Toshiba adds to tablet line with 7-inch Thrive

After tacking the 10-inch tablet domain, Toshiba is making a similar attempt in the 7-inch space with a smaller version of its Thrive tablet.
Written by Ricardo Bilton, Contributor

With the HTC Flyer, Nook Color, Samsung Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry Playbook all duking it out, it seems like every company wants in on the 7-inch tablet action.

Toshiba is no exception. Its latest tablet is the Thrive 7", a device that aims to continue the legacy of the original Thrive that was released back in July.

Considering that one of the best things about the larger Thrive is its wide range of media expansion options, its no surprise to see that Toshiba went a similar route with the 7-inch version as well. The only difference here is that it's all been shrunken: A mini USB port, Micro HDMI port and a Micro SD card slot are all included under a rubber flap on the tablet's left side.

What is surprising is that, despite all of that functionality, the Thrive 7" is still less than half an inch thick and weighs under a pound. Built to be held in one hand, the Thrive 7" features a slip-resistant back cover, which both feels good in the hand and makes the device easier to hold. (Notable here is that Toshiba opted not to design the new Thrive with a user-replaceable battery, a big change from the original version.)

Running Android 3.2, the Thrive 7" runs on dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Hard drive space varies by model, with Toshiba planning to ship both a 16GB and 32GB version of the tablet.

Also significant is the new Thrive's 1280x800 resolution display, which matches that of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 but beats tops that of the Nook Color and Blackberry PlayBook.

Considering that the Thrive 7" isn't shipping until this December, it might be a bit early to expect a firm price point from Toshiba. A company representative was, however, able to confirm that the device will sell for less than $400 when it hits the market. How much less is, however, one detail we are going to have to wait to hear.

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