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Toshiba Folio 100 Taken off Shelves in UK

David Gilbert


Toshiba Folio 100 Taken off Shelves in UK

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did indeed complain about the screen and also the fact that the Android Market was missing from the device having been replaced by the Toshiba Market Place which promised 1,000 apps by the end of this month – a long way short of the tens of thousands of apps in the Android Market.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.

Martin Leventon

November 15, 2010, 3:56 pm

Lets hope this isnt the sign of things to come, like netbooks before them people returning them because they dont know how to use the OS (remember when linux was on netbooks ? lol)


November 15, 2010, 4:44 pm

@Martin: You think that's bad? A friend of mine saw a couple of people return netbooks because they didn't realise there wasn't a disc drive when they bought it...


November 15, 2010, 4:57 pm

The wise tablet user is the one that hasn't yet splashed any cash on these devices yet.

I'm still hoping that WebOS and Android 3.x make a real impact in the tablet space - it's not healthy having Apple out there on their own (allows them to keep the iPad fairly well locked down when there's virtually zero tangible competition).


November 15, 2010, 5:34 pm

In a nutshell: my issue with Android tablets.

Android isn't ready for tablet form yet!


November 15, 2010, 5:52 pm

Was it 2009 or 2010 that was meant to be the "year of the tablet"?

Or was it 2006 when Gates announced 'Origami'?


Ah history, if only MS had kept going and followed their vision instead of dropping the ball and letting Apple take over.

Android, sure it's not really ready, but that said if the Samsung Tab was only half the price it'd be a reasonable machine for the money and while not quite as sleek as the iPad, nor with the same amount of properly built apps most people would be happy enough with it.

If Google would just let them pull out the 3G chip and still have market access then they could price it around £300-400 and they might get a few more interested buyers. It'd help even more if they said out loud "there will be a 2.3 and 3.0 upgrade as soon as they are available" as well - with a rough timescale. Cos I'm just fed up buying things without any knowledge of how future proof it'll be. There's far far too much throw away tech around these days, and I don't want to be spending £600+ to be a guinea pig for these companies.

As for the Folio, you'd think Toshiba would know better, but they seem to have lost their way in the mobile space and while their laptops are market leading, they have very little presence as they have such poor PR.


November 15, 2010, 7:50 pm


Then the other OS creators and tablet manufacturers need to understand what makes the iPad popular.

Hint: the "lock down" is something that helps make the whole user experience possible.

It is the user experience that is selling the millions of iPads. The success of the iPad is a tight integration between hardware, software and third-party ecosystem... a third-party ecosystem that has rules: rules that directly contribute to the commercial success of the app developers and the security and satisfaction of the user.

I too hope that the others make a real impact. But I am not wondering why they haven't, and I wouldn't be surprised if they have a very difficult time of it. I don't think they get it. I don't think many people get it. Apple has laid good foundations for years, made sound strategic decisions, and it has executed on its plans almost flawlessly over the last ten years. Apple has worked very hard, and it shows in their products. To paraphrase the former Palm CEO, "This isn't a market that just any PC or OS company can just walk into."

Tim Sutton

November 15, 2010, 8:04 pm


£300 is the absolute top end of the limit for a tablet. Its actually too much for me. I don't really care about being ridiculously gouged on smartphone prices as A: I'll always want them free on a contract and the contract is what I'm really buying and B: It's a business expense and tax deductible anyway.

Tablets costing anywhere near laptop/netbook prices however is just silly. They don't cost anywhere near as much to produce and they can't do as much.

Its all about protecting the artificially high smartphone prices and therefore the appeal of buying on contract for a discount. I'm not even slightly interested in helping out with that.


November 15, 2010, 8:06 pm

@HK: From the BBC article you link to: "Microsoft's software for mobile phones is up to version five and it, plus the phones that use it, are starting to win wide acceptance."

Ah, the memories. When WinMo 5 was eagerly welcomed as a revolutionary, cutting-edge development which would finally bring smartphones to the masses. Alas, if Origami had come to fruition, it'd have been much the same. It took Apple to make MS realise that a touchscreen could only go mass-market if the entire interface was designed around actual touch rather than a stylus. Origami wasn't, and so it'd have gone the way of WinMo 5. Courier, in contrast, showed a lot of promise and it's a huge shame MS weren't able to develop it into a commercial product.


November 15, 2010, 8:12 pm

I would just like to rub it in and say that Toshiba's previous smart phone efforts were SERIOUSLY bad as well, and totally flooded with hardware faults. Anyone remember the TG01?

Martin Leventon

November 15, 2010, 10:48 pm

@Gordon which of course google readily admits. The manufacturers are being idiots themselves. I am awaiting on a tablet friendly android version before I grab myself a tablet. Was thinking about getting the ipad but the cost puts me off, aswell as apple and its lack of flash.


November 16, 2010, 4:45 pm

@Sutton, totally agree! Ive also mentioned previously that I believe part of the issues with tablets at the moment and the pricing of smartphones.

Top end Smartphones are £350-£400 usually and since tablets are essentially the same tech with a much larger screen it stands to reason that they would be more expensive, but theres no way a tablet should be £400+ IMO since thats well within a good laptop range, so really smartphones should be around £200-£250 with tablets at around £250-£300

The budget end of this pricing has already been seen with the Orange San Fran smartphone (£99) and the Archos 101 tablet (£250), so IMO even toshiba's pricing was well over what it should have been, another reason it failed


November 22, 2010, 10:18 am

Wow - those hardware specs and the thing's still sluggish! With all the options and choices Android provides if the manufacturers can't get it right, what chance do the customers have?


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