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Toshiba AT200 - Cameras, Battery Life and Verdict
The Toshiba AT200 has two cameras. There's a 5-megapixel back sensor, accompanied by an LED flash, and a 2-megapixel sensor on the front.
As usual, in perfect light the tablet is capable of producing reasonable shots. On a bright, sunny day in London, the AT200 leaves colours looking a little washed-out and lifeless, but a decent level of detail is captured. Looking a little closer, though, there's significant chromatic aberration in dark areas, even with this near-perfect lighting. It'll do for posting online, but not for printing out at any size larger than 6x4in.
In less-than perfect lighting, performance slides quickly off a cliff. Lines of image distortion cover low-light images - and they stay visible even when the flash is used. Having the flash to fall back on is a significant bonus, although for late-night party photography, we'd pick a smartphone over a tablet any day.
Perhaps the biggest disappointments of the Toshiba AT200's camera are in its software rather than hardware, though. Using the standard Android Honeycomb camera interface, there's no way to touch-focus. You can only hit the virtual shutter button and hope the sensor's autofocus chooses the same subject as you. And it rarely does in close-up. This is another thing that leaves us wanting the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update - it has a much-improved camera app.
There is a macro mode, but not having a manual focal point limits its usefulness. The 5-megapixel sensor isn't capable of reaping particularly impressive levels of detail anyway.
With video maxing-out at 1080p, the Toshiba AT200 is on-par with the top Android tablets. However, the sensor reverts to a fixed focus when recording video, reducing its versatility somewhat.
Other than quality settings, you have access to a few basic colour effects (sepia, negative, aqua tint) and a handful of white balance settings. Ice Cream Sandwich also brings a boatload of fun active effects, and hopefully the AT200 will benefit from those in time.
With a claimed eight hours of battery life, the Toshiba AT200 should in theory be on-par with the big players of 2011 on battery (erm, apart from the iPad 2). However, the light, slim frame has knock-on effect here. It doesn't quite manage the 8hr figure, lasting six hours when playing a looped video. It's not a terrible performance, but you can get better stamina elsewhere.
The Toshiba AT200 feels like a tablet built with superlatives in mind. It wants to be the slimmest tablet - and in that sense at least, it has suceeded. However, more important elements, such as performance, software and screen quality, don't quite meet expectations. It offers a good Android experience, but we'd rather use the best tabs from 2011, which are available for less cash.
The Toshiba AT200 is an unusually slim, unusually light Android tablet with a 10.1in screen. However, we can't shake the feeling that it's turning up in last season's clothes. Its OS is getting on a bit, the screen performance is mediocre in its class and while it's slim, build isn't as good as some rivals.
Scores In Detail
- Battery Life
- Screen Quality