Tablet buyers looking for a compact 7-inch model now have yet another choice.
Toshiba is now selling the 7-inch version of its Thrive tablet at a price of $379 for the 16 GB model and $429 for the 32 GB model.
Arriving in the nick of time for the holidays, the Thrive 7 offers a 7-inch high-resolution 1280x800-pixel widescreen display. Powered by a 1 gigahertz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the tablet comes with Android Honeycomb 3.2. A 2-megapixel webcam is on the front, while a 5-megapixel autofocus camera is on the back.
Equipped with stereo speakers, the Thrive 7 includes a healthy array of connections, including a micro-SD card slot, a mini-USB 2.0 port, and a micro-HDMI port. So the tablet can tap into external files and hook up to a widescreen TV. But the battery lasts only around six hours on a single charge.
A wide range of software is part of the package. Beyond Toshiba's own media player and file manager apps, users will find the usual Google apps, such as Android Market, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps. Other third-party apps include Kaspersky Tablet Security, Quickoffice, and a host of games.
Unlike the 10-inch Thrive, which has been dinged for being bulky and overweight, the Thrive 7 is svelte at only 0.8 pounds and less than half an inch deep.
But at $379, the 16 GB version will likely face an uphill battle trying to eke out any market share as the holiday season has rung in a slew of competing tablets selling for considerably less.
Amazon has seen hot demand for its $199 Kindle Fire, also a 7 inch tablet. Research in Motion recently bumped down the price of its 16 GB Playbook to $199. And HP is selling off the remaining stock of its TouchPad for just $99.