tablets

Toshiba Thrive Tablet Review

A mid-range tablet and price point with some high-end features.

August 22, 2011
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Controls

Users accustomed to the controls of the Motorola Xoom will find a refreshingly similar interface, with the same version of Android (3.0 Honeycomb) and a similar but pared-down range of applications pre-loaded on the unit. The virtual controls are identical: the touchscreen is responsive and the controls are clearly marked.

Controls Image

As for physical controls, there are only limited buttons on the edges of the Toshiba Thrive, but they are useful enough. After the power button, there are two actions governed by physical controls: volume, and accelerometer lock. The volume control is nice if you don't feel like hunting for the virtual volume control all the time, and the accelerometer lock is good if you want to pass your tablet around without the picture changing orientation. That's about it though.

Connectivity

This tablet is great on the connectivity front. Not only can the Toshiba Thrive make the most of its 802.11n wireless connection, but you can also use it with cell service if you have a data plan, and on top of that, it has full-sized HDMI and USB ports hidden on the side. This allows you to port your media to a TV, which is great for those with no streaming device for their TV.

All that being said, the wireless connection will give you great download speeds (assuming your router is relatively new), peaking at 1.3 Mb per second in our labs, which is respectable for a portable device like the Toshiba Thrive.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Battery Life

To put it bluntly, the battery life of the Toshiba Thrive is disappointing at best. While no tablet with an LCD screen is going to last long with its power-hungry backlight, it is a little disappointing to the perpetual traveler if their brand-spanking new toy won't last them for an entire flight or car ride. While the Toshiba Thrive can play audio for more than 24 hours, it struggles to keep its user occupied with an eBook for more than 5 and a half hours, or video playback for 6 and a half hours.

{{product.manufacturer_specs['EBook Battery Life']}} {{product.manufacturer_specs['Audio Battery Life']}} {{product.manufacturer_specs['Video Battery Life']}}

In our tests, we crank the backlight to maximum and turn the wireless card off, so your mileage may vary if you decide to alter your settings at all. Keep in mind, though, that programs that run in the background, the wireless card, and downloads will all increase power draw and subsequently shorten battery life. You may also increase battery life a bit by turning down the backlight, but that too has its drawbacks: the Thrive already does not function well in the sunlight, and turning down the backlight decreases visibility significantly.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Motorola Xoom Comparison
  11. Samsung Galaxy Tab (Verizon) Comparison
  12. Apple iPad 2 Wi-fi & 3G / AT&T / 16 GB Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Compare Prices
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments