Toshiba Thrive Android tablet review: full-sized ports make a difference

Toshiba Thrive media player

The Toshiba Thrive isn’t the first Android tablet to hit the streets. It’s not the thinnest, lightest or cheapest. But Toshiba’s tablet manages to stand out from the crowd in a few ways that makes this 10 inch tablet worth considering if you’re looking for a more PC-like experience from an Android tablet.

Toshiba’s tablet features a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive touchscreen display, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, and runs Google Android 3.1 Honeycomb. It comes with 1GB of RAM and includes front and rear-facing cameras. If those specs sound familiar, that’s because the describe nearly every other Android tablet released from a major consumer electronics company in mid-2011.

Here’s what makes the Toshiba Thrive different: It has full-sized HDMI, USB, and SD card ports, status LEDs, and a removable back panel which makes it easy to swap out the battery.

That might not sound like much, but at a time when there’s very little distinguishing one Android tablet from the next, the Toshiba Thrive is one of the easiest tablets to customize or use with third party peripheral devices, and that makes it special. It might not be the best option if you care more about size and weight than expansion ports. But the Thrive is designed to appeal to business customers and geeks alike, and may also have something to offer for long-time PC users that expect Android tablets to work a little more like Windows computers.

Toshiba offers three different Thrive models: an 8GB version for $430, a 16GB model for $480, and a 32GB version for $580.

Design

Measuring about 10.7″ x 6.9″ x 0.6″ and weighing close to 1.7 pounds, the Toshiba Thrive is fairly chunky for a modern Android tablet. Sure, it’s thinner and lighter than most Windows-based tablets, but there’s no mistaking Toshiba’s tablet for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is about twice as thin and weighs just 1.25 pounds.

The Samsung tablet doesn’t just look nicer, it’s also easier to hold in one hand for an extended period of time because of its lighter weight. The Thrive, on the other hand, is most comfortably held with two hands. If you plan to spend most of your time propping the tablet against a table or against your lap or stomach as you sit on a chair or lie in bed, this probably won’t be a big issue. But if the extra weight is definitely noticeable.

To be fair, the Toshiba Thrive isn’t alone in this respect. The Motorola XOOM, Acer Iconia Tab A500, and Asus Eee Pad Transformer all weigh substantially more than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

One of the Thrive’s ergonomic saving graces is the rear panel. It has a grooved pattern which makes the tablet easy to grip with your fingers. So while the tablet is a bit on the heavy side, it’s quite easy to hold and there’s not much risk of letting the device slip from your fingers and fall.

The other nifty thing about the rear panel is that it’s removable. This allows you to swap out the black cover that comes with the tablet for a range of colorful replacement options. Green, blue, purple, silver, and pink options are available for about $20 each.

When you remove the back panel you can also pop out the tablet’s 24Whr battery. This lets you easily replace a faulty battery or pop in a spare battery if you need more run time and recharging the tablet isn’t an option. A spare battery will run you about $90.

Very few Android tablets have removable batteries, and while some folks would probably rather have a thinner case than a replaceable battery, this is probably one of the tablet’s main draws for some consumers.

There are no screws holding the back cover in place. Instead you can pry off the cover with your fingernails. The easiest place to start pulling is near the speakers on the bottom of the tablet. The first time I did this, I had to pull pretty hard, but  I’ve removed the back panel several times since then and it was only the first attempt where I felt like I was going to break something.

Toshiba puts a locking switch on one side of the tablet that you have to slide to fully remove the cover. The latch only hooks into one corner of the tablet cover, so it provides just enough protection to make sure the lid doesn’t fall off unexpectedly, but you’ll want to press down firmly on all sides when replacing the cover because sliding the switch doesn’t really do very much.

Another PC-like feature are the status lights built into the rather thick bezel around the display. While the light letting you know when the tablet is on or charging is somewhat handy, I really don’t see why we need a wireless activity light on an Android tablet… or on most PCs, for that matter.

While the Thrive, like most tablets running Google Android Honeycomb, can be used in either landscape or portrait orientation, it’s most comfortable to hold in landscape mode due to the widescreen layout and the weight distribution. That’s why it seems a bit odd that the cameras are placed on what you’d probably consider to be the left side of the tablet instead of the top. Overall they’re angled so that you can still snap photos or engage in a video chat comfortably, but it just looks a bit odd — especially since Toshiba highlights the camera placement with a chrome outline.

On the top of the tablet you’ll find a power button, volume buttons, and a screen orientation lock. The power and volume buttons have a cheap, soft plastic feel and I don’t find them particularly comfortable to use, but at least they’re not awkwardly placed on the back of the unit, which is more than I can say for some tablets.

There’s a headset jack next to a power cable. While many Android tablets charge through the USB port, you can charge Toshiba’s tablet using a separate AC adapter… much as you would a laptop. Unfortunately you can’t charge the Thrive using a USB connection, so you’ll need to carry around the adapter if you plan to charge your device on the go. If you want to charge the tablet while it’s connected to a computer you’ll need two cables: one for charging and the other for connecting.

On the bottom of the tablet there’s a removable plastic panel covering a docking port. You can use this to connect to a multimedia dock or other accessories. To the left you’ll also find a full-sized SD card slot which you can use to add extra storage to the tablet. Since the Thrive uses a full-sized SD card slot, odds are you can pop a flash card out of your digital camera and right into the tablet to view photos or other files.

You’ll also find two stereo speakers on the bottom of the tablet. They’re reasonably loud… unless they’re facing your lap or a desk. I’m not convinced anyone has found a great place to stash speakers on an Android tablet yet, but if I had to pick a layout I liked best, I’d probably go with Samsung’s placement of speakers on the left and right sides of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Odds are that no matter how you’re holding that tablet, at least one speaker won’t be covered.

Now for the good stuff. There’s a plastic door covering a series of ports on one side of the Thrive. While I’m not a big fan of the door which feels like it’s bound to break off and disappear eventually, I suppose it keeps the tablet looking reasonably pretty when you’re not using the ports.

But when you open the door you get access to: a full-sized HDMI port, a full-sized USB port, and a microUSB port.

You can plug a standard HDMI cable into the Thrive and hook up an HDTV or monitor. The USB port can handle USB flash storage devices or peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse or joystick. And the microUSB port is the one you use if you want to connect the tablet to a computer to transfer files.

We’ll take a closer look at how these ports let you use the tablet in unusual ways in the special features section below.

Special features

If the Toshiba Thrive were a Windows PC, none of the items I’m about to highlight would be considered special features. But it’s not a Windows PC… so they are.

While most Android tablets have microUSB ports or proprietary docking ports that allow you to connect the table to a PC with a USB cable, the Thrive is one of the few to have a full-sized USB port. This allows you to do a couple of interesting things.

You can plug in a USB flash drive to view photos, watch movies, or access other files stored on the device. Toshiba also includes a file browser application on the tablet which you can use to copy or move files to and from a removable device.

The Google Android 3.1 operating system is also the first version of Android to include built-in support for USB peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, or video game joystick. I tested these features by plugging a 4-port USB hub into the Thrive and connecting a standard PC keyboard, mouse, and flash drive.

It worked beautifully. The keyboard and mouse were recognized almost instantly. While the Android user interface is designed to be touched with your fingertips, when you plug in a mouse a cursor shows up on screen. You can click on program icons to launch them, or tap-and-hold on the screen to access context menus in apps, web pages, or on the home screen.

You can also hold down a mouse button and drag left, right, or up and down. In the web browser, double-clicking a mouse button will zoom in or out of a web page.

When you’re using a mouse you don’t get to use multitouch gestures unless you reach out and touch the tablet with your fingers. But overall, you can plug in a keyboard and mouse and prop up the tablet on a stand to use it very much the way you would use a standard Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

Ideally you’d want to use a smaller, more portable keyboard than the one I used, but I just grabbed a few items lying around in my closet for the purposes of this test.

There’s something else that’s kind of nifty about the full-sized USB cable: You can use it to charge peripheral devices. In other words, while you can’t charge the tablet itself via a USB connection, you can use the tablet to charge your cellphone or other device while you’re on the go.

The full-sized HDMI port also makes it incredibly easy to connect the Toshiba Thrive to an external display such as a high definition television or a monitor. The first time I use an HDMI cable to connect the tablet to a TV, nothing happened for a moment. Then I jiggled the cable a bit to make sure the connection was tight, and a second later the tablet display was mirrored on the television.

When you’re using the HDMI output, audio will also be sent to your TV while the sound on the tablet is muted. This prevents you from listening to the same audio from two different sets of speakers.

Unfortunately there’s currently no way to disable the tablet display while a TV is connected. So if you want to watch a video from your tablet on your big screen TV, you’ll end up seeing the same video on both devices.

In one way this makes sense, because your TV doesn’t support touch input. You need to be able to see the tablet screen to play or pause a video — or to control a video game, navigate through a web browser, or perform most other actions.

On the other hand, if all you want to do is watch a video, it would be nice if you could disable the tablet display.

Another odd quirk is that the status bar and home, recent apps, and back button don’t show up on an external display when you plug in an HDMI cable. Again, if you’re using the tablet’s touchscreen display to control the action on your TV or monitor this probably doesn’t matter.

But if you were hoping to plug in a mouse, keyboard, and external display and use the tablet as if it were a desktop computer, things could get awkward since even if you could turn off the tablet display you wouldn’t be able to see the home or back buttons which would make them kind of difficult to click with your mouse.

If you go into the tablet settings you’ll also find another thing that sets the Thrive apart from the crowd. The tablet features SRS Audio, and you’ll find a multimedia tab in the settings  allowing you to enable volume boost, or other audio enhancements. For instance, there’s a “Voice Clarity Enhancement” option that’s supposed to improve quality of voice communications.

Toshiba also has an “Ambient Noise Equalizer” which is designed to increase the volume of quiet audio components to make them audible over ambient sounds when you’re listening to music or watching a video on the tablet.

Honestly, I didn’t notice any huge differences while using these enhancement options, but I also spent most of my time using the tablet’s built-in speakers. The differences may be more noticeable if you’re using headphones.

Software

If you want a primer on the Google Android 3.1 operating system that comes with the Toshiba Thrive, you can check out my reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Motorola XOOM. Toshiba hasn’t made any major changes to Android 3.1, so you basically get the operating system as Google designed it.

That is to say, the OS looks a little bit like the Android software you’d find on a smartphone, but instead of using physical buttons for home, back, or search functions, you use on-screen buttons. There are also tweaks to take advantage of the larger display. You can fit more apps on the home screen, and there’s support for multi-pane applications.

While the operating system is pretty much exactly what you’d get from any tablet running Android 3.1, Toshiba has loaded a few custom applications.

The two most useful are probably the file manager and media player. Android doesn’t come with its own file manager, but there are a number of third party options available from the Android Market. Some of them are prettier or offer more functions than the Toshiba File Manager. But Toshiba’s app is designed to do a few things and do them well.

At the top of the file manager there are icons for your internal storage, an SD card, and a USB flash drive. When you insert an SD card or flash drive, you can use the file manager to browse for files on your removable storage. You can use the app to play music or movies this way, or you can copy, cut, and paste files from your device to a removable flash drive or vice versa.

Toshiba Thrive media player

The Toshiba Media Player functions as an alternative to Google’s Gallery and Music applications. For some reason if you want to watch a movie using Google’s default software, you have to navigate through the photo gallery app. But music is accessible from a separate applicatrion.

Toshiba’s app offers a single unified place where you can find music, movies, and photos — but they’re not all mingled together. Instead from the home screen of the app you can choose what kind of media you want to access and then you can find music by artist, album, playlist or song, or view all videos, videos on your camera, or recently played movies. The photo section lets you browse by folders, photos from your camera, or sort by the time a photo was taken.

The media player also includes support for UPnP media devices, allowing you to stream media from a PC or supported video game console or set-top-box on your home network. There’s also a podcast manager.

If you’d prefer to use the default Android media apps you still can. The Toshiba Media Player doesn’t replace the Music or Gallery apps. It just gives you an alternate option.

Other Toshiba apps include an app store called “App Place” which offers little to nothing that you couldn’t already get from the Google Android Market, and a Book Place app for downloading and reading eBooks.

The reading view is kind of unusual. You can view books in a single-panel portrait mode or a two-pane landscape mode.

But instead of allowing you to resize the fonts the way you can with most other eBook apps, Book Place lets you zoom in or out as if you were viewing a web page, or use a ReadLogic setting that allows you to advance through a book one chunk at a time — much the same way you would if you were using a comic book app to view single panels at a time, the way you would with ComiXology.

Toshiba also offers a news app called Start Place which brings in photos and stories from the Associated Press. The app would be a whole lot more useful if you could customize the news sources to include your favorite newspapers or blogs, but at least it offers a fairly attractive user interface.

There’s also a search box powered by Google — but results open in a web browser, not in the Start Place app.

Finally Toshiba loads the tablet with a system update tool called Service Station that you can use to check for software updates and apply them. While Android actually has this feature built in, the Service Station lets you see a little bit of information about an update before applying it, including the release date, version number, and file size.

Performance
There are a couple of different ways to measure performance. You can look compare a computer’s sheer number-crunching capabilities or you can look at overall ease of use. After all, you could have the fastest tablet in the world, but if it weighs 16 pounds and has razor-sharp edges making it impossible to hold without bleeding to death, it’s not going to be all that useful.

In terms of benchmark performance, there’s very little difference between the Toshiba Thrive and other tablets with similar hardware (1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, 1280 x 800 pixel display, and 1GB of RAM). That’s generally a pretty good thing. The tablet is about as fast as they come for now, although higher speed chips and quad-core processors are coming soon.

It’s a little tougher to answer the question of how easy it is to use the Thrive. On the one hand, all those full-sized ports and the removable battery make the Thrive one of the most versatile Android tablets around. The textured back cover also makes the device easy to grip.

On the other hand, the Thrive is a little on the heavy side, and it’s longer than many other Android tablets. If you find yourself leaving the tablet at home because it feels like too much machine to carry around with you, it might not be that useful.

I think some folks are going to prefer a svelte tablet such as an iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 because those devices are easier to carry around, and they just look sexier. But if you like the idea of being able to turn your tablet into a multi-function computer by plugging in off-the-shelf components, you might be willing to put up with a little extra weight and girth.

Anyway, I did run some benchmarks, so here are some comparisons with similar tablets. The SmarBench and Quadrant benchmarks look at overall tablet performance through a series of CPU and graphics tests. The Motorola XOOM came out ahead in both of these tests, but the Toshiba Thrive still notched higher scores the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The LinPack and NenaMark benchmarks look at CPU performance and GPU performance separately. This time the Thrive came out ahead on top in the graphics test but the tablet was at the bottom of the pile in the CPU test.

I also ran the new CF-Bench test of overall performance on the Thrive and Galaxy Tab. This test hadn’t been released yet when I reviewed the Motorola XOOM. The two tablets I have tested so far had very similar scores, which isn’t surprising since they have very similar hardware.

The last test I ran is a web-based benchmark called SunSpider which looks at JavaScript performance. Again, the three tablets achieved similar scores, although the Thrive was in third place out of three here. It’s worth noting that while these three devices all achieved decent scores when compared with an average Android smartphone, when I run the SunSpider on a Windows PC that’s a few years old, it completes the benchmark about three times faster.

Verdict

At a time when almost every Android tablet looks the same, Toshiba has found an unusual way to distinguish the Thrive: by making it act a bit more like an old-school Windows tablet.

Windows tablets have been around for about 10 years without making a very large impact while Apple has sold tens of millions of iPads in the first year. So it might seem like lunacy to decide that the way to compete with Apple is to introduce a tablet that’s more PC-like. But there are a few key differences between the Toshiba Thrive and a Windows tablet:

  • It features an operating system that was built from the ground up for touch input.
  • The tablet offers long battery life and instant-on capabilities.
  • There’s no physical keyboard adding bulk or weight to the tablet, so while the Thrive isn’t the thinnest or lightest modern tablet, it’s also not unreasonably thick or heavy when compared with similar offerings from Asus, Acer, or Motorola.

The PC-like tweaks could make Windows users feel more at home without necessarily turning the tablet into a Windows machine. If you’re used to being able to plug in a flash drive to copy and paste files, you can do that. Want to plug in a standard keyboard? No problem.

But the ability to use standard computer peripherals with the Thrive or even open up the case and peer inside means the Thrive may also be easier to repair, or modify than other Android tablets, making this a much geekier, hacker-friendly device than similar tablets from other consumer electronics companies.

So not only is the Thrive designed to appeal who have been using Windows computers so long that they’re just used to the way they work — it’s also meant to appeal to people who have used computers so long that they know the benefits of being able to take them apart and put them back together again in new and interesting ways.

The Thrive isn’t going to be the best Android tablet choice for everyone. But for geeks, there aren’t many better options on the market right now.

  • http://twitter.com/nicknowsky nicknowsky

    It really is a great tablet. Stands out from the rest of the pack.  Good review Brad.

  • Someone

    Hmm, interesting.  This is a very promising device.  I actually got up and went down to the local best buy specifically to compare this to a transformer.  A little heavier, the screen isn’t quite as nice, but it was easy to hold, and I LOVED the full sized ports concept.  From your review, they sound useful as all get out as well.

    The only thing that concerns me is having a separate damn power cord. I like the fact that I can charge other devices off the USB on it though. That said battery life just became a concern.  I have a million USB cables laying around, and dongles that allow me to plug them into a wall socket to power a device all over my house, at work, in my car, etc.  I’m not thrilled with the idea of ANOTHER dedicated AC charger to lug around, that might be the biggest thing slowing me down from wanting one of these…  That and to see how the Archos Gen9 tablets look…  And by then the Kal-El based tablets might be close so I’d have to wait for them…  

    Gah it’s too easy to dither with tablets.  It’s harder on PCs, the performance doesn’t jump as much from year to year.  10% to 20% speed improvements pale in comparison to what ARM is seeing right now.  We went from single core in order processors at the 1ghz range to dual core out of orders in the 1 to 1.5 ghz range this year, and next we’ll have quads in 1 to 2 ghz…  That means that right now, ARM processors are exceeding Moore’s Law…  Scary.

    That all being said how long does it last on a charge?  Did you do any sort of battery life testing?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Honestly I haven’t come up with a good way to test battery life on tablets like these because it can vary so widely depending on usage and I’m too lazy to just do a video rundown test the way Engadget and a few other sites do.

      But in my experience, Android tablets fall into two camps: The cheap Chinese tablets that last for 2-3 hours on a charge and often seem to lose juice quickly even when the screen is off and the device is idle, and tablets with all-day battery life of 7 or more hours of heavy usage which can last for several days on a charge if you turn off the screen and just leave them lying around. 

      In my experience, the Thrive seems to fall into the latter category, but I can’t say for certain whether it’ll get better battery life than the Samsung, Acer, Asus, or Motorola offerings. The key difference is that if you need more battery life with this model you can opt to buy a spare battery (although at $90, it’s not a particularly cheap option).

      • Someone

        Good point.  I wouldn’t expect to leak power like a sieve, and the only real reason it’s a concern is that it can charge other devices…

        I don’t know, I still don’t like the idea of a separate AC adapter.  I just don’t.  I’m getting to an age personally, and technology is getting there with me in general, where that kind of thing actually is a problem.  After years of each phone having it’s own adapter, and finally moving to USB charging, it’d be nice if tablets got on board too.

        Still sounds like a nice tablet, all things being equal.  

      • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

        Oh yeah, I totally understand, and this is one feature that definitely goes in the minus category. 

        I’m sure Toshiba had good reasons for going this way (the company claims, among other things) that you can charge the tablet more quickly with a dedicated charger. But it still seems like an annoying compromise.

        I know a lot of people read my reviews and just want me to say “buy it,” or “don’t buy it,” but it’s really going to vary depending on your priorities. I think some people are going to hate the Thrive because it’s bigger and thicker than an iPad/Samsung tablet. I feel like the AC adapter goes with that territory.

        Others will love it for the expansion opportunities… 

        It’d be nice if we could have it all, but I think it might be a little while before the technology for a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too tablet is available… at least at a reasonable price point.

      • Nards Barley

        Apparently the Acer Iconia Tablet uses an external Charging adapter as well, which makes wonder if Samsung is unique in this respect amongs 10″ tablet makers.

      • Nards Barley

        I should have said AC adpater instead of “external Charging Adapter”.

      • Anonymous

        Limits on the USB power standards are a factor, but they are pushing a new standard that could support up to 100W for USB 3.0, which would be a real game changer, and will remain backwards compatible.

        http://www.everythingusb.com/usb-power-delivery-21289.html

      • TySin

        Just got one of these. The nice thing about that AC adapter is that the machine charges real fast. There is no trickle of power going into the tablet. This is good if, like me, you forget to change the thing until the last moment. I hate how USB charging is so slow. Thank you for the AC power cord Toshiba!

    • Nards Barley

      Agree about the power adapter. I wish I could use the same the cable I use for Charging my Kindle.  That cable also works for a Sony Reader I own and also worked for the Nook Simple Touch.  Even if it meant a longer charging time, it would be worth it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for a very thorough review.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Thanks for not calling it long-winded. :)

  • Guy

    Would be great if it had an optical pad like older Android devices to activate the mouse pointer. Does the mouse activate mouse hover elements on sites and Flash?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      That is an excellent question. I’ll check it out and get back to you.

      • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

        Nope. It looks like it does not. That’s a shame, because it makes performing some actions in web apps such as WordPress a lot more difficult than they would otherwise be. 

        Maybe this is something Google or Toshiba will address in future software updates, but right now I’d be surprised if it’s high on anybody’s priority list since the number of people plugging a mouse into an Android tablet is probably pretty small. 

      • Guy

        Thanks for checking. It’s unfortunate that the mouse isn’t fully functional. When Android phones used to come with trackballs and optical pads, I had always hoped Google would add a mouse mode for them when in the browser. Too bad the optical pads are being left out completely in new Android devices.

      • Barney

        Having a mouse mode for the browser using the optical pad would be great for interacting with Flash content. Why aren’t manufacturers adding it anymore?

  • Khidr9

    I’d love to see a direct comparison to the Acer Iconia which also has full-sized functional usb, and is a little cheaper for 16gb.  Seems like the Thrive is getting hailed for that feature, while the Acer was hammered pretty hard in the reviews. 

    • Nards Barley

      Yeah I have been leaning toward the Iconia of late,  but I hate buying anything now until the Archos and Amazon tablets get released.

    • Guest

      If the Iconia was getting hammered over that than the Thrive can certainly get hammered over the pitifully poor volume level coming out of the headphone jack. A complete deal breaker and the issue that caused me to return mine. It’s just completely unusable in a house, don’t even consider a plane/train trip unless you’re into silent movies.

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  • Anonymous

    Nice review.
    Appreciate the coverage and actual testing of the ports capabilities.
    Am wondering if the file manager supports folders, nested folders, and creation of same.
    Also – does the docking port attach to any docks which in turn have USB, HDMI and charging?
    Essentially I am wondering if it could be used for both portable work and as the brain of a desk system with a quick plug into a dock.
    Finally, I was disappointed at its lack of codec support.
    Does VLC or anyone make a tablet app with extended codec support I wonder?

    Getting pretty close to a nice swiss-army-knife type device now. Add stylus and I/R transceiver w/ remote and I think I’d be happy enough.

    • Buggaluggs

      VLC is coming to android

      • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

        That project’s been a long time in the coming though. A couple of current Android players worth checking out are VPlayer, RockPlayer, and ArcPlayer, which all have some pretty awesome codec support.

        Unfortunately they all rely on software decoding, which means that even with a fast NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor you’ll have trouble with HD videos. That’s why hardware support is helpful.

        As for the folders, yep, you can do that. As for the docking station, I haven’t spent much time with it, but you should be able to charge the tablet while connecting peripherals through the HDMI and 2 USB ports. 

      • Guest

        Mobo Player is the best I’ve found on Android Market, and after install it redirects you back to market to download an additional codec packet based on which ARM processor (6 or 7)your device is using.

  • Plushzilla Plushzilla

    I loved the removable battery feature, this would really improve its workability and all in all its a sweet tablet PC. 

  • Tbarber1

    Tried to connect my free agent portable hard drive, but the tablet would not recognize it, nor did it give me any info at all when I connect via the full USB port.  Also tried the mini port

    • Mikenyce711

      Same issue. Guess only flash drives compatible

      • kshmuno

        has to be a fat32 hard drive, isnt too hard to reformat

  • dean

    finally a good review on a tablet the way it is suppose to be done!  THANK YOU!

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  • Rob

    Now here is something that has never been addressed. Will this tablet be able to give me face time with my wife and family. I’m A marine stationed overseas and skype is a complete essential for me IE or some other program that will provide face time with loved ones

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      The latest version of Skype for Android does add support for the Toshiba Thrive. If for some reason that doesn’t work though, you can also use the video chat feature in Google Talk. 

  • John Milne

    Is it possible to install a driver so a USB dongle device can be inserted into the USB port to give portable internet access?

  • Stryder7

    I just got a Toshiba Thrive and I love it… I don’t mind using the AC adapter to charge it because it is so fast.  Thanks for all the information in your write-up.  It cleared up a few questions I had. 

  • FamilyIphone

    They’ve actually gone to say it will run lot if x86 programs on the
    ARM.. In fact everything made with Silverlight,Java shouldn’t have a
    problem .. My only issue is it might not be optimized for tablets .

  • [email protected]

    My tablet won’t charge but keeps the battery the same. I only had it for 3 days then it won’t recharge but the battery is still keeping it the same when I plug it in. do you guys know what’s wrong with the charging part?

  • She_wolf_ak

    how funny, when the cat was meowing I thought it was my cat. So I went to let him in and he would not come in, came back to the video and found out it was on here lol

  • MrTech

    Great tablet.  Easy to root.  Upgrades easily to support ad-hoc wi-fi hotspot which most android phones can provide via wi-fi.  Add Flash Browser for $1 if you want to watch Hulu.

  • Shalanamayer201

    Hi my name is Shalana and I would like to know how do u get hulu to work on the toshiba thrive?

  • Elighelala

    I just got my tablet but when I do video chat on skype the other party cant see me the screen is green how do I fix this

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