Toshiba AT300: First Take

Toshiba AT300: First Take

Summary: Toshiba's 10.1-inch Android tablet gets a design refresh and updated specs, including a quad-core processor. It still has a few issues, but the price is attractive.

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It was only a few months ago that I reviewed the Toshiba AT300's predecessor, the AT200. Still, this new tablet has a revised design and updated specifications. There are three AT300 models: two are Wi-Fi-only with 16GB or 32GB of internal storage costing £274 and £315 (ex. VAT) respectively, while the third is a 16GB Wi-Fi/3G model priced at £329 (ex. VAT).

Toshiba has equipped the AT300 with plenty of punch and a neat physical design, while maintaining reasonably affordable prices. This  thin and light 10.1in. Android tablet measures 260.6mm wide by 178.9 deep by 8.95mm thick and weighs 590g. It doesn't have the most solid feel in the hand, but the stippled silver backplate is nice and grippy. I do prefer the look of the previous model, which is also a bit thinner and lighter, although the AT300 is certainly no monster.

toshiba-at300
Toshiba's 10.1in. Android 4.0 AT300 starts at £274 (ex. VAT) for a Wi-Fi-only model with 16GB of internal storage.

Toshiba's insistence on a proprietary power connection will irritate anyone who uses their tablet a lot and needs regular access to mains power, as it means carrying another AC adapter. The device's Micro-USB port can be used for data exchange and USB host, but not for powering the battery.

The LED backlit 1,280-by-800-pixel screen is protected by tough Gorilla Glass, but does seem to lack the top-end brightness I've seen from the very best. There's also a slight problem with sound: there are two speakers, and they deliver a fair volume, but audio quality is tinny and doesn't really improve with headphones, either.

Toshiba scores well on connectivity, with Micro-HDMI on board as well as a full-sized SD card slot. I rather like this: microSD cards can be accommodated via a caddy, but the larger slot makes it easy to get images from a camera on to the AT300. If you'd rather use the tablet's main rear-mounted camera for image capture, its 5 megapixel capability isn't that great, but it does have a small LED flash. There's a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video communication too.

The AT200 shipped with Android 3.2, which is upgraded to Android 4.0 on the AT300. Toshiba adds a fair few apps to the standard bundle, including ThinkFree Office, Evernote, a file manager, Splashtop for remote access to another device and the McAfee Mobile Security suite.

The tablet is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of RAM, and is admirably responsive when running applications and games.

The Toshiba AT300's build quality and camera could be better, and I really don't like the proprietary power cable. On the other hand, the quad-core processor is capable, connectivity and expansion facilities are good, and the price is attractive.

Topics: Tablets, Mobility, Reviews

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  • Wait, whut?

    The tablet speakers sound tinny and don't really improve with headphones?

    I find that very hard to believe. Either those were just awful headphones or this tablets speakers sound awesome, becuase I have yet to run into a portable device that didn't sound 1000% better when you plug in a pair of headphones.
    dsf3g