with Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” as the standard operating environment, which could take advantage of what this platform has to offer.
I would recommend this tablet more as a highly-portable coat-pocket-sized solution for most tablet-based activities like reference material, video playback while on crowded trains and similar activities.
It could also work with apps that that utilise the screen as a remote control or a remote camera viewfinder if you place emphasis on that 7″ coat-pocket-size form factor.