So we finally received our final demo tablet, the Thrive by Toshiba. Pretty slick as well as the other Honeycomb tablets. Has some pretty neat features as well, like the ‘ribbed’ rubbery back that helps it not to slip out of your hand. This would probably eliminate the need for a case, although they do make ones. These rubber backings also come in colors, to allow you to accessorize. I can see some application of that in a school setting–different schools or teams in a school using different colors to easily identify them.
The tab itself ranks as well as the others. It rocks the Tegra processor which gives it a good, snappy response. Honeycomb is a pretty sweet OS, making tasks move pretty quickly. The buttons are a little misleading, especially the power. On the front, you will see an LED for power (white), batter, and wifi. Then on the side you find the power and volume rocker, although not lined up with the LEDs. Not a big deal, but definitely a nuisance. It comes with a front and rear facing camera, the front facing on the top when holding it in portrait mode. Again, not a big deal, but I like the Samsung’s being in the center when in landscape mode. It also comes with some Toshiba-ish apps for their Books, Start Place (which is a front page with news, entertainment, etc), and their App Place. Not sure why another store is needed, especially since the Google Marketplace comes on it. This also makes the first tablet I saw that came with anti-virus, as it ships Kaspersky tablet security. You receive a trial version, then must buy the full version online.
Overall, a good tab. Feels like a solid tablet, although the plastic detachable back does feel cheap and wiggles around. I would definitely recommend this tablet to others. If I had to rate, I would vote it in 2nd behind the Samsung 10.1, with the Asus Transformer and then Iconia following. Lots of great options for use though!