HARDWARE SPECS & DESIGN
Don’t worry, that’s mostly a good thing. The Excite 10 is noticeably thinner than the dead and gone Thrive tablet, though it’s not quite as sleek as the gorgeous Excite 10 LE (8.89mm to 7mm). A millimeter or two is more than forgivable because the device is still plenty skinny and has a nicely textured aluminum back plate. It’s not as pleasing to look at as the LE, but the Excite 10 feels exceptionally better and remains cooler longer.
Toshiba’s design choices look fantastic thanks to simple round edges, better camera placement, and fewer ports and buttons to contend with than devices past. That’s great when using the orientation switch, which quickly locks the device in landscape or portrait, or trying to access the power and volume up/down buttons. All three are located on the left side of the device while the ports – microUSB, micro HDMI, SD (full), and headphone jack – are located on the other.
Screen tech is run of the mill for a modern day tablet. The IPS display does a solid job of showing colors, but it has neither the vibrancy of IPS+ nor the warmth of Super AMOLED. The 10.1-inch screen has a WXGA display with 1280 x 800 resolution and seems to stream HD fairly smooth pretty damn smoothly. Just don’t stare at the edges of the screen too much because when viewing a black background, there are several pockets of light bleeding.
PERFORMANCE & SOFTWARE
Gaming fans will be pleased to discover that Toshiba ditched the TI processor found in the Excite LE in favor of an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip for the Excite 10. Tegra 3 delivers a higher-class of games with dynamic lighting, more complex but fluid graphics, and a quad-core architecture that improves performance. Sessions of Riptide, Shadowgun, and Shine Runner were hiccup-free, and the same could be said of standard activities like reading, tweeting, and web browsing. (Chrome seemed to act strangely with flickering and ticks, something I haven’t seen on other devices, but the Browser app worked fluidly.)