The Toshiba AT100 features a high specification processor and full size USB, SD and HDMI ports, but the result is a bulkier tablet than you’d prefer. There are, however, some customers who will prefer these features in exchange for a less portable tablet. In this Toshiba AT100 tablet review we’ll look at the pros and cons in more detail.
- Processor Performance – The Toshiba AT100 uses the Tegra 2 processor—the same processor now used in the latest Android tablets. With 16GB of hard drive storage and 1GB of RAM, the unit performs well. Gamers will like the advanced GeForce graphics that mean you can run PC comparable quality games.
- Full Size USB – One of the biggest bonuses of the Toshiba AT100 is its USB port. This is a sticking point for many tablets and may also prevent some customers switching from laptop to tablet. A full size USB port means you can plug in a USB stick and access the files on it. Similarly the tablet supports peripheral devices such as a USB mouse, USB keyboard, gaming devices etc.
- HDMI Port – The Toshiba AT100 offers both a HDMI port, as well as a slot for an SD card. The HDMI port means you can attach a HDMI cable and link the tablet up to a high-definition TV. This means you can then watch movies and other content stored on your tablet, but on your big screen TV.
- SD Card Port – The SD card slot can accept a card with a capacity of up to 128GB, adding more storage than you’ll likely ever need. The Toshiba AT100 is the first major manufacturer to provide this type of capacity in an SD slot. In addition, the slot has SDXC support. This also allows you to take an SD card out of another advice, like a digital camera, and input it directly into your tablet. This is great for quickly getting images off your camera so you can view them with friends and family on the tablet.
- Another piece of good news is that all of these slots are fairly transparent on the model. The slots blend well into the design, keeping your unit from looking clunky when these ports aren’t in use.
- Rear Camera – There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the back of the tablet so you can take still images and record video in high-definition. Photos taken with this camera in well-lit spaces turned out surprisingly clear for a tablet. Sepia and black-and-white shooting are also available without having to download an app. The front-facing camera is 2 megapixels, which is sufficient for its intended use for video chatting. The tablet also shoots video admirably, with an editing app that allows you to make your own movie.
- Battery Life – Another plus is the rear cover, which snaps off to give customers access to the battery. Most tablets don’t allow you to swap out a battery but this slate gives you the option to carry a fully charged backup battery when the first one runs out. There are replacement covers available in a variety of colors, letting users customize their tablet for a more personal touch.
- Performance – Browser speed tested high when compared to similar priced/spec’d tablets. The Toshiba AT100 runs the Honeycomb (Android 3.1) operating system so it’s disappointing that it’s not running the latest and greatest version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
- Inclusive Applications – There’s a number of pre-installed apps including App Place, Start Place, and Book Place. These areas feature all your news and periodicals, as well as giving you a place to shop for and download books.
- For document manipulation of your Microsoft office docs, you have QuickOffice, and for running virus checks, a Kapersky Antivirus app comes pre-loaded. The unit’s file manager is impressive, allowing you to easily manipulate files in a way tablets normally do not support.
- Remote Access – LogMeIn Ignition is also pre-installed on the Toshiba tablet so you can get on to you home computer direct from your tablet. You’ll need a Wi-Fi connection and your home PC to be online to do this, but it means you can access all your home files when you’re out – documents, music, video etc.
- Getting Online – For connectivity, you’ll only get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. This means that if you want to get online, you’re limited to finding a Wi-Fi connection rather than accessing the 3G network, limiting your options when you’re out and about. If you have a smartphone that supports tethering or a 3G dongle you may still be able to access the 3G network though.
- Design – Weight is an issue with the Toshiba AT100. The unit is 725 grams, 73 grams heavier than the newest iPad and 160 grams heavier than the lightest Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The cover’s design makes it easy to grip, though, so unless you’re trying to use the unit one-handed, you may not even notice the weight.
- Portability – Bulkiness is an issue, as well. The Toshiba AT100 is not only thicker than other tablets, it is only slightly thinner than an ultrabook PC. However, it should be noted that the Toshiba AT100 has functionality many other tablets do not, including the USB port and HDMI port. It is clear from the first time you pick up this tablet that it is for much more than playing apps and watching movies.
- Screen – While Toshiba is billing its 1280 X 800 pixel screen as the best in the industry, the display isn’t nearly as vivid as the iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It actually appeared washed out in comparison to the iPad 2. Users do report eye strain with excessive use, due to the screen’s shiny finish. The touchscreen also wasn’t as responsive to finger taps and swipes as other tablets in this price range.
- Video Performance – The video processor seems slow at times, especially when compared to competitor tablets. Video paused several times while playing during testing, which can be annoying for those who plan to regularly use the Toshiba AT100 to watch video. As for audio—the tablet has a built-in speaker at the bottom. Sound is tinny through the small speaker, but most tablets struggle to produce a great audio performance unless you plug the headphones in.
- Battery – Battery life is lacking, as well, with great standby life but quick draining when in use. In standby, the tablet seems to shut off wireless when the tablet is sleeping. When awake, the battery easily drained quicker than other tablets. However, being able to replace the battery when it starts to drain unreasonably quick, as always tends to happen after a couple of years with a laptop or cell phone, is a plus.
- Slow Boot – Boot-up time for the tablet takes a full half-minute, which can seem an eternity to today’s tablet and smartphone user. However, if the tablet is asleep, it only takes a half-second to wake up from that sleep. Not bad at all. Shutdown takes about ten seconds.
- Price – Another problem is the price. Toshiba has priced its tablet at the same level as competitor tablets but it doesn’t deliver the quality. Even at first glance, other tablets in the same price range appear to be of much greater quality. This may make all the difference when consumers are choosing a tablet.
Toshiba AT100 Tablet Review Summary
The Toshiba AT100 is a powerful device for a tablet. In many ways, it has functionality of a laptop delivered in a bulky tablet form. However, with users increasingly becoming more reliant on the Cloud and so many wireless peripherals available, the question of whether or not USB, SD card and HDMI ports are necessary is beginning to arise.
Tablets are designed to be portable so heavy and chunky slates like this are cumbersome and lack the style of others. Only time will tell if Toshiba AT100 is addressing outdated technology needs.
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