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Toshiba Tablets Hands-On

Ardjuna Seghers


Toshiba Tablets Hands-On

One of the most interesting product ranges at Toshiba's showcase event today was its tablet line-up, which includes the re-launched Folio 100 and a more powerful, as yet un-named tablet, which we're giving you the full run-down on here. Both share a 10.1in screen and Nvidia's hugely powerful, dual-core Tegra 2 platform, but other specifications differ significantly.

You might recall that the Folio 100 originally got pulled from the market due to various concerns, but now it's back with at least some of those issues laid to rest. For example, it's now Adobe Flash-certified, has received an updated Froyo (Android 2.2) OS, and features a more mature, content-rich Toshiba marketplace.

Otherwise it remains similar to the original Folio 100. According to the spec-sheet its 10.1in capacitive screen actually had a resolution of 1,024 x 800, but we reckon this is a typo rather than an upgraded panel and that it's still the same 1,024 x 600 affair. Of course the Tegra 2 CPU and GPU combo is more than powerful enough to churn through even the most demanding software, and it's backed by a generous 16GB of local storage which is expandable using full-size SD cards (a cheaper, generally faster option than the micro-SD found on most tablets). It also offers a full-size HDMI output that will let you run up to 1080p on an external monitor or television, with other nice touches including Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth.

It felt reasonably solid in-hand with the same matte back as before. Unfortunately, the screen still doesn't offer the best viewing angles and there's only a single 1.3 megapixel camera, though at least it's at the front so that video-calling over Wi-Fi is still an option. Toshiba has reserved dual cameras (as found on the HTC Flyer tablet) for the Folio 100's bigger brother (see next page).

The Folio 100's greatest limitation is its lack of 3G and, consequently, lack of access to the Android Market. This will undoubtedly be a turn-off for many, though with Google now having brought Market access via PC and the ability to download apps and games directly from the publisher, it's not necessarily as big a problem as you might think.

Interesting add-ons for the Folio 100 include a TV Kit, consisting of the rather attractive dock and an ergonomic remote, and a leatherette case reminiscent of that provided as standard with the ViewSonic ViewPad 7, if slightly more luxuriant.

Far more interesting was the Folio 100's newer, more powerful brother, which we first spotted at CES and which Toshiba still hasn't found a name for (Folio 300, anyone? Why not make some more suggestions in the Comments?). It might share the same 10.1in screen size and Tegra internals, but it's a very different and far more impressive beast. Read on to find out how.

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