Toshiba says its Excite 10 LE is the lightest and thinnest 10-inch tablet on the market, but the company has packed plenty of features into that lightweight form factor. The tablet, which runs Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, is user-friendly right out of the box.
The Excite 10 LE measures 10 inches long by 7 inches wide and is just 0.3 inch thick. While this is smaller than Toshiba’s Thrive tablet (at 11 inches by 7 inches and half an inch thick), the Excite maintains the same LED-backlit, 10.1-inch, 1280x800-pixel screen. The screen is made of Gorilla Glass, which provides resistance to scratches. The TI4430 dual-core 1.2 gigahertz mobile processor provides a notable upgrade in speed and agility, and the included Adobe Flash player lets users view any web page exactly as its author intended.
The tablet has two cameras: 2 megapixels in the front and 5MP in the rear. While the front camera is 720p, the rear has been upgraded to 1080p. Using the cameras with the included Google Videos and Movie Studio software makes recording and sharing high-definition videos a breeze. On the upper right of the tablet are power controls, a volume rocker and a screen rotation toggle switch.
GPS and a gyroscope are built into the tablet. Coupled with Google Maps and Navigation, the Excite 10 LE will easily help a user get his or her bearings in unfamiliar locales.
The Excite 10 LE features four external connectors, giving it plenty of flexibility. A micro USB 2.0 port allows for simple connectivity to other electronic devices. A micro SD card slot provides additional storage for music, pictures and video. A micro HDMI connector lets users stream movies from the tablet onto another device, such as a high-definition TV. Finally, Toshiba has added a proprietary docking slot that also acts as a charging port via standard USB 2.0.
Wireless connectivity is provided through 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v.2.1. This is especially useful for connecting peripherals such as a wireless keyboard and mouse. That way, whether simply consuming web content or creating a document, users will be ready for action.
The weight of the Excite 10 LE, making it the lightest 10-inch tablet on the market
SOURCE: Toshiba America Information Systems
IT shops will appreciate how simple it is to synchronize the Excite 10 LE with an agency’s e-mail system: Simply type in the server URL, username and password, and the Excite’s native e-mail and calendar come alive with the user’s data. Setup is even simpler if the user wants to connect to Google Mail, as a second native Gmail client is included as an application.
Battery life has also been extended beyond what the Thrive provided. In normal use conditions, the Excite 10 LE is able to achieve close to the eight hours that Toshiba advertises. However, use of Wi-Fi and playback of video content reduce battery life somewhat.
In order to thin down the tablet, the full-size USB and HDMI ports were converted to mini ports. Given how often these ports are normally used, this is really not an inconvenience, and the reduced weight is well worth this trade-off.
Toshiba also chose not to include any wireless broadband adapters within the Excite. This means that in order to connect to a mobile network, a user will need a mobile Wi-Fi device connected to the micro USB port. With Wi-Fi available just about anywhere, this is not an insurmountable challenge, but users should be aware of it and prepare accordingly.