Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Evaluating Toshiba Thrive tablet for interactive etextbook project

IT had a Toshiba Thrive, running on android 3.0.1 for a one hour play. So gave it a quick looking over and explored it’s capabilities.  A quick thrawl through Google reveals a mostly positive review from cnet, techradar and liliputing.

The Thrive is about same thickness as an iPad 1 but longer/wider by 3 cm, the screen itself is only 1 cm longer. The Thrive seems to be more comfortable to use in landscape mode as the portrait mode is definitely narrower. The back of the tablet is covered in a cross hatched rubberised coating, making it perhaps a safer alternative for use in workshops. An added plus is the ability to replace the tablet’s battery via the removal of the back.

Collection of Android apps pretty standard but the Thrive also came with Toshiba ‘think free’ based software for word processing (write), powerpoint presentations (show) and spreadsheets (calc).

A collection of ports (usb, camera and HDMI ) allow for ease of transfer off memory sticks and other storage devices and display on a TV screen. These port are behind a rubber flange on the side of the tablet. The rubber cover is attached with a very thin strip to the tablet and might not take continuous rough use!

Access to the usb via the file manager app was a breeze. Reading pdf documents on landscape very comfortable and reading on portrait view acceptable. Photos come up via ‘gallery’ and viewing of photos very much similar experience to on an iPad. Word docs run on thinkfree write. Typing on the on-screen keyboard is straight-forward, with some tactile response and the backspace key is in the usual place on top right hand corner of the on-screen keyboard. No predictive text though. Powerpoint runs well via access through usb and on to thinkfree show. Could edit powerpoint and save but not sure if it will then run again in Windows environment. The touch interface for show was easy to use.

In tablet camera works well, providing good aural feedback when the photo is taken. Good resolution in the photo with options to sent to printer share (blue tooth printer), picassa, evernote, Bluetooth, gmail etc.)

All in, a worthwhile alternative to the Acer Iconia reviewed last week.


Lindsey said...

Hey Selena,

Sorry to leave an (mostly) unrelated comment, but I couldn't find any other way to reach you through the blog, and I wanted to ask about a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail!



Jerry Gene said...

Your blog is so excellent that I like it very much, you must be good at writing.

Asus - 11.6" Laptop - 4GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive - Hot Pink

Asus - 13.3" Zenbook Ultrabook Laptop - 4GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive - Radiant Silver