- Very light
- Good connectivity
- Expandable memory
- Disappointing screen
- Uses Honeycomb, not ICS
- Limited video support
- Review Price: £399.99
- 10.1in, 1,280 x 800 pixel display
- Android Honeycomb OS
- 32GB internal memory
- microSD slot
The Toshiba AT200, also known as the Excite in the US, claims most of its column inches for one reason. When originally launched, it was the slimmest tablet in the world. It’s a 10.1in Android tablet relying on its looks and light weight to stand out from the crowd. But now that it’s a crowd of some volume, the AT200 is more likely to gain attention because of its mistakes rather than its triumphs. And there are a few of each.
Bucking the current design trend for tablets, the Toshiba AT200 doesn’t taper its bod to a fine point, to give the greatest possible impression of slimness. Its edges are squared-off – more like the first iPad than the third, if you like.
This robs the tablet of its initial slide-down-the-catwalk, “look at me, I’m so thin” moment. In actuality it’s fantastically skinny at 7.7mm, but an onlooker at Trusted towers went as far as to remark on how chunky the thing looked from a glance.
The slim factor may not quite impress in the manner intended, but its weight does. At 558g, it’s one of the lightest Android Honecomb tablets you’ll find. Our top tablet pick, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is just under 30g heavier at 586g, but an iPad comparison shows much more marked difference. The third iPad is 94g heavier.
We still doubt whether it’s a good device to hold and use one-handed for long periods, but part of this is down to the dimensions of the Toshiba AT200, as well as pure weight. Most 10in Android Honeycomb tabs, this one included, use a widescreen aspect that tends to make them feel a little unwieldy in-hand compared to 4:3 tablets like the iPad, and smaller 7in models.
The Toshiba AT200 is remarkably thin and light, but this has resulted in only a few build and connectivity compromises. Its back is covered with a thin, metal-finish sheet that, while not as hardy-feeling as an iPad or Transformer Prime, lends it some of the premium vibe that’s an absolute must in a £400 tablet.
Its sides are not metal, however. They are plastic, and feature an odd black ridge running along the middle that’s at odds with the more seamless, pristine look most tablet manufacturers adopt. The seam between the back and sides isn’t subtle, with a visible gap and discernable edge where the sides rise above very slightly.
Using a non-curved metallic-finish back and plastic elsewhere, the Toshiba AT200 isn’t among the strongest-feeling of premium tabs, and it’s not ergonomically great either.
The metal coating on the back seems to be extremely thin too – a light scratch reveals the black surface underneath, which we’re guessing is plastic. Press down on the back of the tab and there’s a little bit of flex, which results in a click of contact – the back unnervingly clanking into the AT200’s innards. Not good – but the benefits of its resulting light weight shouldn’t be underestimated if you want a portable tablet.
What’s most impressive about the Toshiba AT200’s body is that its focus on slimming down hasn’t led to connectivity going down the pan. As you might expect, there’s no full-size SD card slot here, but you do get all the essentials, lined-up along the left edge.
There’s a micro HDMI socket to output video to a TV, a microSD slot to expand upon the decent 32GB of internal memory (16GB version also available) and a microUSB socket. This isn’t to charge the internal battery, but does give you easy access to the internal memory simply by plugging the AT200 into a PC. Eat that, iPad. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the bottom sits a very large proprietary charging socket. Toshiba offers an official dock that plugs into this, but that doesn’t come in the box.
Buttons and controls
All the Toshiba AT200’s physical buttons and controls sit on the right edge. These are all standard – volume up/down, power – aside from the little multi-function slider switch. This will either turn silent mode on and off, or act as an orientation lock, depending on what you have selected in the Settings menu.