Toshiba AT100 review

Fast Android 3.1 tablet has full-size USB and HDMI ports and Tegra 2, but also extra bulk

Toshiba Thrive
A 1GHz Tegra 2 processor plus Nvidia GeForce graphics card make this a fast tablet

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Toshiba thrive review

We started this review by saying the Toshiba AT100 stands out because of some unique features.

Unfortunately, some of the basic hardware specs betray that claim, which we'll go into a bit further down this page.

The tablet runs on the same processor as most Android tabs – the 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core CPU with GeForce graphics.

The tab has 16GB of internal storage and one external SD card slot, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0.

The full-size ports on the Toshiba AT100 were a surprise. There's a standard HDMI port for connecting to your HD TV. You can use a standard HDMI cable instead of the more common mini-HDMI.

Toshiba thrive review

The full-size USB port is very handy too. We were able to quickly add movies form a USB flash drive to the device. When you insert a mouse, a cursor magically appears (even though it runs a bit too fast). Attach a USB cable for your keyboard, and you can type up longer documents much faster.

Other ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro-USB port for connecting to your computer, two speakers below the screen on the edge of the tablet, buttons along the top for power, volume and screen lock, a front-facing 2MP camera and dock connector.

Toshiba thrive review

The full-size SD card slot is particularly appealing. You can insert an SD, SDHC or SDXC card up to 128GB, adding a colossal amount of space for movies and other media without a lot of hassle.

The major bonus here is that, if your digital camera uses an SD card, you can pop out the card and insert it into the Toshiba AT100 for a quick back-up or for viewing images on the tablet's 10.1-inch screen.

The 1GHz Tegra 2 processor didn't feel faster or weaker than any other Android tablet.

Our only complaint here is that the video processing felt weak. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S2, which is a fast smartphone, the Toshiba AT100 felt sluggish at times. We played several YouTube videos in HD, loaded the movie Priest from a USB flash drive, and found videos would pause every so often.

Toshiba thrive review

We also ran extra benchmarks to test the processor and video. The BrowserMark score was 83584, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 score of only 76876. The Toshiba AT100's Linpack score was 41.46 compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's measly 34.06. And, the Toshiba AT100 scored a 994 on the Vellamo test. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 only scored 890.

In terms of bulk, it's not all bad news. The Toshiba AT100 is twice the thickness of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Apple iPad 2, but it's also easier to grip and has full-size ports. That means it'll stay put next to your HD TV when you connect to watch a video.

Toshiba thrive review

Unlike the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, we felt the bulk wasn't a major irritant, but the extra weight is disappointing. For comparison, that 160g of extra weight compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the same as an ebook reader such as the BeBook.

In terms of the size and weight, it's important to decide whether the full-size ports are worth having less mobility. We generally prefer the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.