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A sit-down with Toshiba and its 10.1-inch Android tablet prototype

Toshiba is looking to get into the Android tablet space in a big way. And by big, we mean 10.1 inches, with Honeycomb (once it's actually available). We sat down with Toshiba at CES in Las Vegas for a walkthrough with the unnamed prototype.

The software was defintely not finished, running Froyo (and with hiccups). But it was the hardware we were really interested in. Join us after the break for a good look.

YouTube link for mobile viewing

The rear of the device is a textured rubber, making it slip-resistant and easier to hold. There's a full-size SD card on board. And you want ports? There's a full-sized USB2.0 port, HDMI and miniUSB. It's got Blueooth, naturally.

There's a dock, and it'll dock in landscape, for those of you who fear the vertical.

The screen is 10.1 inches at a 1280x800 resolution, with a 16:10 aspect ratio, the Wifi-only device is 0.6 inches thick. There are a trio of indicator lights that look like they'd be more at home on a laptop on a tablet, but that was a distinct design decision. They want you to know when Wifi's on. Or when the battery's going to die.

Now Toshiba's been big in the television space for quite some time, and its technology is bleeding over into this tablet as well. Standard-definition video will be "dressed up" in a process they call "resolution plus." It's video upscaling -- on a tablet. And it's pretty striking in person. It'll be turned on by default. Toshiba said there shouldn't be any drop in battery life, but you will have the option to turn it off. We'll see "adaptive" brightness options added in the coming months.

There are a pair of stereo speakers, and "adaptive sound technology" for noise reduction when video chatting. Speaking of which, there's a 2MP camera on the front of the tablet, and 5MP on the back.

So when will we see this? Not before Honeycomb's released to Toshiba. The version we saw was running stock Froyo, and Toshiba made it clear they weren't looking to monkey with the UI, which will make you purists happy, and there will be a file manager. It'll have access to the Android Market, as well as some sort of add-on marketplace from Toshiba.

Toshiba is looking at "mass market retailers" for selling the thing, and discussions with carriers are ongoing.

  • what about the cpu?
  • Really!
    And memory? 768? 1GB? They are teasing us...
  • Sounds fantastic, actually, but I'm wondering what the price, battery life, release date, and what type of processor it has.
  • 500 bucks unknown spring tegra 2
  • Honestly sounds like the best Tab I have heard of yet. I was stoked about the Xoom but I get the feel they are more interested in verizon contracts. Toshiba sounds like they are geared up to go straight after the iPad with a wifi piece...Silly!
  • Great video, she's very knowledgeable. And you guys asked some good questions.
  • just one small note, she did say 16:10 apect ration, not 16:9 as you put in the article. Not a big deal either way.
  • This beautiful device sold me at wifi only. I'm tired of these tabs coming out and being tied down to carriers. For that matter alone it makes it better than the XOOM
  • Seems like a pretty compelling produce. If the specs and price can converge at the right point along with the planned big box distribution they could have a hit on their hands. Toshiba already has a relationship with those retailers that they can build on. I find this product more interesting than the Xoom at this point because its wifi only. That being said I just bought and rooted a Nook Color that meets my tablet needs for the forciable future.
  • WiFi only? It just won this guy. I love the Motorola tablet. Do not like monthly fees. Toshiba isn't bad, eh?
  • You guys have to keep asking about battery life when interviewing these people at CES. Another big selling point about the ipad is it really does seem to last 10-12 hrs even if you use it a lot.
    An android tablet that lasts only half as long will suck for most people... :-P
  • Battery life on an unfinished prototype with an OS that's not the one it's shipping with? Sure thing. Get right on that. :p