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Interface and Conclusions

Further features include a headphone socket, full size SD card slot, 16GB internal storage, an accelerometer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi N, but no 3G, which is arriving in a later model come 1Q 2011.

The tablet runs Android 2.2 but rather than use the default interface, Toshiba has given it a slight makoever, enlarging the main menu and splitting it up into four sub-sections - Applications, Widgets, Bookmarks, and Settings. It has also added some custom music players and picture viewers and will feature apps based on Toshiba's new Places online portal, giving you access to on-demand video and such like. We didn't get much of a chance to use the latter services, though you can colour us sceptical about yet another online multimedia portable.

As for the other software tweaks, we didn't find they added a lot to the experience and we would have preferred to see a plain install of Android instead. As much as anything, it was difficult to assess the device's performance as we couldn't tell whether the screen was unresponsive and the Nvidia tegra processor too slow or whether it was the software that was holding things back. We suspect the processor isn't to blame for the sluggish performance, though the touchscreen may well be at fault when it comes to how difficult it sometimes proved to get a response from it.

So, you may be thinking the Toshiba Folio 100 is a dead duck and indeed it does somewhat represent all that we feared these iPad competitors might be - feature packed but poorer quality on every front. However, it does have one major plus point, it's price. At £349, it's not an impulse buy but if early indications of pricing for the Samsung Tab are anything to go by (in the region of £600) it's a relative bargain. What's more, features like the HDMI, USB, and SD card reader make this more of a versatile working tool than many other rivals so if you're looking for something that could replace your netbook or ultraportable laptop it's perhaps a more suitable device than the smaller tablets.

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