Display

Evaluating the Toshiba Excite 7.7's display has turned out to be more difficult than anticipated, due in no small part to the AMOLED panel used. That difficulty is exacerbated by what Toshiba calls their "AutoBrite" technology. This is a fundamental issue that has been brought up in other reviews of the Excite 7.7 that I've read, and it could very easily be a dealbreaker.

Depending on what's displayed on the Excite 7.7, the screen will dynamically brighten or dim. This isn't the usual ambient light sensor brightness control, this has to do with the content itself, and unfortunately it can get distracting. I suspect it's an "extra mile" to try and optimize what's already a beautiful AMOLED display, but in practice even scrolling through a Facebook page can become slightly annoying when the display pops up a bit, then dims a bit depending on how much white is on what you're looking at. If you're looking at content that's a bit more contrasty and tends towards darker hues more, the display becomes brighter to compensate.

There is no way that I can find to turn this off.

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

The black level is bulletproof, but I'm ambivalent on the white level. I measured it with the same hardware I use to measure notebook displays, but 175 nits seems extremely low and that's only exacerbated by Toshiba's own dynamic brightness modulation. When I look at the display, it's definitely not 175 nits; eyeballing it I'd say maximum brightness is easily past 300 nits.

With all that said, it's hard not to be wowed by the display. AMOLED technology produces the deepest blacks you're going to get in any kind of portable display, and the colors are equally vibrant and impressive. Even with the brightness adjustments going on, I personally think it's still more desirable than even an IPS display, but your mileage may vary.

Performance

NVIDIA's Tegra 3's performance is already pretty much a known quantity, but it's still impressive to see Tegra 3 stretching its legs in a tablet this small.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark 0.9.1

Rightware BrowserMark

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic (Offscreen 1080p)

Performance isn't out of the park, but it's definitely competitive with other, larger tablets. You're definitely not making any sacrifices for the form factor here, the Excite 7.7's about as fast as any other Tegra 3-powered tablet out there.

Introducing the Toshiba Excite 7.7 Battery Life and User Experience
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  • solinear - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Seriously, this read like an upbeat funeral, sans the wake.

    I think that is the sign of two things: The tablet market is about as exciting as a yawn and that maybe they need to get someone that doesn't dislike the platform they are reviewing before they even start the review.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    There's a few interesting tablet products out there - every new iPad, the Nexus 7, Surface, the headlining ASUS and Samsung W8 and Android tablets, and not a whole lot else. Sony comes up with some interesting ideas, but the execution is rarely there so I'm not sure I can count them. Basically, there's a lot of tablets out there and not a whole lot of differentiation between most of them, so for the most part they're really not particularly interesting. With that said, I really like the 7.7" form factor so combining that with Tegra 3 results in an intriguing device that I would never want to pay for. Reply
  • teiglin - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    I think the timing here is pretty unfortunate. I bought a Galaxy Tab 7.7 just over six months ago, because I wanted a tab small enough to hold comfortably with one hand. Back then, the alternatives were Kindle Fire/Nook Tablet, which suffered from poor performance and middling 1024x600 panels, or the Galaxy Tab 7+, which had good hardware but suffered the same display woes as the ultra-budget tabs while still being around $400. In that landscape, it wasn't a hard decision to spend a bit more on a tablet that had a top-notch display (not to mention, I've always been a huge OLED fan) and solid internals. Also at that time, the Excite 7.7 wouldn't appear for another four months or so.

    Today, things are much worse for premium, small tabs. When you can have a tegra3, 1280x800 Nexus 7 for $250, it's a lot harder to justify spending nearly twice as much just to get OLED in a slightly thinner package, instead of a perfectly good IPS LCD.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    "There's a few interesting tablet products out there - every new iPad"

    IMHO, personal preferences reveal bias which, after having read only the first page of this review, and the first few comments, has made me stop reading the review.

    Where's the "rolleyes" smilie?

    Whatever. I suppose it is almost impossible to get an unbiased review these days.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    Opps. My fault. Not the reviewer's comment. Just someone enamored in the iWorld. Again, where's the "rolleyes" smilie? Reply
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Also, why not compare this directly to the Nexus 7? 7" is more the target audience with a 7" tablet, be it amoled or not. Reply
  • RamarC - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    "can it really justify the $499 starting price?"

    No. Twice as much as Nexus 7 but only slighty different -- not really any need to beyond that...
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    Yeah, the device is identical to a Nexus 7 - only swapping a 7" IPS for a 7.7" AMOLED. The additional cost of that display is a few dollars - not $250. Toshiba clearly isn't interested in selling these. Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Seriously?

    I mean, seriously?

    I fail to see how this is not an interesting product. The only thing that stops it from being truly competitive in my book is the price tag. Granted, Samsung came out with the Tab 7.7 a while back, but its internals weren't good enough, and Touchwiz remains the worst Android skin I've yet used.

    Also, are we really complaining about having more product reviews on here? That's the only thing anyone could possibly take issue with in regards to this site: they don't have as many reviews as other sites do on mainstream products like tablets. Then again, they don't get sent as many tablets as places like Engadget.

    As far as the reporting goes: if you don't like it, you don't have to read it. Honestly, it didn't read to me like he didn't care about the platform he's reviewing. He made disclaimers up front about the fact that he's not the go-to tablet guy here, and that he doesn't typically use a tablet. Even if his review had come across that way, I fail to see how you would take issue with it.
    Reply
  • Origin64 - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    "Just keep scrolling" is a mantra that few take the trouble to remind themselves of, sadly. Reply

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