Toshiba AT300 review

Can Toshiba's new 10.1-inch tablet brighten our day?

Toshiba AT300
The Toshiba AT300 is agressively priced

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The Toshiba AT300 is the latest entry into an ever-expanding middle-ground tablet market, sitting below the heavy-hitters such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and the new iPad but above the ubiquitous array of budget slates.

It's a great tablet if you're looking for native Android (albeit slightly dated now) on the bigger screen at an attractive price.

We liked

Honeycomb paved the way for Ice Cream Sandwich, with a slick, tablet-focused UI that doesn't necessarily need to be tweaked by device manufacturers. We love the way Toshiba has left Android 4.0 untouched, leaving you free to explore the platform the way that Google intended.

And Android 4.0 runs incredibly smoothly, thanks to the quad-core Tegra 3 chip powering the proceedings. It had little issue playing back HD media, the latest graphic-hungry games in Google Play provided little problem and switching between tasks is a breeze.

The build quality is also nice. While not as super-skinny as the Toshiba AT200, the Toshiba AT300 is a much more solid-feeling tablet, and the use of textured aluminium on the rear makes it comfortable to hold, even for long periods at a time.

We disliked

The display, albeit acceptable for the cost, isn't the greatest. Sure, the 1280 x 800 display ticks the HD box, and IPS LCD technology is great, but we just felt that the colours were a little washed out and that viewing the display in bright light was troublesome. There was also a slight issue with backlight bleeding, although we are super-picky on this subject.

Camera quality, when it comes to both still images and videos, isn't of a high quality, although it's down to personal habit as to how much of an issue this is. And poor tablet camera action isn't a problem that's unique to Toshiba, with none of its main rivals offering anything staggeringly superior in this respect.

Final verdict

It's impossible not to start with the price, because it's most likely the thing that will have the greatest draw on your tablet-focused attention.

If you're adamant that you want an Android tablet and you can't stretch to the hefty RRP of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, then realistically your options are the Toshiba AT300, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 or the Asus Transformer Pad 300.

Asus' contender trumps Toshiba's by offering the hybrid keyboard option and, although much bulkier, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 is a slightly slicker (and marginally quicker) tablet with a few nice software tweaks and a much better battery life.

That's not to say that the Toshiba AT300 is a long way off these two rivals - it's an incredibly tight affair, and it's ultimately down to personal preference as to which one Android fans will prefer.

The bottom line is, if you're looking for a solid Android tablet with a strongly build, nice-looking design and speedy processor, along with plenty of storage and connectivity features - and you don't want to go over £400/$450 - then the Toshiba AT300 may be just the tablet for you.