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Showing 1-10 of 67 reviews(2 star). See all 1,050 reviews
on October 9, 2011
See my second update at the end: Dec 2012

I bought my 16Gb Toshiba Trive 6 weeks ago for two types of travel: long airplane flights to and travel in Africa, and electronic charts and plates for flying our airplane. I couldn't be happier with my purchase. And I've found some benefits beyond my original reasons for purchase.

As for charts and plates in our airplane the iPad is the standard for pilots. But the iPad is a closed system. We have Windows PCs and a Windows 7 Phone other than my wife's Android phone. So adding an Apple product just wasn't going to work. I found Android apps that will do all I need in the airplane. I don't need the Thrive for locating the plane on approach plates as can be done with the iPad. I have two aviation GPSs in the plane. They already do a great job. I just want to replace the 20 pounds of charts and plates I currently haul around in the plane. The Thrive can do that just fine. Though the Trive is heavier than the iPad for mounting on the yoke.

Foreign travel is where the Thrive really shines. In both Mali and Uganda reliable Wifi is hard to come by. So I had to preload most of what I was going to use before leaving the land of prevalent Wifi. Here's how I prepared for my latest trip:

1) I loaded my 32Gb SD card with 32 movies before I departed for Africa. The Thrive requires conversion of the movies from AVI to MP4 for the stock player. So I had to get some software to do the conversion. That software is very slow. But it works. Update 12/14/11 - QQPlayer plays AVI movies no problem.

2) I loaded a 16Gb SD card with all of my music.

3) I loaded copies of all my critical files in the Thrive internal memory.

4) I downloaded a number of ePub books for FBReader and a couple Amazon books for the Kindle app.

5) I purchased the Larousse English-French dictionary and Petite Larousse. All data is stored locally so is usable without a Wifi connection.

6) I got all of the newspaper readers I regularly use, particularly the New York Times reader, for use whenever I have wifi access. Otherwise I use my Windows 7 Phone which uses my cell connection for newspapers, Facebook and email.

7) I purchased the full version of Office Suite for creating and editing Word docs and Excel spreadsheets.

8) I loaded some games and utilities that I might need.

9) Then in addition to the standard Toshiba case I purchased a case for the Thrive that has an integrated USB keyboard. And I got a bluetooth mouse ($17 at Fry's). The keyboard works great!

10) I have British and French plug converters for the battery charger. And I was set to go.

Flights to either West or East Africa take 24 hours from the US West Coast with one or two layovers. On the longest leg I worked on an MS Word document using Office Suite for a couple hours. Then after watching two full length movies using QQPlayer I swapped SD cards and switched to reading books in FBReader while listening to my music in RealPlayer with good noise cancelling headphones. It was the most pleasant of the many flights I've made to Africa. After 9 hours of continuous use of the Thrive on the longest flight I still had 15% battery and it was playing music with almost no further drop in battery availability. The Thrive battery recharged in a little over an hour in the Amsterdam airport.

Now here in Africa I use the Thrive almost every day both for reading a book while I'm waiting for a meal to be prepared or watching a movie in the evening if I haven't fired up my big 17" Toshiba Satellite laptop. I can use the Thrive for hours even when the power's out because of the long battery life. African power is always intermittent. So battery life is quite important.

The Thrive is perfect for downloading pictures from my Canon digital camera for showing friends pictures I've brought with me or have recently taken. The folks here love seeing pictures on the tablet. It's so much nicer than peering at pictures on the tiny camera screen. And while viewing the photos of themselves zooming in using the touch screen is a real hit. Then I can transfer the recent photos onto a friend's flash drive so they have a copy of the pictures to keep. I use the laptop for more permanent storage of photos. But the Thrive is so portable, quick to boot up, and easy for friends to use the touch screen I use it almost exclusively when visiting.

On long drives on African roads I break out my Thrive and put it in the keyboard case. I can hold the tablet on my lap and use the keyboard for writing reports. I don't have to worry about bouncing around a spinning hard drive like I would if I tried using my big laptop in a vehicle. The laptop stays in it's case when on the road.

There is a problem using the Thrive in a vehicle on the road. When it's sunny out, which is quite often the case here in Africa, I have to manipulate the tablet into partial shade to be able to see the screen. This is true whether I'm composing documents or reading books. In direct sunlight the screen is difficult to see. I have a daytime setting in FBReader that increases the screen brightness that helps some. But the Thrive is not a Kindle reader. That said, the Thrive is great for reading a book in bed with the lights out. A friend has to use a portable light to illuminate her Kindle. The Thrive screen is quite bright for reading in the dark with no external illumination.

Both the pre-installed File Manager and ES File Explorer do a good job of manipulating files on the Thrive. I regularly copy backup versions of documents I create on the tablet onto a flash drive. Or I can plug the tablet into my laptop to place a backup copy on the laptop drive. It's this file manipulation flexibility that really sold me on the Thrive. I have not been disappointed.

Now that I use a touch screen on both my cell phone and the Thrive tablet I find myself trying to touch my laptop screen rather than use the mouse. I have the mouse for the tablet. But I only use it when I'm doing concentrated composing or editing in Office Suite. Otherwise the touch screen works great.

Being a touch typist I could tell immediately I need the external keyboard for document work on the Thrive. Placing your fingers over the home row on the tablet screen keyboard just causes a lot of extraneous letter touches since it's static electricity that activates the screen, not finger pressure. To type on the screen keyboard it's better to be a hunt-and-peck typist since you are only touching one screen letter at a time.

Some day when Toshiba and Google enable Android tablets to use a cell modem I'll be able to leave my big heavy laptop at home and just use the Toshiba tablet while traveling. Wifi is not readily available outside the developed countries. Right now if I need something from the Internet I have to retrieve it on my laptop then transfer it to the Thrive unless I'm in a capital city and can find Wifi at a hotel or office.

Here in Africa the Thrive and my Windows 7 phone with a local SIM card in it get most of the use. I only have to crank up my laptop for serious Internet surfing and using Photoshop for organizing my photos and posting them on Facebook. If I have Wifi access I can post on Facebook from my Thrive tablet. But that's not very often.

The Toshiba Thrive has proven to be a real addition to the tools I use while traveling. It far exceeds my original expectations. My wife joins me in Uganda in a couple of weeks. We'll see what additional uses she'll find for the tablet since her Android phone isn't GSM and won't work outside the US. We only have one headset to plug into the Thrive for audio in movies and music. We'll see how sharing works.

UPDATE 12/14/2011 - back home - I've had my Thrive for 4 months

After my wife joined me in Uganda we left the big laptop at the NGO office in Kampala and just used the Thrive tablet for the next 3 weeks. It worked great as a laptop substitute while traveling.

Wifi: We rarely had Wifi access in Uganda. So for the regular emails we send home to family and friends I composed them on the Thrive in Office Suite Pro. (Stick with DOC format - the DOCX format still has a few issues.) I transferred the Word format document to a flash drive. Then it was quick and cheap to go to an Internet cafe and send the email with the document from the flash drive as an attachment. For my next trip I now have a Motorola Droid 3 which I'll use as a wireless hotspot for the Thrive using the local cellular service. I've tested it at home and it works great.

File Management: Our son is a Linux jockey. So he showed me how to use the samba feature in ES File Explorer. Now that we're home again I have the Thrive connected to our home wireless network. In ES File Explorer select LAN. Then just press the search button near the top. It finds all of the Windows computers on our home network. Every shared drive or folder on the networked PCs is now available on the Thrive. So you don't have to use a flash drive as an intermediary for transferring files to the Thrive internal storage or SD card. Just use ES File Explorer and do a much faster file transfer back and forth between the Thrive and the folders in any networked PC using Wifi.

Daily Usage: I find I'm using the Thrive everyday for reading email and for reading my NY Times subscription and many world newspapers using Pulse and News360. The Gmail and Email readers are much easier to use on the Thrive than on my Motorola Droid 3 or even the PC versions. The Thrive versions give you a split screen view. Quick scanning and weeding out emails is easy.

Updates: I have all the latest updates on my Thrive which is version 3.2. All of the earlier reported problems such as unexpected shutdowns are gone.

Adobe has an updated version of basic Photoshop for Honeycomb now. It's PS Touch. It replaces the earlier Photoshop Express which was pretty useless. PS Touch now gives you tools to edit a single photo. You still can't make slideshows or albums such as you can with PS Elements on the PC. But I was able to crop and increase brightness and contrast to greatly improve a photo of a young Batwa (pygmy) girl next to her hut.

I travel to Angola next month. My longest flight is 17 hours. I'll be pushing my Thrive to the limit. I'm set up with entertainment for the flights. The Thrive charges in 1 hr. So I can prepare it for subsequent flights during layovers. I have my plug adapters for the charger.

Movies: I can rent movies from the Google Android Market shortly before I depart. I can "pin" them to the device which downloads the movie to the tablet rather than streaming it. I'll put them on my SD card. I'll have 30 days in which to start viewing the movie.

Music: I've got my entire collection synched in WMA format to the SD card. WMA is compact with still decent quality. So I'll have plenty of good music to listen to with my noise cancelling headphones.

Books: While listening to my tunes I'll read books I check out from our county library in ePub format. I'll check them out just before departure so I have the full 21 days to read them. I also have some classics loaded for later. I'm happy to not have to lug around 10 pounds of books to have sufficient reading material for weekslong trips.

I'm continuing to find new uses and features for the Thrive. It serves me well both at home and for extensive travel.

Update #1 3/18/2012

I continue to use the Thrive on a regular basis. We recently took our grandsons to Kenya and Tanzania to go on safari in the Masai Mara and Serengeti. The grandsons are 8 and 12. They used the Thrive to play Angry Birds and a few other games to while away the hours on long travel stretches. It takes at least 24 hours to travel to East Africa from the Pacific NW. The Thrive really helped when the younger boy found out his Nintendo DS charger wouldn't work outside the US because the charger is 120 volt only and the rest of the world uses 240 volt power. The Thrive charger is of course usable on either voltage. So the Thrive got a workout.

After my wife and the grandsons went home I continued on to Uganda. The grandsons took the Thrive with them for the plane ride home. I used my new smaller Acer Aspire 13.6 inch laptop and my cell phones. I found the laptop - international cell phone combination works great. The Thrive and a cell phone work equally well in most cases. So the Thrive in countries where a smartphone can be used for Web access can be an option to carrying a laptop.

Update #2 12/11/2012

The Thrive now sits in a drawer most of the time. In comparison to newer 7 inch tablets the Thrive is a slow dog. I got a bargain on a Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. The smaller size is much easier to handle. And it's fast. With 16Gb plus a 32Gb microSD card there's tons of storage in the Galaxy. I had thought the 7 inch size would be too small for reading charts and approach plates in our airplane. But I just flew with the 7 inch tablet and it worked well. It's much lighter and quicker to respond than the Thrive. The GPS does seem to be a bit more accurate in the Thrive. But not by much.

The other problem with the Thrive in comparison to newer tablets is slow wireless. The Thrive must just be 802.1g, not 802.1n. The slow wireless speed of the Thrive is maddening at times. Wireless reception is also much weaker in the Thrive than in newer tablets and phones. At this time the Thrive is out of date. There are better choices available.
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on July 5, 2013
What a nightmare! I bought this tablet two years ago (almost). It's always been a little quirky - I've just attributed the spontaneous turn-ons and -offs as mild annoyances, along with spontaneous reboots in the middle of things. It happened rarely, and the turn-ons seemed to happen only when it was plugged in. However, I now have the problem that the tablet will not turn on AT ALL. After an extremely frustrating round of calls with Toshiba support, during which they were utterly non-helpful, I have ordered a new battery. If that doesn't fix it, I'll trash it and get an IPad. The other Toshiba computers (laptops) I've had have been seriously sturdy, and I prefer Android. However, after Googling around on this issue today, I see that Toshiba knows it has a problem, and has disseminated an ineffective "fix." So, screw me, I'm out of warranty - there's nothing they can do for me. If you're buying this prouct because you believe it's built like a tank, beware - it's all balsa wood inside.
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on August 27, 2013
Original posting (July 2013):
This purchase was a gift for my mother. She wanted a tablet which would connect to her TV. My husband purchased a Thrive for me 2 years ago and I love it because it has several ports. I have been able to access several of my older documents stored on flash drives using its USB port, connect to my TV and watch NetFlix using a HDMI cord, and store my many, many audiobooks on a SD card using the card slot. However, there are two glitches that I have noticed. Occasionally the screen will turn black. To rectify this problem, hold the power button for several seconds and the tablet will turn offf. Sporadically, the tablet will turn off and on for no reason. As with all technology, there are problems and these two are easily fixed.

Updated posting: After four months, this Thrive tablet stopped working. This revised rating is based on the device and my experience with the retailer (Luvitall07). After several emails, I discovered that this device was refurbished and advertised as "new". The retailer would not replace the device or return my money. What added to my disappointment was that Amazon would not get involved. My learned lesson is for future purchases go to Best Buy or another retailer. It doesn't always pay to buy at Amazon.
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on July 13, 2014
When I received the Toshiba Thrive it did not work, it was advertised as having a regular size USB port and it did not, it would not charge and when I sent in the return request on 06\18, I still have not heard a response, so did I get ripped off or what?
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on February 11, 2013
Purchased Sept 2011. Great first couple months then it started freezing and crashing. Thought this would be a nice tablet as it is rare to have the USB connection but over all I don't think it was a wise choice. Tablet is used maybe one hour per day... no games, movies or anything running on it. Only used to surf the net at the end of the day. Really disappointing that I cant get it to stop freezing and crashing.
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on October 3, 2011
Note added 08-2012 - not even 12 months into purchasing this, my screen cracked. I did everything right. Bought the protective cover, NEVER dropped it, and never placed it anywhere that harm would come to it. There are no scratches on this screen. A few weeks ago, one long crack appeared across the screen. This is definitely a defect; not covered by Toshiba. Everyone is having this problem with this product. It is sad and frustrating. A lawyer should gather these complaints together. Toshiba should be made accountable for this defect.

My original review:
I wanted a tablet, but couldn't afford an IPAD. This is the next best thing. I am NOT a techie and need to use 'Youtube' to learn any gadget I purchase. The Thrive is easy to use, works beautiful connecting to any wireless network.
I chose the Toshiba brand because I still use their laptop purchased 8 years ago, but works like new.
I use the Thrive for E-books, surfing the web, watching movies, and I am still exploring the apps. I also download sheet music to play on my piano. I chose the size and weight of the Thrive mainly because I am clumsy and this has a grip on the back of the screen that prevents it from slipping from my fingers. Before buying anything, I check out the reviews on Amazon. This is my first written review because I really like this tablet and wanted to share my experience.
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on November 28, 2012
I have to say my first mistake was buying THIS tablet. My second mistake was taking another reviewer's advice and downloading the upgrade that was recommended 'right off the bat'. The upgrade changed just about eveything that I had gotten accustomed to in the first few was very frustrating! But the MOST frustrating problem I have now is trying to stream The Daily Show on it, while upstairs, no more than 8ft above the router. It happily plays the commercials but will NOT play the content. I have taken it downstairs and sat right next to the router and still no stream!! I've gone past the time for returning it, so I guess I now have a $350 paper weight! (or "expensive" external storage device) I 'was' high on Toshiba electronics because I have one of their laptops and it works great, but this aggrevation with the tablet and some serious problems with one of their 32 in LCD tv's has left a very sour taste in my mouth for Toshiba (except this laptop). In summation, this tablet is NOT recommended at all. To friends OR others. And, If the Android o.s. on this tablet is "typical", they can keep it!!
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on August 24, 2015
Having alot of issue with it. Need to return or repair.
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on November 2, 2012
My experience with the Toshiba Thrive was a bit bitter from the day I took it out of the box to be honest. After unboxing the device I quickly plugged it into a wall outlet using the power adapter supplied, to my surprise the charging indicator never lit up to show that the device was charging so I unplugged and quickly plugged the power connector back into the device and the indicator finally turned on, that was the least of my problems with Thrive. After not using the thing for a couple of days I finally decided to turn it on only to find out that it would not come out of it's sleep state, (did a bit of research online and found out it's common problem with a lot of Thrive owners), so I had to take the battery out; leave it alone for 5 minutes and put it back in. I decided not to deal with this hassle on a day to day basis so I returned it and got the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (which BTW is an absolutely fantastic tablet, in my opinion the best on the market).
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on September 8, 2013
We still can't get it up & running. Every time we contact Help, they tell us what to try, it never works. I think I will like it when we get it up & running. Larry
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