Tablet War: Toshiba Thrive Vs. Apple iPad 2

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Toshiba Corp. entered the tablet race by releasing its 10.1-inch Android tablet, the Toshiba Thrive, on July 10. However, the tablet has to deal with the iconic Apple iPad 2, as the benchmark for design and performance has been set by the Cupertino giant.

Thrive comes in only Wi-Fi version and boasts of a 10.1-inch LED backlit multi-touch wide-screen display (1280x800 pixel resolution), Android Honeycomb 3.1 OS and NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor.

Thrive also has features like a virtual keyboard with Swype technology, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, and an SD card slot. The tablet offers multitasking, zippy Web browsing, console-quality gaming (thanks to ultra-low power NVIDIA GeForce GPU) and hardware-accelerated Flash.

Thrive will come with some full-sized ports (USB, HDMI), 1GB RAM, removable battery and a swappable back cover. Thrive also boasts of a 5MP rear-facing camera, and a 2MP front-facing webcam for video chat.

Price-wise, Thrive carries the price tag of $429.99 for 8GB version, $479.99 for 16GB version and $579.99 for 32GB version. This is lower than what the iPad 2 with same capacity costs.

Apple Inc.'s iPad scores over Thrive as far as OS is concerned. Honeycomb is good but has a lot of catching up to do as iOS is far better when it comes to user experience. Unlike Thrive, iPad 2 supports 3G too.

And, as Yankee Group's Carl Howe points out, Android Honeycomb's biggest weakness is the fewer number of apps.

Thrive's big challenge is the app gap, TechNewsWorld quoted Howe as saying. Android [Honeycomb] has about 300 apps, while the iPad has more than 100,000. That puts Toshiba at a ... disadvantage vis-a-vis Apple.

Another potential deal-breaker is Thrive's size and weight - it is bulkier and heavier than its competition, including the iPad 2.

Here is a comparison between Toshiba Thrive and Apple iPad 2.

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