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  • wapz - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I would imagine the 7" Kindle Fire is a more interesting buy for the money if you want to get a sample of tablet for a budget. And it will run ICS very soon thanks to a lot of dev-support.

    This will have hardly any dev-support due to probably low sales, and because it runs Tegra, and nVidia still hasn't released HALs and userspace drivers for Tegra open source which means there is a fair amount if reverse engineering to be done to properly make a custom rom based on AOSP.

    Try harder, Toshiba, this isn't good enough.
  • Hrel - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I like the cheap replaceable color cases. I like the full size ports... A LOT!!!! The hardware is way above the bare minimum level that is acceptable. Still, build quality matters. I'll be recomending amazon kindle fire or Transformer still. As far as the thickness goes, I REALLY don't care, do whatever you have to do to use full size ports. I don't care so much about full size USB but full size SD card and HDMI are pretty much required.

    Personally I still don't see the appeal of these things. I bought the Asus and used my new toy for like 2 weeks. Then a couple months later noticed I hadn't touched the thing so I sold it off. I have a laptop, which goes anywhere in my house easily and I can take it on the road easily, and I have a desktop. I honestly do not understand the appeal of these things. You're giving up functionality and not really saving any money. I just do not understand. I have the Clevo P151 laptop, not light or thin. I have no issues moving it around. I have a laptop bag and power adapters so battery life is a non issue. I type a lot, and it has a BEAUTIFUL screen. Again, I see ZERO appeal in owning a tablet. Especially when you often get suckered into paying 100+/month to use the damn thing on wireless networks. You can't run ANY windows apps or games, again, I don't get it. I am baffled that anyone buys these things at all. A 4 inch "smartphone" that you can use as a GPS and Mp3 player, I get that... you know, for 50 bucks/month or less. But anything bigger isn't any more portable than a laptop. Baffling. Virgin mobile has a 25/month plan for a smartphone, you can tether anything to it. That seems like a fair deal. But as soon as you start slaping 2GB 4GB 40GB/month bandwidth limits, no matter how big 250GB/month it's instantly worth nothing. Either, you NEED that bandwidth, or you don't. If you do you get charged INSANE amounts of money to use it. And if you don't you're already paying INSANE amounts of money for that bandwidth. If you use 1GB/month of wireless data you should be paying next to nothing. This infuriates me, that people pay it. Because it's never going to change until people say enough. Cell carriers could easily charge 25/month for "access", meaning EVERYTHING in unlimited quantities and still make BILLIONS of dollars/year. Yes ATT you would have to build out your wireless network. Guess what? THAT'S THE FRAKKING BUSINESS YOUR IN!!!!
  • LancerVI - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I agree. My wife loves the Asus Transformer I bought for her.She goes everywhere with it.As for me, I can't stand using the damn thing!!! Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    It's simple, for those people who hate installing software, issues with windows, etc. Reply
  • Belard - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Each to their own. A few years ago I bought my first notebook... The concept was... Why bother. My needs didn't warrant the purchase. But going to court and needing a reliable way to show evidence or burn a disc made the $500 purchase worth it. So it was used only a few hours out of it's first year. I use it more when I need mobility but my desktop is my main baby. We bought an iPad for business promotion at a major international convention where any notebook or Netbook would have failed.

    Just like the notebook, some people or application works best for that formfactor.

    Tablets are used like books, far more comfortable than a notebook in bed or sofa. Not for heavy work. When sharing information with people on the con floor, a tablet blows the door off any notebook. Show me a notebook that weighs about a pound, easy to use, with instant on Internet access, 8-9 hours of battery usage? Carrying extra batteries and power brick, etc means weight and space. A real keyboard would have been in the way and awkward to hold when showing clients system operations and materials. Show me a $400 notebook that can be turned on in 1 second and have wifi access in 1-3 seconds... There is nothing else. A 4" screen phone is a personal communications device... Not a sales tool.

    ( typed on my bed from my iPad). Even thou I have a quad core desktop available...
  • rpmurray - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link


    Personally I still don't see the appeal of laptops. Desktops do the same and more and are generally cheaper to boot. Laptops can't be upgraded (other than memory and hard drive and you pay through the nose for both), have batteries that you need to keep charged, have cramped keyboards and the screens are so tiny compared to the ones you can get for a desktop. Again I see ZERO appeal to a laptop. Even budget desktops have faster CPUs. You can get so much more done with a desktop than a laptop in the same amount of time. And that doesn't even cover all the crap you have to lug around with you when you have a laptop (charger, spare battery, cables and dongles for the ports and any external hardware you use with it, carrying case to haul it all around in). And the INSANE amount of money you have to pay for a laptop in the first place compared to a desktop, even before you get all the add-ons.
  • piroroadkill - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Take notice.

    Take the 1280x800 IPS panels from these tablets and put them in little netbooks.

    Brazos E-450 based netbooks. Done, I'd buy it.

    I'm not buying a 16:9 netbook, simple as that.
  • Impulses - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    You really gotta wonder why no one's done this already, the panels can't be that expensive if they're going into $350 tablets. Even if it raises the price of such a netbook past $550 there'd probably still be a market for it.

    One of the several reasons I bought my TF is the display itself...

    Oh and btw, it took ASUS for-freaking-ever but they finally released their 40-pin to USB/SD adapters the full size ports on the Thrive aren't much of upside anymore. Sure it's one more little thing to carry but if you wanna use gamepads, hard drives, or thumbdrives without the kb dock then it's well worth it.
  • A5 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    The simple answer is that the tablets (especially the iPad) have killed the netbook market.

    The other reason is that an ARM SoC + Free OS (Android) is cheaper than an Atom CPU + Chipset + Windows license, enabling manufacturers to spend more on the screen.
  • melgross - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Microsoft has a standard for what is called a netbook for the purpose of selling Win7 Starter (and the earlier versions) to manufacturers making netbooks.

    The main points are:

    1. 10" screen
    2. 1024 x 768 max resolution
    3. atom CPU.

    If a manufacturer moves out of those basic specs, it's no longer a netbook, and they can't buy Starter, they must buy one of the regular versions.
  • doggod - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    How is what Microsoft wants, come into the net books argument at all. None of the tablets people are buying come with a Microsoft OS so you would imagine that manufactures would jump on having net books with android installed which negates any licensing costs.

    Personally I dont get their use either, apart as a toy. And an expensive toy.
    Portability is negated by having to type on the screen( which if you haven't left the tablet down on a surface you have to do one handed)
    Websites have to be zoomed to read properly
  • mathew7 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    "How is what Microsoft wants, come into the net books argument at all. None of the tablets people are buying come with a Microsoft OS so you would imagine that manufactures would jump on having net books with android installed which negates any licensing costs."

    Please research before you talk. Just a hint: tablets are not sold with Windows because there is no way to run it. The CPU from the tablets has nothing in common with what you have on a netbook or desktop. It's like diesel vs. gasoline engine: they both take you somewhere, but how they make power is completely different (you cannot run and/or you will damage either engine if you put the wrong fuel).

    So tablet designers take no attention to MS Win Starter limitations. But netbook designers, even if the tablet will be sold with Win7 HP, it's still designed for Win7 Starter because of HW sharing between models.
  • DanNeely - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Viewing angles? IPS vs TN? Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I can't beleive someone who reads anandtech has to ask this. TN maxes out at about 170 degree viewing angles, marketed, not practical application. IPS is basically 180 degree, ie you can always see it and it always looks good. IPS has significantly longer response times though. Pretty much all flat panel LCD tv's are IPS. Reply
  • Aloonatic - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Why bother to read anandtech at all, when you know everything already? Reply
  • mjcutri - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I made the mistake of buying a Thrive for my wife when they first came out in July. It was one of my worst tech purchases ever. I liked the idea of the dock and full size ports, but the flaws just don't make up for what I perceived as advantages.

    The screen takes next to nothing to break it and Toshiba knows it. They charge over $300 to replace it. Initially you could get a replacement screen and spend 4 hours trying to fix it yourself, but there was such a run on them (since the screen is so crappy) that they ran out of stock quickly. Since then, they have increased the price from $80 to $160 for the replacement screen, which now isn't worth it.

    I'm getting her a Transformer when the price drops on those.
  • mjcutri - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the incredibly buggy software.
    The well known problem of not waking from sleep has still not been fixed. (You have to turn it completely off and then back on again.) The screen randomly turn on by itself. (which is really annoying when you're trying to sleep.) The screen randomly doesn't go to sleep when you press the power button. (It just flashes black and then back on again.)
  • VivekGowri - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    There was an update to fix the sleep-wake problem, I never encountered it after that...As for the screen, yeah - because it's plastic, it's easier to break/scratch/damage. I really, really wish Toshiba would have gone the extra distance and gone for Gorilla Glass or some other kind of chemically treated glass covering for the screen. Reply
  • mjcutri - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - link

    Yeah...that update...didn't fix crap...
    And the screen is glass, just not gorilla glass.
  • TexasAg03 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    "...eventually settling in the $4-500 range."

    Could you please let me know where the $4 tablets are?
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    It's meant as "four to five hundred dollar range", which I'm sure you know, but I'll update it just for clarity. Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    As these things get cheaper and cheaper I start wondering whether they can double as a really capable intelligent remote control device.

    Consider: I have a relatively simple AV system, TV, AV receiver, Blu ray player, cable box and am intending to add a small basic computer to it (media streaming from NAS, internet browsing and email device, maybe a little light and casual gaming - Zotac Nano AD10 or the new Via Artigo 1150 looks ideal). That will mean 4 remote controls and a media keyboard/mouse. Now I could buy an intelligent remote (use a Logitech Harmony in another room which is not bad but a bit clunky with the cable box). One of the top of the range remotes costs about same as this tablet (or Kindle fire)

    Surely taking a low end tablet would work better, just needs IR blaster, can double as both keyboard and mouse, programmable with lots of "activities" to switch things off and on.
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I picked up a few Acer A100s on Black Friday for $189. Great little Tegra 2 tablets. Anyway, I paired one up with the Logitech Link device. Any Android device on our network can use the Harmony app to control all our AV gear. Reply
  • doggod - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Do any of the tablets come with ir built in, it would save having to have extra hardware to do the conversion. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    The sony s series tablets have IR built in and a preload app for remote control
    The samsung galaxy 7 plus also has an IR built in. The samsung galaxy 10.1 does not have IR built in.
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Thanks everyone for the input. Definitely worth me looking more closely, maybe waiting until the prices come down a bit Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Like was posted by someone else, Sony has one.

    I can't speak to your exact need, but for my home theater needs, a stationary IR device is preferred. My experience with other universal remotes, even Harmony remotes, is that they often mess up complex IR requests due to angles or device reception.

    The benefit of the Link is that it works with any PC, Android or iOS device, whether it's a $600 Sony or a free smartphone.
  • Crono454 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure I understand all the Kindle Fire fan boys. There is no way I recommend that to anyone over the new nook. It is garbage and has been unanimously covered as medicare mediocre Reply
  • tzhu07 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    There is a huge design flaw. The perimeter bezel surrounding the display should be as clean as possible. This tablet is all dark, but then there's a chrome piece hanging off to one side. Very distracting. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    The chrome webcam surround is literally the single worst thing about the design. If it was a matte black plastic and there wasn't a door hiding the ports, I'd like the Thrive about 50% more. Reply
  • Aquila76 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I was one of the lucky ones to get this Black Friday from Amazon for $199. At that price, this is an amazing value. I got it for my Dad since he needed something portable for his line of work. I completely agree about the chrome ring around the cameras; it makes this look toyish. That was actually a plus, as it makes it a little less likely to be stolen. Overall, I was really impressed with the Thrive and it's connections. have a good selection of root guides and alternate ROMs. They just released a Honeycomb 3.2 rooted ROM. Reply
  • combustication - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    I purchased my thrive last month and have not used my notebook ever since. It's definitely not as durable as my notebook which I have been able to treat like a redheaded stepchild and I didn't feel comfortable traveling with it until I got a case. I was also worried about the screen but after seeing a screen test someone posted on youtube (linked below) those are gone. I agree the chrome around the camera and Toshbia name plate lack style but the rubberize backing is a nice touch. The navigational abilities of the thrive (and all tablets I assume) has blown me away, I can't see my self going back to a notebook. Being a news junkie my favorite app has become Pulse which is a match made in heaven for tablets. It has allowed me to consume more news in a timely and efficient manner than ever before. I also really like that I can throw an AVI file onto my thrive, attach a HDMI Cable from it to my TV and I'm set to go. I'm looking forward to being able to control my home sound system with my thrive and perhaps even the lights down the road.
  • briwayjones - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    It seems that everybody mentions that they have yet to have a reason to use the rear facing cameras on a tablet. I understand it's not the most usable thing. I just wanted to mention one reason I've used the rear facing camera on my tablet.

    I deal with about ten different properties that the company I work for manages. I have each property entered as a contact with it's information. I like to take a picture of what the property looks like and use it as the profile picture in the contact so I can remember which property is which. Also if need be I could also use it to take a picture of something inside a property that needs to be fixed for example.

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