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All posts tagged "toshiba"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Toshiba Thrive is Dead - Long Live the Excite

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:00 AM

"You complained, Toshiba listened. After its Thrive tablets were widely panned for their short battery life and chunky, cheap-feeling design, the outfit decided to put those models out to pasture and start anew. So bid goodbye to the Thrives, then, and say hello to the Excite 7.7, 10 and 13 (yes, 13). If you've been paying attention, these are the same tablets we first saw in prototype form at CES (and again at Mobile World Congress), complete with their slim builds and textured aluminum backs."

Interesting that Toshiba has decided that a 13-inch tablet (with a 1600x900 display) will resonate with consumers. The aluminum-backed Excite series certainly looks better (the Thrive was rather clunky), has some high-end specs (but WiFi-only), but isn't cheap in the larger configurations! Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is standard on all three, and they each have NVIDIA's quad-core (or, more accurately, 4+1 core processing) Tegra 3 SoC. The Excite 7.7 weighs 13.4-ounces, the Excite 10 model weighs 1.32-pounds, and delivers 10-hours of battery life, and seven days of standby power, while the Excite 13 weighs 2.2-pounds and claims 13-hours of battery life, and the same standby power rating of seven days. Availability is May 6, 2012 for the Excite 10, and June 10, 2012 for the Excite 7.7 and the Excite 13. Prices vary according to the configuration, but oddly enough the Excite 10 is less expensive than the Excite 7.7, according to Toshiba's press release. A 13-inch tablet sounds a bit unwieldy to me, thoughts?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time to Get Excited About Toshiba Tablets

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"The Excite X10, which boasts a 10.1 inch IPS display, is a mere 7.7 mm thick. The iPad 2 is 8.8 mm thick, in comparison. It sits on the "premium" shelf just above Toshiba's budget Thrive tablets. Perhaps the most killer feature of the X10 (besides its inconceivable waistline) is the fact that it includes a Micro USB port, a Micro HDMI port, and even an SD card slot. There's somehow also room for a dock connector like you might find on the iPad."

Thin tablets are in. Well, they have almost always been in since I cannot imagine anyone enjoying a thick tablet to cart around. The Excite X10 is the latest and thinnest tablet to come out, though it manages to pack some ports while keeping a svelte figure. While I personally like having ports to serve my every desire, I've noticed more friends going the wireless option like DLNA or AirPlay to satisfy most of their needs. When it comes to your electronic devices now, do you find less of a need for ports, or do they still play an important role for you?

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Engadget Reviews the New Toshiba Thrive 7"

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 06:00 AM

"Indeed, the Thrive 7" looks near-identical, and even packs the same Tegra 2 chip, 16GB of storage and vanilla take on Honeycomb. Still, it brings an LED flash, keeps its big brother's 1280 x 800 display and costs less than the original did when it first came out."

There were a few things I liked about the 10" version of the Thrive. For one thing it had a full size SD slot, as well as full size USB and HDMI ports! It also had a mini-USB (oddly not micro-USB) and a Toshiba developed "Resolution+" technology for scaling phone apps and making them look decent on a tablet. The Thrive 7" drops the full size ports as you may expect but it does keep the Resolution+ and the 1280x800 screen - which gives it a high dpi for a tablet of 216. Unfortunately it sounds like performance isn't very good, the screen isn't great, and battery life is poor for a current tablet. Still, depending on your needs this could be the right tablet for you. Check out the full review for the details.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toshiba Portégé R830: Arguably Better Than an Ultrabook

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 PMégé_r830_review

"There was a time when Toshiba's line of Portégé business ultraportables was the epitome of sleek utility, particularly in the days of the R500 and R600. Samsung stole some of that show when it released the Series 9 (reviewed here)-the closest a PC has come to a MacBook Air to date. But while the Portégé R830, much like the R700 before it, won't win any design contests, it offers many useful amenities in a very-portable package."

At slightly over 3-pounds and about an inch thick, the R830 (at $1,650) has a faster processor than the Samsung Series 9 and is better performing at most benchmarks. It ships with 4GB RAM, and is upgradable, but the 128GB SSD has a proprietary connector, so it isn't upgradable (yet). One odd configuration blip is that the R830 ships with a 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional, losing 1GB of memory. The 64-bit version (upgrade) is recommended. The R830 ships with USB 3.0, eSata, and an optical drive, with 7-hour battery runtime. A great road warrior laptop!

Friday, September 16, 2011

LAPTOP's Toshiba Portege Z830 Hands-On

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:39 AM

"We caught up with the 13-inch system in the IDF Ultrabook Pavillion, where it was being used to demonstrate Intel's new Pair and Share media streaming technology. We didn't get a chance to do any real work on the demo model, but we were struck by the system's sleek, business-first looks and its svelte 2.45-pound, 0.63-inch thick design."

It doesn't have the same "WOW" factor as the Asus UX31, but it's got all the right stuff on the inside (no mention of CPU though). I'm super excited about these Ultrabooks, but I'm a bit irked that in typical Windows OEM fashion, we're being shown things we can't buy for months. Apple has the right approach: announce something and have it on store shelves soon. Don't lose the buying impulse by making people wait months and months...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Toshiba Pins Hopes on its Tablet Thrive

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"What you get for the added heft is a sexy rubberized back plate with a textured ridge pattern that's easy to grip. It reminded us of the equally hot-looking lids on Toshiba Mini NB300 series of netbooks. Though the tablet comes with a black back, you can buy colorful replacement covers in Blue Moon, Green Apple, Raspberry Fusion, or Silver Sky for $19.99 each."

Blah, blah, blah, tablet. Blah, blah, blah, Android. Blah, blah, blah, iPad killer. The selection of tablets is a wonderful thing, and it looks like most of the choice comes down to what your own personal style is. Of course, if your preference if for an Apple product, you are stuck with a limited selection, however, there are many ways to customize the interface, and there are covers and such. With the Thrive, it is interesting that they offer colourful covers. It reminds me of the heyday of Nokia where their phones could have their covers replaced with all sorts of customizable bits of flair. It would be nice to see that happen for tablets.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Will Toshiba Thrive in July?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"Toshiba is the latest company to throw its hat into the tablet ring, as its Android-based Thrive slate has been given a release date and pricing. As with many, many others, the Thrive is powered by the new 3.1 version of Android, a.k.a. Honeycomb, and will ship in the U.S. starting July 10. The 10.1-inch tablet is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip, has a front-facing Webcam and rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and sports USB, mini-USB, and HDMI ports, along with an SD memory card slot. But its Internet connectivity is Wi-Fi only, which means your mobile access to the Web is limited to hotspots."

Toshiba may have discovered the right price point to compete in an increasingly-crowded tablet market. At $429, the Thrive is $70 cheaper than the iPad 2, but has only 8GB of storage onboard. However, an SD card slot enables inexpensive upgrades to 16GB and beyond, at a significantly less cost than Toshiba's 16GB ($479) or 32GB ($579) models, with the latter two each undercutting the iPad 2's price by $20. Is this just another Android tablet to further confuse buyers, or will the smaller price tag drive sales?

Toshiba's Thrive Tablet Detailed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:08 PM

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a conference call today that covered the Toshiba Thrive, a tablet that I initially saw at CES back in January. The official wraps came off today, and I got the full breakdown along with a bunch of photos. The specs for this tablet are impressive, though I'm not sure if Toshiba is going to be able to justify this price premium - with the 32 GB Asus Transformers coming in at $499 USD, Toshiba wanting to charge $579 for the same thing is going to be a hard sell. Here's how things look...

  • 8 GB ($429.99), 16 GB ($479.99), 32 GB ($579.99) - it's unusual (in a good way) to see a mere $50 give you double the storage at the 8 GB to 16 GB jump
  • I asked, but no explanation was given as to why there's no 64 GB version - I'd guess it comes down to price. Toshiba probably didn't feel they could be price competitive at the 64 GB mark
  • The Thrive is 0.6 inches thick and 1.6 pounds
  • They didn't tell us what powered it, but other sites are reporting a 1 Ghz Tegra 2 with 1 GB of RAM
  • When I asked about why they were starting at 8 GB, they said it was for users who were interested at a low price point - users who use Web surfing and simple tasks and 8 GB is enough for them. With the full-sized SD card slot, it's easy for users to expand storage easily.
  • Battery life is rated at 7 hours of continuous HD video playback at an unknown brightness
  • The battery will charge to 90% capacity in 90 minutes
  • It has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer
  • Android 3.1, 10.1 inch display, 1280 x 800 resolution IPS screen, stereo speakers with SRS audio, 2 MP front camera, 5 MP rear camera


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Toshiba Portege R835-P56X: Update to the R700 Series

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:30 PM

"The premium ultraportable notebook category has never been more competitive. Between the long-lasting ThinkPad X220, the gorgeous Samsung Series 9, and the instant-on 13-inch MacBook Air, consumers have a wide range of compelling options. But what if you don't have well over a grand to spend? Enter the Toshiba Portege R835-P56X, an update to the company's popular R700 series that costs a very reasonable $929 (and starts at $829). This 3.2-pound speedster includes a second-gen Core i5 processor, USB 3.0 support, and Intel's nifty WiDi 2.0 technology for streaming video wirelessly to a TV."

A nice incremental upgrade to the ultralight R700 series, the R835's direct competitors are the new Samsung Series 9 and the MacBook Air. While still not a gaming system, the graphics do a good job with videos and "light" gaming, battery life has been improved, WiDi is built-in, to stream HD video to a larger screen device (but you still need a additional receiver), the touchpad has been improved, the processor runs cooler than its predecessor, and there is a USB3 port. Negatives reported include smallish keys, disappointing WiFi performance, and lots of Toshiba-installed crapware. I've actually used the old R705, and was suitably impressed, so it'll be interesting to see Toshiba's improvements.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Toshiba Satellite L655D is "Just Okay"

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:30 PM

"What do you think of when you see a sticker proclaiming "Quad Core Processor" on a notebook? Speed and power, right? The 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5164RD has such a sticker on its keyboard deck that alludes to the Phenom II processor inside. Coupled with 4GB of RAM, ATI Graphics, and a 640GB hard drive, it sounds like this $659 notebook is capable of great feats for the price."

A quad core processor sounds really fast, but this laptop disappoints. While running, it stays reasonably cool, but the fan runs often, and very loudly (is this a characteristic of all AMD processors?). The keyboard is comfortable and functional, but has some odd compromises, like a shrunken space bar rather than lesser-used keys. Mouse / trackpad is large enough to be used comfortably. The glossy screen at 1366x768 has good color and details, even at angles, but is very reflective. Speakers produce "acceptable but not fantastic" sound. Webcam produced clear images but muddy colors, and Toshiba's included webcam software appeared buggy. Performance was rated as "just decent," and the standard 5,400 rpm laptop is a little faster than average. Graphics also disappoint, so this may not be a good gaming system. Battery life was also disappointing, lasting less than three hours on the LAPTOP Battery Test. In short, this laptop, priced between $464 for an entry-level model to $749 for the model tested, is "just okay."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toshiba NB505 Netbook: Features and Compromises

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:30 PM

"Although more and more consumers are flocking to tablets as their secondary computing device of choice, netbooks still have some advantages. In the case of the Toshiba mini NB505, the biggest edge is its low price. For $299, Toshiba's low-cost alternative to its dual-core, aluminum-clad NB305 features plenty of battery life and a stylish EasyGrip finish that protects your investment. Not bad for a Windows 7 machine that costs $200 less than the cheapest iPad."

Despite the trend toward tablets, a few manufacturers are still producing new generations of netbooks, Toshiba amongst them. A lower cost, single core system, starting at $299, it offers Toshiba quality, a decent but plasticky keyboard, long battery life (over seven hours), and, costs $200 less than the cheapest iPad. At 2.6-pounds, it offers a quality LCD, but (only) 1024x600 resolution, stays cool on the lap, and has plenty of ports available. Performance is only adequate, as are graphics, but again, this is a $299 netbook. Laptop's overall opinion: for the price, the NB505 delivers style and substance. The NB505 is currently available on Amazon for $298.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toshiba Release 1.8 Inch Hard Drives With Low Insertion Force (LIF) Connector

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

"The MKxx39GSL family is designed for applications requiring not only the smaller, lighter footprint of 1.8" drives, but also the highest possible storage capacities. Both feature a 16MB buffer for improved performance. The drives are capable of withstanding the demands of mobility usage, tolerating up to 1,500Gs of non-operational shock and 600Gs of operational shock, compared to 900G of non-operational shock and 400G of operational shock for the most robust 2.5-inch HDDs currently available. The drives are also exceptionally quiet, operating at 14dB at idle and 15dB at seek, and require only 0.35 Watts of power at low power idle, the smallest power consumption levels for any SATA drive. All of this performance is delivered in a form factor of just 48g/5x54x71mm."

There's still some life left in tiny hard drives, though their time on this earth is coming to a close: available in 160 GB, 200 GB, and 220 GB capacities, these new drives from Toshiba are aimed at portable media player market. Although the industry is clearly zoned in on flash-based memory, there's something to be said for a small device that has 220 GB of storage. The impressive 600G of shock that it can absorb without damage is impressive, though I still feel like anything with a hard drive would have to be treated more gently than something based on flash memory. I wonder what sorts of device we'll see these in?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DigitalTrends Looks at the Toshiba Protégé R705

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:00 PM

"Before there were netbooks, Adamos, Timelines or even a MacBook Air, there was the Portege. Toshiba's long-standing marquee for ultraportable notebooks never achieved the prominence of many of its more fashionable contemporaries, but the business-styled portable has always pressed the bounds of technology. Back in 2007, the Portege R500 actually took the title of the "world's thinnest notebook with an optical drive." The R705 continues the thin-and-light, business-centric traditions of its fore-bearers, but with a new emphasis on value; an exotic prepped for the mainstream market."

Toshiba, a long-time stalwart of the Windows laptop realm, has been making thin and light laptops for a long time now - but the competition has left them behind when it comes to making thinner and lighter laptops. That's not to say that the Protégé R705 doesn't bring a lot to the table - decent CPU firepower in the form of a Core i5 clocked at 2.53 Ghz, decent battery life at around 5 hours, and a sturdy chassis for around $800. Where you lose out is GPU performance: by going with the Intel HD graphics chip, gaming on this laptop is restricted to Solitaire and Purple Place. But if gaming and 1080p Flash video playback aren't important to you, the R705 is worth a serious look.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toshiba NB550D Unveiled

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:30 AM

"The particular APU for this netbook is the C-50, the same as on the recently leaked Acer Aspire One D522 which clocks in at 1GHz, dual core. There’s the same AMD Radeon HD 6250M graphics. Like the NB520, this model keeps the palm rest Harman Kardon speakers and sleep-and-charge USB. There’s also an HDMI port. This model’s battery is rated to last about 9.5 hours on a 6-cell battery. Other specs – a 10.1″ 1024 x 600 display, 250GB HDD, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 3x USB 2.0, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, VGA webcam and Windows 7 Starter."

No real world tests yet, but looks like a nice feature set for a netbook. In reality this should handle 99% of most individual's mobile computing needs without breaking a sweat.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maximum PC Reviews the Toshiba Portégé R700

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Toshiba Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:00 PMé_r700_review

"Toshiba says this represents a new direction that will be mimicked in all of its laptops going forward. For one thing, the R700 isn’t as wafer-thin as the R500/600, although it still sports a very slim profile at just a tad over one inch thick, and weighs a mere three pounds. The chassis is reinforced with an internal honeycomb design and features a magnesium-alloy top with an attractive anodized black finish. Even when held by one corner, the laptop feels sturdy and rigid."

The review is a bit light on details, but overall it looks like a decent machine if you are looking for something in the thin and light category that is suitable for business apps.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When is an iPad not an iPad?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"The iPad, without doubt, energized a genre by pretty much redefining it. Of course, that energy is boosted by competition and nowhere is this stronger than the small army of Android-powered tablets that are now available for the seasonal shopper."

If anyone mentions the word tablet these days, most people will immediately think iPad. Slate tablets have definitely been around a long time, but the recent generation of tablets are unlike anything we have seen. While the iPad continues to dominate, there are many competitors which might be worth your consideration. Based on the reviews and comments from Daniweb, there seems to be many limitations to the current crop of Android tablets, and it may be best to wait for them to start supporting to newer Android OS versions which are much more tablet friendly. These tablets also seem to be lacking support for the Android Market, which pretty much means that that lovely tablet you just bought is likely to offer very little in terms of what you can do with it. If you must go Android though, the Froyo tablets are your best bet as they will give you as close to a full Internet experience as can be had. Otherwise, look towards the Fruit for your tablet needs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

3D Gaming On The PC In 3D

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"In fact, it’s a natural fit. The PC games we’ve been playing for years are already rendered with a 3D engine—stereoscopic technology and a suitable set of glasses just bring them to life. Newer games will only optimize that potential. Add to this a spate of Blu-ray 3D movies coming down the pike and you can see why the PC is well within the clutches of this latest trend."

If promotions and marketing is any sign of anything, life was a boring, dull, drab existence before 3D came along. In order to live life to its fullest and die happy, you need a 3D display. Even computing was nothing before 3D came along. Games will magically be exciting. Spreadsheets will pop out at you. YouTube videos will become entertaining. All thanks to the 3D revolution! If you have bought all the hype, Maximum PC has a guide that could help you make your choice when stepping into the wonderful world of the third dimension. It is fortunate that I like things dull because going 3D also appears to cost a fair bit more than your more pedestrian consumer electronics.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Toshiba Portege R700 Review

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 08:00 AM

"The R700 is Toshiba's latest ultraportable, and on paper, it's very impressive. It uses regular voltage Core i3, i5, and i7 processors and manages to stuff an optical drive into a 3.2lb, 1" thick enclosure. The casing is all done in brushed aluminum, and the internal structure uses a magnesium alloy and features an aluminum honeycomb to dissipate heat."

Netbooks are great in that they are light, portable and offer "good enough" performance for most people. Most people, but not all. There are still a group of people who need lots of computing power, and are willing to pay the premium that ultra-light laptops command. From a strictly hardware perspective, it is kind of hard to see how ultra-lights can cost that much more, since the major difference I can tell with the R700 is the CPU and its build quality. However, I have found that with business grade notebooks, you also get business grade support. Where you might have to live without your mobile companion for weeks with a typical consumer PC, business PCs often get repaired in days if not hours.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Slate For Every Taste

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:30 AM

"Last week alone saw ViewSonic, Toshiba and Samsung all officially unveil new models of keyboard-less computer, with a mish-mash of operating systems and screen sizes hoping to somehow build themselves a market in the wake of Apple's market-leading device. So here's a summary of five of the best tablets out there and on the way this year. Or, to put it another way, the iPad +4."

Is the slate tablet market really that hot, or is this simply a whole bunch of hype intended to get everyone to open their wallets? Tablets might be the next step in casual computing and thankfully, it seems like it draws a large part of its inspiration from smartphones. The only one that stands out for me, and not in a good way, is the ViewPad 100. Dual-booting just seems like such a hassle and it is not like dual-booting slate tablets have not been tried before. Just ask HTC. Most likely, the iPad will continue to dominate the space though there will be a large amount of Android devices to pick from.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Peek at the Toshiba Folio 100

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"We just got to handle the Folio 100, after witnessing it bolted to a wall earlier, and we have to admit that it's lighter and thinner than it looks at first glance. Unfortunately, it still feels pretty cheap, and we're not sure how much we trust ourselves one-handing something this large and fragile seeming. Our brief glimpse of Toshiba's custom skin on here was most depressing -- it's not final, but we're not sure why Toshiba is even bothering showing anything in this abysmal state."

Toshiba appears to want some of the hot Slate action that has been sparked by the release of the iPad. The Toshiba Folio 100 (Not to be confused with the failed project known as the Palm Foleo) seems to be rushed and the lack of the Android Market pretty much makes the Folio a really limited device. Granted, the Android Market still has a lot of catching up to do when compared to the App Store. Still, I think manufacturers are missing out on the point that the hardware and pre-loaded software alone is not good enough in today's environment. The whole package, meaning hardware, software and online stuff (Apps, browsing, etc.) need to all blend together into a compelling experience. Until someone else comes out with a competing device that takes all of these into account, Apple will continue to dominate the headlines and sales for these kinds of devices.

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