Toshiba is expanding its Android tablet fleet following its announcement of the Toshiba 7" Tablet (AT1S0) — a smaller, 7in version of the 10.1in Tablet (AT100). Unfortunately, the Toshiba Tablet (AT1S0) removes all the features that distinguished the Tablet (AT100) from most other Android tablets on the market.
Aside from the obvious screen size differences, almost every Android tablet seems to scream "me too" — they all have near identical specifications, run identical software aside from manufacturer UI skins and have largely the same features. Toshiba seemed intent on distinguishing its 10.1in AT100 Android tablet from the rest of the pack, but it hasn't gone down the same route with the 7" Tablet (AT1S0): the latter doesn't get the AT100's full-sized HDMI-port, full sized USB port, removable battery or even its multiple colour options.
However, it does manage to get called an even worse name: 7" Tablet (AT1S0) doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, nor does it do anything positive for Toshiba's marketing department. Surely Toshiba could have been a little more creative? The same device is called the Thrive 7 in overseas markets — why it couldn't be called that in Australia remains a mystery.
Aside from a terrible name, the Toshiba Tablet (AT1S0) does come with some decent features. It has a HDMI-out port, but it's a micro-HDMI connector rather than a full-sized one. It also comes with a standard mini-USB port, a microSD card slot and a proprietary port for docking: we should see some accessories for the tablet in the near future.
The 7in display of the Toshiba Tablet (AT1S0) means it's a far more compact device than most Android tablets on the market: it weighs a light 399g. Toshiba says the 7in screen is an LED backlit "AutoBrite" multi-touch display with an impressive 1280 x 800 resolution. We can only hope it's a better quality panel than the one Toshiba used on the Tablet (AT100), which suffered from an annoying yellow tinge and ghosting issues.
The rest of the Toshiba Tablet (AT1S0)'s features are standard for Android tablets. The Tablet (AT1S0) comes with Google's latest Android 3.2 'Honeycomb' OS, is powered by a dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, and has 1GB of RAM. Toshiba has also confirmed the 7" Tablet (AT1S0) comes with 8GB of internal memory.
The Toshiba Tablet (AT1S0) also has two digital cameras on board: a front-facing, 2-megapixel camera that acts as a webcam for video calling, and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear (with LED flash) that takes still photos and records HD video. The 7" Tablet (AT1S0) is a Wi-Fi-only device, with no 3G connectivity.
Toshiba's 7” Tablet (AT1S0) will be available in Australia at the end of October 2011 and will sell for $449.