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back to article Toshiba releases 'world's thinnest' Android tablet

Toshiba's 'world's thinnest, lightest' tablet, the AT200 - aka the Excite in the US - goes on sale over here next week. The 7.7mm-thick, 10.1in 1280 x 800 tablet, announced in September 2011, runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb, on a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor. It has 1GB of DDR 2 memory and either 16GB or 32GB of Flash …

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Anonymous Coward

Looks great

But it's a Toshiba, so whats wrong with it?

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Anonymous Coward

Enough with the fecking widescreen already

Some people use their tablets for things other than watching movies.

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Linux

What's wrong with widescreen? Do you want a square tablet?

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Thumb Down

"Some people use their tablets for things other than watching movies"

I imagine most people do. However, many people do use their tablets for watching movies, and those people will not buy a non-widescreen tablet because the movies look better on a widescreen. Designers are not going to alienate a large section of the market for the benefit of the microscopic fraction who actually *want* a 4:3 screen.

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O? RLY?

Perhaps you should send a memo to Jonathan Ive at Apple then. The iPad—"The World's Favourite Tablet"—has had the more sensible 4:3 aspect ratio since the first model.

Also, you might want to read up on exactly how many "widescreen" aspect ratios the movie industry has used over the years. Most movies today are shot in 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 aspect ratios, neither of which will fit a 16:9 display exactly either, so you're still going to get some letter-boxing.

Photographers have a lot more aspect ratios to pick from too, including 3:2, 5:4, 6:1 and 4:3, so a 16:9 screen doesn't offer anything particularly useful to that sector either. (In fact, the 4:3 aspect is a pretty good compromise for them.)

So, er, no. 16:9 offers precious few benefits and is clearly not a priority for Apple, who are by far the market leader in the tablet industry.

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@Sean Baggeley

You will get less letterboxing watching a 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 picture on a 16:9 display than you will on a 4:3 display - that's basic mathematics. Moreover, the entire TV industry is now geared to making 16:9 displays and the vast majority of new monitors are also 16:9. As a result, it is increasingly common for TV shows and websites to be designed for the widescreen format. So, tell me again how 4:3 is a better aspect ratio for tablets when the media you are likely to view on them is made with 16:9 formatting in mind?

Oh, sorry, you already answered that one, didn't you? "4:3 is better because Apple do it that way!"

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Seriously, WTF

is wrong with letterboxing. Is a black bar in your field of vision so much worse than a bezel? I'm looking to buy a new monitor but everything's bloody 16:9. Now the size is limited by the available space on my desk, so by going widescreen I'm actually losing screen real estate. Likewise with a tablet the limiting factor is primarily the larger dimension (and 16:9 is horrible vertically). Now, I hate to agree with the sainted Steve (check my posts if you like, you won't find any Apple love from me) but he got that one right.

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jai
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honeycomb?

isn't ice cream sandwich available now? why release it with out-dated OS?

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"but it'll only be available from Carphone Warehouse"

That's a shame. Roll on when my contract's up and I can ditch CW.

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Better than the AT100 then

I picked a Toshiba AT100 up in Tesco, briefly considering if it was worth buying. Then I discovered it was about twice as thick as any other tablet on the market and thought the better of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Price?

An old OS and the price of an iPad2 near enough. I don't think they'll be selling many

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Linux

What's the battery's capacity? My SGS2 was thin and had a bit of lame battery as a consequence. Can anyone comment on the expected battery life ?

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Anonymous Coward

That thing has got rounded corners!! Quick, somebody call Apple!

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Not required, I'm sure their legal department have already climbed from their coffins and are just waiting for the sun to drop below the horizon.

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WTF?

I really don't get how these tablet manufacturers keep doing things as stupid as releasing things with outdated OSes (or some other obvious flaw), limiting sales to certain retailers, and thinking they can charge nearly the same as an iPad... and then they wonder why the iPad still dominates the market.

It looks to me like they want to fail.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: "It looks to me like they want to fail."

They do want to fail. They are just going through the motions churning out hundreds of average spec'd android tablets until Windows 8 comes out

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This post has been deleted by its author

Nobody will buy this

It's not apple and It's too expensive.

I picked up a Motorola Xoom when they were £250, that is the kind of ballpark price tablets need to be in to succeed on any great level. Otherwise they're just a niche product.

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won't do well

Decent specs and a slim chassis at a reasonable price are all very nice, but this tablet is going to sell less than the Notion Ink Adam because

a.) Toshiba are going to do bugger-all promotion as they fail to do with any of their products and therefore aside from a few people reading these articles and the odd enthusiastic CPWH sales rep nobody will know that these even exist

b.) By limiting them to one retailer they are simply compounding problem A.

The end result will be miserable sales results measured in the hundreds at best. And Toshiba will wonder why they just aren't selling. Sometimes I wonder if these tablet releases are just intended as a token gesture to stay relevant and act as a tax write-off.

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Holmes

Known as the AT 700 in Japan?

I've had this tablet for a couple of months now. From the specs I'm basically certain it's the same beastie that is marketed in Japan as the Toshiba REGZA AT 700 tablet. In America it will be branded as the Excite X10.

With regards to the concrete question about the battery, for me the battery life has been quite satisfactory. The problem is on the other end when I am networking it off of my phone and the WiFi drains the phone's battery rather quickly. One slightly cumbersome solution is to power the phone off of the microUSB port, but that required a special USB cable. (The same cable allows me to use it with a USB keyboard.)

Mostly I've been using it for email, some news videos, and a bit of Japanese study. Overall I'm pretty well satisfied, but I have to agree that it's a pricey box and it doesn't get enough envious looks from the iPad users to justify such a price. My current general conclusion is that it still lacks maturity, but at least it gave me more freedom than Apple cares to.

<continued in the next post...>

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Holmes

Known as the AT 700 in Japan? <part 2>

The main thing that bothers me is the voice recognition. Better than my phone, but still not as good as I'd hoped. It definitely would benefit from speaker-specific training and the use of corrective feedback, but that is not an option now. I've seen webpages showing where it should be in the voice recognition settings, but it's not available on my tablet or on my Android smartphone. I open the menus in the settings, and see the place where the setting should be, but there's nothing there. I have gotten a partial solution from tweaking the "Show correction suggestions" setting under the keyboard settings. It doesn't feed back to the voice recognition, but the alternative words often hit what I intended to say. It's obvious that this same interface could transparently support speaker training of the voice recognition, but it sure doesn't seem to be happening.

I have a couple of lesser concerns. I guess the only one that really worries me is the spontaneous reboots... It will be sitting there quietly, and then it will decide to wake up and reboot for no reason that I've been able to detect. No sign of problems from it, but I just don't like that sort of thing...

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2000 character limit?

But without a character counter? I kind of like the Register for its attitude, but this kind of thing stinks. Who do they think they are? Microsoft? Apple? The EVIL google itself?

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Happy

Good Stuff & About Time

Am I the only one Excited by this ?

One of the few large Android tablets from a reputable vendor with built-in microSD extra storage.

That said, I'm in no rush & will wait until 2Q/3Q for Android 4.0 pre-installed, plus price cuts.

Full specs at Tosh UK & available from them at about £480 for the 32GB Model.

Tosh had a fine range of pen tablet computers first time around in the early '90s.

Have always liked their products & good experiences.

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Happy

Got Xoom for £250 running ICS ,32Gb's and overclocked to 1.2Gh'z and micro sd why wait???

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