You complained, Toshiba listened. After its Thrive tablets were widely panned for their short battery life and chunky, cheap-feeling design, the outfit decided to put those models out to pasture and start anew. So bid goodbye to the Thrives, then, and say hello to the Excite 7.7, 10 and 13 (yes, 13). If you’ve been paying attention, these are the same tablets we first saw in prototype form at CES (and again at Mobile World Congress), complete with their slim builds and textured aluminum backs. Now, though we know that all three will pack NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC, and ship with unskinned Ice Cream Sandwich. The 7.7, in particular, sports the same AMOLED display inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, while the 13-incher steps up to 1600 x 900 resolution (as opposed to 1280 x 800). Oh, and for those of you who think you’ll miss the 10-inch Thrive’s full-sized SD slot, that feature carries over to the Excite 10 and 13. (As you can imagine, there was no room for the full-sized USB and HDMI ports on tablets this thin.)
Before we go any further, though, we’re sure you want to hear more about that 13-incher in particular. First off, no, we’re not joking. This is a 13-inch ARM-powered tablet. Not a 13-inch slate with Ultrabook specs; just a really big Android tablet. Why would you want such a thing, you ask? Well, Toshiba’s banking on you using this indoors, particularly in the kitchen where you might want to glance at recipes or the weather forecast. In conversations about the product, company reps emphasized the tablet’s tough Gorilla Glass display, though they seem oblivious to the fact that you could do all of the above with a $400 iPad 2, or any other mid-range tablet, for that matter. It’s an important thing to consider, given that the Excite 13 will set you back a princely $650 for 32GB when it goes on sale June 10th.
In addition, the Excite 13 will be available with 64GB of storage for $750 (!). The Excite 7.7 is also coming June 10th, at which point it’ll cost $500 for the 16GB flavor and $580 for the 32GB configuration. The 10-inch will beat them both to market, arriving May 6th starting at $500 for 16GB of built-in storage. There will also be a 32GB version for $530 and a 64GB number for $650. For now, we’ve got photos below, and you can check out our hands-on from CES if you prefer your gadget porn have some video.
Gallery: Toshiba Excite 7.7, 10 and 13
Toshiba announces Excite 10, 7.7 and 13 tablets, Thrive slates on their way out originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:00:00 EST.