Toshiba Android tablet details revealed

Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 10:06 by Tech Correspondent

Toshiba is expected to reveal its new Android tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 which begins at Las Vegas this week.

Technology blog gadgetell.com says the device might finally be called “Toshiba tablet.” It is to operate on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google’s new operating system for tablets which should also be available soon. The software company hasn’t said when it will release Honeycomb, but according to DigiTimes, Google is planning to launch the Honeycomb in March 2011.

Last month, the chief engineer at Google, Andy Rubin, demonstrated Android Honeycomb running on a Motorola tablet. Toshiba’s device will be released amidst a slew of new tablets that are expected to be a key product at both the CES 2011 this week and Mobile World Congress that will be held next month.

toshiba tablet photo

Photo: Toshiba Tablet

Toshiba’s tablet will have a 10-inch capacitive and LED backlit screen with a glass cover that will display a maximum resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Toshiba has built into its tablet a system that automatically enhances standard quality video to make it appear better than it is.

Also present in the new Android tablet is Toshiba’s adaptive display technology which adjusts the color and contrast of images depending on ambient light. The screen supports multi-touch and uses an accelerometer for auto rotation. Toshiba tablet device weighs 1.7 lbs. It is to be a little thicker than an iPad at about half an inch at its thickest.

Powered by an Nvidia ARM based Tegra 2 system on a chip, Toshiba tablet will have two cameras – a 2 megapixel camera on the front and a 5 megapixel camera at the back, and USB ports, all of which are absent in the iPad. (Apple may make up for these shortcomings with the upcoming iPad 2 though.) People who are familiar with the Toshiba tablet, though, say the camera is placed in such a way that one tends to cover it with one’s hand while shooting in landscape mode. It lacks flash as well, so it is only possible to take pictures when the surroundings are well lit.

Toshiba’s tablet will play full high definition video, have an HDMI port so that it can be connected to an HD TV, and will support Flash applications, which too the iPad doesn’t. Apple argues, quite justifiably, that Flash makes the Web browser crash, adversely affecting user experience. Toshiba, though, supports Flash perhaps because user experience, with Flash, will after all only be as bad as it is with a Windows PC with Firefox or Explorer, which many people have survived.

Toshiba has developed its own apps and has an e-book shop called BookPlace. Toshiba tablet is to connect using Wi-Fi 802.11n, 3G, GPS and Bluetooth. It has a microSD slot for expanding the device’s internal memory. Toshiba’s tablet has a digital compass and stereo speakers and a removable battery. The iPad, on the other hand, doesn’t have a removable memory but it does last for ten hours of average use on one full charge.

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