Toshiba Excite Review:
The new Toshiba Excite lineup comes with 3 new models the Excite 7.7, Excite 10, and Excite 13 all with top-notch specifications.All the models are powered with the new Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor, sporting good screen and the stock version of Android 4.0 for the fullest Android experience. Toshiba claims that the solid body is nearly unbreakable although being such a thin design. The model names signify the size of their screens, surprised to see a 13 inch tablet. So can the well-respected PC manufacture pull up this one? Let’s find out.
Clearly we can notice that the trio employs the same design characteristics with the only difference being the sizes. All the tablets are greeted with the same solid rigid aluminum casing making the tablets undeniably solid. Something we noticed that the screen feels like popping out of us rather than recessed into the body. The form factor sports flat edges and rounded corners giving it the exact grip you want for a device. The tablets look very attractive by design yet solid especially if we look to the company’s previous releases like Excite 10 LE. The part underneath the Aluminum shell can be exposed to dust or water if it gets exploited hardly which can be a dropdown for any tablet. Frankly speaking it sticks with the old safe approach of tablet making it feel solid yet not as attractive as the new iPad or even the Asus Transformer Prime.
For a compact tablet it is exceptionally solid with a super clean finish despite being only 7.6mm thick and probably thinner than most of mobiles. It can easily be carried around just put it inside jacked and feel no noticeable difference in weight. If we take a tour around the device we are presented with a proprietary dock connector with data syncing and charging capabilities, the stereo speakers, volume rockers, orientation lock switch, microphone, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port for data connectivity only, power buttons, micro SD card slot all around the edges of Excite 7.7. The speakers have a descent sound with enhanced SRS although there is no noticeable difference. With all these features and stunning looks it can easily compete with its rivals especially the Galaxy Tab 7.7.
The Excite 7.7 sports a brilliant 7.7 inches 1280×800 WXGA AMOLED display complementing its chiseled looks. The display is simply as brilliant as any other AMOLED display. The display is highly detailed and even finest of things are easily legible from a distance. Just like any other AMOLED display we are in love with the great viewing angles, high contrast, vibrant colors and the black reproduction. Super AMOLED might have given an extra edgy feel but this is not disappointing too.
First of all hats-off to Toshiba for giving the Excite 10 such a contemporary design especially after the Toshiba thrive which was way bulky and monolithic. Making of a super thin 7 inch tab is one thing but implementing the same with 10 is tremendous the thickness is only a hair greater than its younger sibling. A very astonishing factor this 10 inch tab is even thinner than the latest generation of iPad and lighter than most of the tabs around. This can be easily carried around with you anywhere required and it is almost usable with a single hand.
Along with the different screen size there is some nice addition of ports in the tablet the ports being an additional micro HDMI port and the SD card being Full SD instead of MicroSD. Unfortunately there is no Full USB slot which would have been a treat but looking at the form factor it is easily understandable.
As soon as the device featured in our eyes we were enchanted by its 10.1 WXGA (1280×800) resolution IPS display panel, the color are rich and deep but the most attracting point is the deep color reproduction. The resolution is no new in this size of tablets so like other tablets the texts are visible with utter ease. The main disappointment comes when it is put under direct sun it becomes nearly unusable and the display is washed out completely. There is some noticeable color bleeding around edges mostly with black color. With a 149ppi overall the display is ok with nothing much to brag about.
With no surprise this tablet is huge and nearly an ultrabook sized. It can’t be stated in words that how much a 13 inch tab bigger than a 10 inch. One very important aspect that Toshiba has worked on is distributing the weight evenly making it feel lighter and even it’s a bit thinner considering its huge size. If u want to carry it everywhere think twice before buying it even check your bag size first to see whether it fits or not. It also deviates from its siblings in form of dock connector instead it has a round charger with a huge adapter which is itself a pain to carry. Moreover you can consider buying a laptop instead of this tablet. The ports position has changed making it very hard to press especially when it is in top. God knows what Toshiba had in mind when they were making this tablet-cum laptop.
The Excite 13 uses the same display as the Excite 10 the only difference being the higher 1600×900 resolution and a lower 138ppi.
All the devices are equipped with a 5 Megapixel camera sensor at the back and a 2 MP front facing camera for video chatting. There is no sensation about a camera it captures some disappointing over-exposed images with low contrast, the image doesn’t come out as natural as it is required to be. Taking pictures in low light can be a pain for anyone and moreover the noise exposure makes the image quality even worse.
Similar to Camera the tablets are disappointing in field of videos too the videos shot at 1080p resolution just lack quality the amount of light required. Overall an unimpressive and disappointing camera
Interface and Performance
Toshiba takes a better approach than most of the OEM; it makes the Android look the stock vanilla which can attract many consumers to it. All the tablets deliver the full Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich experience. It would have been nice if Toshiba had added some good deep widgets with the tablets and some more proprietary Looks to the UI but nevertheless it has some deep personalization as the other ICS tablets. There is some personalization in settings menu and addition of Screenshot taking feature in the power menu. Moreover a pretty good stock Android Stock experience.
The Tablet is very fast and well responsive thanks to the Android ICS experience. We noticed delay in screen rotation and browser scrolling issues but these issues are well known in the Android ecosystem and Google is working on it more than any other. Overall a good Experience for a tablet.
If we go for an Android tablet it always lacks behind the Apple’s iPad this isn’t no different. All the tablets being powered with superior Tegra 3 processor and a housing of 1GB RAM delivers the promised performance. We are not new with the Tegra 3 it is already powering some of the flagship devices of other manufactures. Some of customized games for Tegra 3 woks pretty well. Shadowgun is very smooth and is well optimized for the tablet. The only setback is that most of the apps are not optimized for the tablets, apps made for 4 inch mobile looks fairly ok in the Excite 7 but in Excite 10 its disappointment and no words for the Excite 13.Other than that the optimized apps works great without any glitches. Overall we can say that it delivers exact performance needed by any consumer.
The Battery lives of all 3 models are pretty solid. One can easily make out two days with full charge it has enough juice to make it last 2 days and for an average user it can last half a day longer. It’s a pretty good life considering the specs inside which it holds. The Excite 10 and 13 have little more battery life than the Excite 7.But Excite 7 does just fine with its battery life.
Which Tablet Size to pick?
Well after going through this review one must be wondering that which tablet is the most appropriate size. Well I can just say that it completely depends on how to use it. If you only want to watch movies at home or kitchen then Excite 13 can be your perfect choice. Of course it can turn terrible choice if you want to carry it everywhere but good for some people.
The Excite 7.7 is a nice product if you want good portability. You can carry it around with you wherever required without having much pain and because of the tremendous display you surely would like this product. But it’s not for you if you are a hard core gamer or a movie fan.
The Excite 10 is the perfectly sized tablet which is used in more general cases rather than its siblings which are specialty cases.If you are a hardcore gamer a diehard movie matcher then this baby is just for you. This does not make you feel any pain either on carrying around too. The biggest problem for the Excite 10 is the 16:9 ratio it sports, as soon as it is turned in portrait mode all the magic is faded away. Still it can be the best option to use for most of the cases.
Overall we simply credit the way Toshiba has approached in its Excite series especially after the Thrive which was a complete blunder on the company it seemingly obliterated all remnants of the Toshiba Thrive .Considering the price point Toshiba must relook as there are other competitors with better products in the same price range.