Saturday, February 23, 2013

Toshiba Excite tablet review

So I now have a Toshiba Excite tablet. My wonderful wife got it for me for Christmas. It was a good Christmas for us, I got my wife a new laptop to use and she got me a tablet! So the Toshiba tablet is the Excite AT 300. It has ummm... let me turn it on to see what it has, I don't remember.......

Oh yeah,
It has 16 GB of storage for pictures apps and music and things.

It has a quad core Nvidia Tegra Processor.

It has 2 GB of ram for quick multi processing.

It is a 10 inch tablet but it feels very comfortable to hold and could be used for a long period of time without feeling heavy.

It also has gorilla glass which is scratch resistant. That is a cool feature and means unless your paranoid you don't have to spend extra dough on screen protectors. I am going to purchase a nice case for it though so If I take it somewhere its not totally unprotected.
The screen quality is excellent, while it does not have the screen like an ipad or other models, it has 1280x 800 resolution which shows excellent quality pictures and video.

It has an SD slot for more storage and also has a built in HDMI port. (mini) This is great as you can connect it to a TV and view photos and videos on a larger screen if you like.

The tablet runs 4.0 Android Ice cream sandwich but I was able to upgrade it to Jelly bean and I like that version better. Now my phone and my tablet have the same versions on it and it is a very stable and well running version. Hang on need more coffee.....

Ahh ok. So its running 4.1 Jelly Bean and the software is very nice. Its very fast and multi tasking between multiple things is a breeze. And the battery life is very good. I get about 4 days on it with light usage. I do not use it very heavily as I am running computers all day and the tablet is used at night before I go to sleep or when I get home and just want to check quick updates on things. I have it all synced to my google account but I did not allow it to grab and share the data from my phone. I wanted to keep them separate so I can run different apps on the tablet that may not run well on the phone. And as I found out when you look for apps sometimes its best to search for a tablet version this way its resized for a bigger screen. I did not think of that in the beginning and one app I ran had a poor display because it was optimized to run on a smaller screen like a phone.
I went back in and found a tablet version of the app and its a much better experience.

I have read some reviews that say the android versions of apps are not a smooth running or don't have a good performance as their Apple counterparts. Well I had an IPhone 4 before my current DNA and I personally do not see to much difference between the versions. The best example is Facebook. I have had it on 3 different devices and it runs the same on all of them. I don't see any bad performance or any weird issues. The first week I had the droid phone I saw an issue with posting and sharing stories on your timeline, but it was also affecting my wife's phone which is an Iphone 5 so it was a bug in their software that carried over on all the versions.

The keyboard on the tablet is very good. Much better than the keyboard that is on the phone. Its easy to use to type with the thumbs in portrait mode and its easy to sit the tablet on your lap and type like a qwerty keyboard in landscape mode. My accuracy is not great that way but I am not looking for speed when I am on the tablet. I know there is a Bluetooth keyboard you can get for the tablet from Toshiba and it retails for about 69.00. I don't think I will get it as my tablet is really mainly for consumption. I am not looking to create documents and files and other things on it. If I want to do that, I have a laptop and even a chromebook if I want to use a smaller device. If I wanted to get a tablet to try to replace a laptop then I would have to get one of the new hybrids that are coming out or a Microsoft Surface Pro. But that's not my intention. If I have to travel my laptop only weights 6 lbs. It will not be that bad to carry around.

Tablets have come a long way and the Android platform gets better and better as they update it. I am looking forward to the new 4.2 OS being released to put on the tablet but I think that's still a ways away. If I have the time I might play with the different ROM versions and try other releases out.
The Toshiba Excite is a very good choice in tablets and is one of the better choices at that price point for tablets. Toshiba makes high quality devices and their support is very good if needed. I am happy with my tablet and will use it as a device that will just move from room to room to do small stuff on. I don't always feel like trying to grab a laptop and wait for a boot up to post a quick facebook update, and the phone while excellent still is not a big enough screen at times.

This is a great time to be a tech enthusiast. There are many many different choices of devices to use and the choice in different operating systems and builds makes for being able to get a device and customize it to the way you want to run it. As far as consumer choice, this era is the place to be for choice. I hope we see more innovation from all the major companies and new devices that fit into the eco systems of different types of devices.

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