Hands-on with Toshiba's Excite tablets

Toshiba was here in New York tonight showing off some of its finest new technology, including its upcoming Excite line of tablets. Though we already got a look at the tablets at this year's Mobile World Congress, it's always fun for us to revisit upcoming devices. All three models were on hand tonight- the 7.7-inch, the 10-inch, and the behemoth 13.3-inch. All three are packing a Tegra 3 processor under the hood, and all will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. They also share a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facer, a Gorilla Glass coating, and a remarkably slim and svelte profile.

The screens differ in both size and resolution- the 7.7-inch model's got the highest ppi of 196 due to its AMOLED display with 1280x800 resolution, while the 10-incher has a slightly lower 149 ppi with identical resolution (LED technology, not AMOLED on this one). The 13.3-inch (did we mention how big it is?) uses "Autobrite LED" technology, which ups the resolution to 1600x900, which translates to 138 ppi. Not many bad things to say about each of the displays; while they might not be the best in the biz, they're bright, crisp, and surprisingly vibrant. 

I love the 7.7-inch Excite-- it's got the display to beat, and the footprint is borderline perfect. Use it with one hand or two; either way, it's going to fit comfortably. The 10-inch is nothing to write home about (I've seen plenty in my day), which leaves the 13.3-inch model, the star of the show. It's big and beautiful, though the size and weight might turn some off. At 2.2 pounds, this one certainly isn't going to fit in your pocket. Toshiba describes it as a bridge between tablets and laptops, a description that's pretty darn accurate. It'll be perfect for watching movies and TV, though if you're used to doing things with one hand on your tablet, this is not the device for you.

The 10-inch model will launch on May 6: 16 GBs will cost you $449.99, while 32 and 64 GBs will set you back $529.99 and $649.99 respectively. You'll have to wait until June 10 for the 7.7 and 13.3-inch models: the smaller will cost $499.99 and $579.00 for 16 and 32 GBs, the larger will cost $649.99 and $749.99 for the same sizes. Hit the break for some comparison shots.

  • Nice
  • It would be so much nicer if they integrated a kickstand in the back.
  • 13.3 inches would be great as an artists tablet.
  • So the 13" is supposed to be a gap between tablet and laptop? Wtf. Toshiba expects that people wht a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, and whatever else after that will want another tablet in between?
  • I think its more like the note being a bridge between phone and tablet. Don't be so quick to act like an a-hole man. These companies are just trying out different form factors to appeal to a wider demographic since apple has the 10 inch market cornered at the moment.
  • Are we sure the prices on the 7.7 are correct? Why would someone pay $50 more for a smaller screen? If this is correct, then some marketing exec at Toshiba is depriving some village of its idiot :-/
  • Agreed; WAY too expensive. I paid less for my Asus Transformer brand new. It's too bad, it looks nice, and I've been looking for a 7" tablet in a decent price range. Maybe the new Asus 7 incher...?
  • It's correct. Toshiba has said that the smaller screen and such is more expensive. At least, I'm fairly certain I read that.
  • I was wondering the same thing actually. Why would someone spend $499 on a 7-inch tablet when they can get a 10-inch tab for $449?
  • I know, it's dumb. But the fact is that the 7.7 has Super AMOLED, while the 10.1 has regular LED. This is the same reason the Samsung 7.7 is more expansive than the Tab 10.1.
  • OLED technology is what makes this 7.7" tablet expensive. Looks at Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV, it was only 11" but cost $2500.
  • Bridge between laptops and tablets? For that price you can buy a decent laptop plus still have money left over for a tablet like the acer a100 or Kindle fire. Then the 7.7" cost more then the 10".
  • OLED technology is what makes this 7.7" tablet expensive. Looks at Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV, it was only 11" but cost $2500.
  • These look nice but once again the price is a turn off. They should have also been consistent with dpi and given 1600*900 to the 10" and 1960*1080 for the 13".
  • Does the 7.7 have an SD slot? I have the Thrive now and it's awesome, but I wouldn't mind having a smaller one too. I have to have a standard size SD slot though. I don't want dongles or anything!
  • Hello all you rich people will you buy me one? snicker, snicker.
  • I like the 7.7 but that is WAY too expensive for that. Maybe $249 is the price point for that one?
  • OLED technology is what makes this 7.7" tablet expensive. Looks at Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV, it was only 11" but cost $2500. If you want a $249 go buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.
  • $500 is definitely too much for a 7.7. While I appreciate the power packed into a smaller size (and hopefully good battery life), I still wouldn't pay more than $350.
  • Now they're making the tablets bigger? The bigger they make the tablets, the less convenient it becomes to carry around.
  • Out of these tablets I'd take 13" one w/ Wi-Fi only for home. 4.5"+ screen phone will suffice for me on the go. I hate small screen phones. If iPhone 5 comes out with 4.5"+ screen I'd take it in a heart beat over the same screen size Android phone.
  • they must want to have more market share in the 10" market to compare to shareholders when they pair up against Asus Prime, Acer Asomething (sorry, forgot!), etc. Or else they are pricing this for schools - Toshiba as well as Dell has school prices with discounts to appeal to schools and students to buy for cheaper prices than their MSRP.
    Sammy and Kindle hold the reigns on the 7" with the Nook series moving up but if they priced the Tegra 3 between $350-$399 I'd buy one for sure. Not the higher price. I already have the Prime for $449 - $350-399 anything more than that with smaller screen waaay too expensive....which is a shame, actually.
    PS also they look to have a dock mechanism on the bottom?
  • 7.7 priced more than 10 inch? WTF ppl
  • OLED technology is what makes this 7.7" tablet expensive. Looks at Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV, it was only 11" but cost $2500.
  • Sure hope they have a good keyboard dock similar to what ASUS provides for the 13" version. Otherwise, it's usefulness will be severely limited.