If evidence was needed that tech companies were rushing to get their tablet devices to market a little too quickly, then we got it over the weekend with the news that retailers around the UK have pulled the Toshiba Folio 100 from their shelves less than two weeks after it went on sale.
Everything seemed so different back in the dim distant past of November 5 when the Toshiba Folio 100 was all set to conquer the iPad as King of the Tablets. It had it all - a larger screen, flash capability, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and all for £170 less than Apple’s market leading device.
How could it fail we asked? Well pretty spectacularly seems to be the clear answer. Over the weekend, the device was pulled from sale at retailers PC World, Dixons and Currys following a raft of customer complaints and a record high level of returns.
Then again, it could be said that TrustedReviews were among the first to hint at problems with this device when we had a hands-on look at the Folio 100 at IFA in Berlin last September. Our eagle-eyed reporter Ed Chester reported that while the Folio 100 was loaded with features it was let down somewhat by an unresponsive screen and their own version of Android 2.2 which was preloaded onto the device.
Customers complaining on return of the device to retailers did indeed complain about the screen and also the fact that the Android Market was missing from the device having been replaced by the Toshiba Market Place which promised 1,000 apps by the end of this month – a long way short of the tens of thousands of apps in the Android Market.
There has so far been no official word from Toshiba about the freeze by retailers selling its product but no doubt it will be frantically trying to fix the problems before they offer it for sale in other parts of the world.
Inferior pixel density, narrow viewing angles poor build quality and cheap plastic casing were among the other complaints from irate customers. The Folio 100 shipped to the UK before anywhere else in the world with a £329 price tag which no doubt would have lured in a lot of people. It is powered by an nVIDIA Tegra 250 processor which includes a dual-core Arm processor running at 1GHz and a GeForce graphics core that is capable of playing full 1080p high-definition video.
The Folio 100 runs Android 2.2, has an in-built 1.3-megpixel webcam, claims seven hour battery life on a single charge and weighs 760g which is heavier than the iPad (680g). It also has HDMI, USB and SD card ports.