Toshiba’s Excite line of Android tablets has gone off in a whole different (and dare we say, better) design direction from the company’s earlier big, black, and bulky Thrive slates. About a month before we looked at this tablet, we tested the $529.99 Excite 10 LE, one of the thinnest and lightest tablets you can buy, and there we saw the Excite difference clear as day. The new Toshiba slates are—while a little lofty in price—both sleek and stylish.
While we liked the Excite 10 LE, we were unimpressed with its underperforming TI dual-core processor. In the world of tablets 2012, where Tegra 3 quad-core CPUs run circles around last year’s dual-core chips, placing a slower, power-hungry processor in a premium over-$500 slate, in our minds, just didn’t make much sense.
Enter the next iteration, the $449.99 Excite 10. Here, we’re talking sleek-looking andpowerful. Not quite as thin and light as the Excite 10 LE, this revised Excite runs on a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. It comes with both micro-HDMI and mini-USB ports, which we’ve seen on only a select few slates. Plus, the Excite 10 provides an interesting option for massively increasing the storage capacity: It supports full-size SD cards up to 128GB. Most tablets, aside from Acer’s $449.99 Iconia Tab A510, which can use 64GB memory cards, have MicroSD card slots that support only 32GB of storage expansion.
As you’ll see in the Design section (coming up next), this is a premium slate in every sense—right down to its Gorilla Glass IPS panel and full-metal case. Feature-wise, it lacks for nothing, and it’s light and comfortable to hold. Sound reproduction during our hands-on tests was exceptional, and it performed better on most of our benchmark suites than its competitors. We weren’t impressed with its rear camera’s performance, but the images and videos we shot were passable. Aside from that, though, we found little to dislike about this slate.
You can buy the Excite 10 in three configurations: a 16GB version (the model reviewed here) for $449.99, a 32GB model for $529.99, and the 64GB version for $649.99. As mentioned, compared to a few competitors, these prices are a little high. The Transformer Pad TF300, for example, comes with 16GB of storage for $70 less, and Acer’s Iconia Tab A510, which comes with 32GB of storage, sells for the same price as the Excite 10. Still, the Excite 10’s ports and potential for storage expansion offset the small initial storage you get for the price. And as you’ll see in this review, the Excite 10 provides a few more reasons of its own for choosing it over competing Android models.
See the review at Computer Shopper.