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VINE VOICEon July 9, 2011
*UPDATE 8* Now Up: See the addendum at the end of this review.

I pre-ordered the 32gb Thrive here on Amazon, but got impatient and went to a local retailer just to check them out. We loved this tab so much, we got a 2nd for my husband in 16gb.

Toshiba Brand

First off -- No -- I do not work for Toshiba. But I fell in love with the brand a little over a year ago when I bought a new Qosmio laptop, and it's BY FAR the best computer I have ever owned. I love it as much today as the day I got it, so when I found out Toshiba had an Android Tab, I had to take a serious look.

Galaxy & Iconia in Brief

Prior to learning about Thrive, I was seriously considering the new 10" Galaxy Tab. I had been coveting the 8" model for some time, but just wasn't ready to take the leap. So when the 10" came along, I just had to stop by a local retailer to try one out hands-on. And I must say, I really fell in love with it -- the screen is vivid and stunning, the interface is clean and responsive. And it's super thin for sure. But, the first thing I noticed was there's no inputs of any kind; no SD slot, no USB, no nada. The sales rep said that's because everything is trending toward the "cloud." Well, that's all well and good, but I like products that I control, not products that control me (hence why I'm no fan of Apple's line of iShackle products. I'm all for "the cloud" and have one here on Amazon for my music, but I'm also the type that prefers to have my own stuff stored locally. I also like to get into the nuts and bolts of my peripherals and use them my way, so having no inputs on the Galaxy was a huge letdown for me. I left the store feeling underwhelmed, and like it wasn't the right time to buy a tablet. But I was bitten by the bug so I went home and started researching other tabs.

Reviews here on Amazon had me convinced Acer Iconia was better than Asus Transformer. And the Acer had USB inputs, so I was happy with that. But I've never been a big fan of Acer, so I still wasn't feeling the itch just yet. But then I stumbled upon the Toshiba Thrive, and still being so highly impressed with their laptop, I immediately felt a connection to the Thrive.

Every Input I'll Ever Need

Thrive has SD card, USB, mini-USB and full size HDMI ports. And for me, this is where Thrive clobbers the competition -- Toshiba just "gets it;" they make products that keep the end user in control and offer a truly freeing experience. I have a full size HDMI port on my Toshiba laptop too, and let me tell you, it completely changed my computing experience! My laptop is connected to a 50" plasma TV and I use a wireless keyboard and gyration remote for a mouse. Let me tell you, once you use a computer that way, there's just no going back. So all those inputs on the Thrive was a big clincher for me -- and once again, Toshiba stands head and shoulders above the rest in this department. I fully expect to connect my tablet to my HDTV as well. And the on-board SD and USB ports assure I'll have all the computing freedom and control I've come to expect.

Vibrant Screen and Color

When I first saw the Thrive at my local electronics store, I was a bit concerned the screen wasn't as vibrant as the Galaxy. But then I remembered Thrive has an auto brightness feature, so I was wondering if that was limiting the saturation in some way. I was easily able to find and navigate the setup menus right there in the store, turned off auto-brightness -- and voila! -- the Thrive's screen was every bit as vibrant and rich as the Galaxy! The colors and clarity are nothing short of stunning. I hate to say it, but the screen is probably better than my 50" plasma (it's only a couple years old, which already makes it a relic in tech world.)

Ease of Use

For me, the truest test of any piece of tech, is the ability to use it straight out of the box with NO help from user manuals. I got a new printer recently and had to fiddle with it for days because the install didn't set it up properly -- and in my book -- that's a sure sign of a piece of junk. This Thrive, however, was very simple and easy to get the hang of within minutes right there in the store. Naturally, that's as much a testament to Android 3.1 as it is to Toshiba Thrive. Either way, I was doing everything from surfing the net, to customizing the entire interface and settings in minutes, all right there in the store -- no user manuals, no nothing. I even tethered it to my cell phone just for fun. The interface is so smooth and responsive, and the Tegra CPU is clearly a beast; no hangs, locking or delays of any kind. Everything was fast, smooth and clean; just the way it should be. In fact, Thrive loaded and buffered YouTube videos better than the Galaxy, though there could be many reasons for that given all the devices on the store's WiFi network.

Rubberized Back

Some might not think much of this, but believe me, it's pretty awesome and makes the Thrive feel like velvet in my hands! It also gives me confidence in the tablet's durability and build quality. By contrast, both the Galaxy and Iconia have a hard, slick back, and as a result, I personally found them both harder to hang on to. I'm disabled and easily drop things, so I never felt fully confident holding either the Galaxy or Iconia. All of these tabs are just a few weeks old, and it's worth pointing out that the backs of both the Galaxy and Iconia were scuffed and scratched to the point of making them look junky. Granted, they're both display models in a high traffic store, but the physical condition of both these tabs after only a couple weeks on display suggests one can expect the same blemishes from personal use over time. By contrast, the Thrive's rubber backing assures there'll be no scuffs or scratches on my tab or anything I set it down on. And if it does wear out, I can just buy a new backing in one of 6 cool colors.

Thickness

Yes, the Thrive is probably twice as thick as the Galaxy, but I'm ok with that. Especially since it isn't all that much heavier. I think the added thickness is due to the USB and HDMI inputs the Galaxy is lacking. Personally, I'd rather have a slightly thicker tab with all the inputs I want, than a wafer thin tab that has a USB dongle dangling from it that I always have to remember to carry. Smaller and thinner isn't always better, at least not for my taste. I don't want a 10" wafer thin screen that I'm scared to drop or set down anywhere, or that will easily get scratched or cracked. The Galaxy just doesn't feel very durable, nor did the Iconia. While the added thickness and rubberized back make the Thrive feel more durable; like it could survive being accidentally dropped, or if placed on a table, the rubber backing would help it survive minor spills. Being disabled, I need something durable, and to that end, the Thrive feels like it will easily outlast both the Galaxy and Iconia. And we're not talking a super thick tablet here; it's still plenty thin. It's also very light; if not, my hands would cramp up and I wouldn't be able to grasp it to begin with.

Wider Body - More To Get My Paws On!

The Thrive is a bit wider than both the Galaxy and the Iconia -- the screen size is the same on all 3, but the Thrive's casing is about half an inch wider, which is great because it gives me a little more edge to hang on to without my fingers covering part of the screen. I have big hands, so this all adds up to a good thing for me. Overall, the Thrive just feels better in my hands, and more sturdy and durable.

Screen Protectors

I'm a fan of those "helicopter blade" screen protectors and have been using them on all my touch screen devices for years. I went ahead and ordered a full body protector for my 32gb Thrive pre-order. But after getting my hands on my husband's 16gb Thrive, I'm realizing I don't want to cover the velvety rubber back of my Thrive with a screen protector. They haven't arrived yet, but I'm hoping we can use the back of the screen protector on the front of our 16gb Thrive (both pieces appear to be the same shape and size. If not, no biggie, we'll just order another screen protector. I'm a big believer in screen protection and they've saved me from accidental scratches more than once.

Entertainment Hub

I've read that Tablets are trying to edge themselves into being the conduit that connects all your devices -- TV, cell phone, computer, etc. And after getting this Thrive in my hands, I can see how tablets can easily fill that void. I love my Qosmio laptop, but prefer not to take it away from home. And my smartphone is great, but the screen is just too small to enjoy surfing the net on it. But now with the Thrive, I can stay connected and still enjoy a full-fledged experience on the go, or even at home, all in the palm of my hands. I've never been much into social networking, but I'm realizing that for someone with limited mobility, this might be my conduit to the outside world. I can totally see how using this tab in a social aspect while watching TV would broaden and enhance my experience. I just may get into Twitter too, and all that thanks to this Thrive! Duh -- I'm starting to get why they named it that to begin with!

Replaceable Battery

Some people might find this meaningless. But I just had to replace the battery in my expensive Harmony remote and it's only 2 years old. So for me, having a replaceable battery in an expensive tablet its HUGE! No other brand offers this but Thrive.

Bottom Line -- my head is reeling a bit from the thought of owning 2 tablets. It's really not an expense we can afford and I should probably cancel my 32gb pre-order here at Amazon or return this 16gb. But we love it so much... I guess we'll see what happens. Either way, I really love this tablet and am VERY happy with it. Every once in a while, a product comes along that fits my life like a glove. Last time, it was Toshiba's Qosmio laptop. This time, it's their Thrive tablet. These are the first 2 Toshiba products I've owned, and I must say, I think Toshiba has won me over for life. The quality, ease of use, superior construction and forward thinking innovation -- I'm sold; hands down. There are plenty of tablets out there to choose from. Just do your research and find the one that fits you. For me, that's Toshiba Thrive. I LOVE this tablet!!

7/22/11 UPDATE -- Tips & Tricks:

After using both 16gb and 32gb Thrive's for a couple weeks, I thought I'd add this addendum to my review:

HDMI DUAL VIEW

Hook up the Thrive to your HDTV and the screen will display simultaneously on Thrive and your TV; Angry Birds on a 50" plasma - FUN! I got a 25' HDMI cable, but am looking into wireless. Picture is stunning. BTW -- there's a reason why HDTVs _don't_ use mini or micro HDMI -- because the signal isn't as good as full-size HDMI, and only Thrive has that capability.

DON'T USE A USB HUB

I've had spotty results transferring files to Thrive when plugged into a hub. But when I plug the Thrive directly into my laptop's USB port, I've had no issues and transfers are quite fast. (Win 7 Pro 64bit)

FIREWALLS CAN BLOCK APPS

I was initially having problems downloading apps from the Market while on my home WiFi, but then I realized my router's firewall was blocking some of Thrive's inbound traffic. So I set up 2 simple Port Forwarding rules, and voila, problem solved.

BATTERY LIFE

Thrive charges in a about 1 hour; slightly longer if you're using it while charging. So far, I've been getting 14-26 hours per charge while using Thrive on and off throughout the day. My screen is set to 50% brightness with auto-brightness turned off. I leave WiFi on and just let Thrive go into sleep mode when not in use; naturally, the battery lasts even longer if I completely shut down at night. Yesterday, I started the day with 50% battery life left -- I played Angry Birds for 4 hrs straight, watched YouTube for an hour, surfed the net and checked email for another hour, and read a book for 90min -- all that before the battery finally died and needed a recharge. There's nothing scientific about my tally, but Thrive is giving me great battery life, IMO.

ADOBE FLASH, FAST SURFING & PAGE LOADS

Surfing the net is NOTHING like on my phone. Web pages load as fast as my laptop and I can have several tabs open at the same time. Fast, smooth and responsive. Flash works great. Haven't run into a website yet that doesn't work.

EXTERNAL USB & FLASH DRIVES

Make sure they are formatted with FAT (not NTFS) and you'll have no problems. I even hooked up an external 500gb Western Digital My Passport drive with no issues.

WHY 32gb IS BETTER THAN 16 or 8gb

Thrive comes pre-loaded with many apps; some useful, like Toshiba File Manager and Service Station; some not so useful, and they can't be deleted. Point being -- I've never heard anyone complain about having too much HD space. So do yourself a favor and get the largest GB you can afford. SD cards, IMO, are for convenience, NOT for extending your storage capacity and running apps off it. I use mine to view and transfer pics off my digital camera.

FUN & HELPFUL APPS

>Advanced WiFi Lock Free -- this solves the dreaded wake from sleep issue. Go into the app's settings and UN-check "Enable Timeout." Prior to this, I experienced the issue twice, but since installing this app, the wake from sleep issue has disappeared. I do sometimes have to push the power button twice to get it to wake from sleep. But other than that, I don't have any complaints about how the buttons work.

>Talking Panda Free -- fun for kids of all ages!

>Amazon Kindle -- read your digital books on Thrive. Just wish it had text-to-speech.

>DirecTV -- program your DVR(s) on the go and never miss a fave TV program.

>Angry Birds -- I never thought I'd get into this game, but it really is fun. Rio is my favorite edition.

>Paint Joy -- finger painting on your tablet. Save, share and even watch a time-lapsed rendition of your creations; kinda fun! Let loose your inner artist!

THRIVE PORTFOLIO CASE

I got this case for outings away from home. But at home, I prefer using Thrive without the case. The Thrive is thicker than Galaxy, but I probably would have left Galaxy in it's case, because I didn't like how slick it felt. So Thrive without a case is about the same thickness as with Galaxy with a case.

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

Thrive has already become another component of my home entertainment system. I use it simultaneously while watching TV or even surfing the net on my laptop, which is hooked up to my 50" plasma. The Thrive has become an addition and a natural extension of my home entertainment center.

That's it for now; I'll add more in time, if I think of anything.

9/5/2011 UPDATE 2 - over 2 months and still loving my Thrive. Here's a couple extra helpful tips:

HDTV VIA THRIVE

We took our Thrive on vacation with us for our anniversary (happy 21st to us!) and hooked it up to the hotel's 42" HDTV. Thanks to Thrive's full-sized HDMI port, we easily ran a 25' cable right to our bed and watched our fave TV shows right off the TV network's websites while connected to the hotel's free WiFi.

THRIVE DOCK

Do yourself a favor and get one if the expense fits your budget. It's a tad overpriced at $50 with no power supply (it uses the one that came with Thrive) but it doubles as a great lap stand and makes charging the Thrive much more convenient; just slip it in and out of the cradle. Don't like how the adapter fits into the Thrive itself and the dock solves that problem. Also, Thrive looks great on display in the dock too. I suppose if you don't mind changing the screen timeout a lot, you could even use it as a digital picture frame (just be careful with that if running off the battery. I have a review for the Toshiba Thrive Multi-Dock with HDMI too if you're interested.

PORT FORWARDING

I was going to post specifics in my last update, but thought it might be different for everyone and didn't want to misinform. But in case it helps anyone, here's how I fixed the problem I had with downloading apps from the Market on my home WiFi:

I have my router's firewall set to high, and when I played around with the different security levels, I noticed the 2 that were blocking my Thrive were Real A/V port 7070 and T120 port 1503. I set 2 specific rules and opened those ports for my Thrive, and then the Market apps downloaded without issue. (these were both inbound traffic. You have to know a little about port forwarding for this to make sense, but it's not that hard to do; a quick Google search never hurts. :-)

MORE GREAT APPS

> Scrabble is interesting because you can play online over time. I have 30 games going any given week. The app is a bit buggy, but it's still fun and I'm sure they'll improve on it.

> Documents To Go is half off @ $7.99 in the Amazon AppStore

> Twitter - works well but I'm still learning and don't tweet much, mostly follow.

> Gmail comes standard with the tab. GDocs and all of Google's stuff is awesome.

> GOOGLE SKY helped us find Jupiter, Mars, all the planets and stars in our solar system last night!! CQQL!!

> The Kroger app lets me add digital coupons to my grocery store club card.

> DirecTV Remote controls my TV's DVR; kinda neat.

> Weather Bug for Honeycomb has a neat widget where you can flick up or down to change the temperature amongst your saved locations

> Cloudy is a fun paper airplane game

> PhotoShop Express is free and always good to have.

> MXvideo Player has neat swipe controls that make it easy to forward, pause and reverse vids while they are playing.

> the Bookmarks widget that comes standard with the tab lets you scroll through thumbnails of each web page.

> Vevo and TV.com apps have some good content

> Fruit Ninja is surprisingly fun; I like Zen Mode. It speaks to my inner samurai.

> and don't forget my all time fave: Lily The Talking Panda

> All of these apps have free versions; the only one I've paid for so far is Paint Joy Pro at $1.99.

> & Remember - 1 FREE PAID APP A DAY here on Amazon!

That's all for now folks!
;oD

UPDATE 3 - 9/27/2011

Over 3 months and I still L-O-V-E my Thrive! It's a cornerstone of my entertainment experience. I do take it with me when I venture out, but home is my primary use. It is ALWAYS in my lap. Instant fit in my life and fills a void no other device can. Perfect!

Here's the latest Helpful Tips I'd like to share:

Project Your Thrive

I recently discovered that Thrive can be hooked up to an Epson Projector, which can be invaluable for those doing business presentations. Just plug in a standard HDMI cable from Thrive to the projector, and it will project your Android tablet onto any surface. Sure, you could do this with another tab, and HDMI dongle, or micro connection, but I never like being caught in the lurch with nonstandard cables. I've been caught more than once with a proprietary cable that's failed. I much prefer the convenience and reliability of Thrive's full size onboard ports. I have a review for the Epson Multimedia Projector on that page as well.

Tablets Are Touchy-Feely

For me, a tablet is a tactile experience, hence, external keyboards and mice are not required. I've tried them both and found them counterintuitive. If I want to use those things, I've got a great laptop for that. A tablet is a device that stands on its own like no other. It is a personal item, hence, it should feel good to hold. It's not a cell phone. It's not a computer. It doesn't play by the same rules. Quite simply, it's the most personal and indispensable component of all my tech items and fills a void no other device can.

More Fun Apps:

> Weather Bug for Honeycomb has changed its name to AccuWeather for Honeycomb. It's still the best weather app I found; the widget is great.

> Days Left -- has a neat widget that goes on your desktop and can countdown the days to special events and occasions.

> Amazon AppStore has a great app that makes it easy to shop for apps and get their Free App of the Day.

> Airport Mania 2 -- has become one of my favorite games. Think Chevron Toy Cars with wings! The object is to land planes at your airport, wash, paint, load & unload packages and passengers, maintain and fuel up all the planes visiting your airport, and safely send them on their way. It's like being an Air Traffic Controller, but fun!

> Word Mix -- a unique word scramble game that is addictive. You can play against the clock or Puzzle Mode.

> WiFi Finder -- will find free WiFi Hot Spots in a Google Earth-type layout. It finds everything in your vicinity and maps it. Be sure to download the offline database within the app, so you can use it without a WiFi connection.

> Rocket Bunnies -- If you read that title without a smile on your face, then you won't have any fun playing this game!

> Prize Claw -- why waste money at a stupid machine, when you can play this for free! The teddy bears are cute, too!

> Paradise Island -- think Sim City

> Flying Penguin -- slide on your tummy, away from the polar bear, before he eats you up!

> Fat Booth -- ever wonder what you'd look like chubby?! (or people you know or stars & celebrities)

> Guinea Pig Getaway -- yes, it's as adorable as the title. Tilt and move your tablet to help guide their boat and escape the big meanie chasing them.

> Foto Tiles Slideshow -- turn your desktop into a collage of personal photos that change on a timer; think digital mosaic, only it's a live desktop, not a screen saver.

And last, but not least, I'd like to share a post written by Pie Grrrl, in the discussion section of this review - she had a VERY interesting conversation with some techies over at Best Buy, who gave their candid impressions about Thrive and other tablets. The direct link to her post is below. In brief, here's the just of what she learned:

> All of them highly coveted the Thrive; the feel, the look and the full size ports.

> All of them are gamers and mostly used their tablets at home; like I said in the review, these fill a void in everyone's home entertainment experience. Personally, I live in a bit of a bubble, and my Thrive has been a natural fit in my life and a conduit to the world. It's indispensable.

> 20+ tablets coming out, including a newer, thinner Thrive. Personally, I'm excited to see what Amazon's got up their sleeve with their upcoming new tab. I'm hoping for a slide-out keyboard, not that I'm in the market or could even afford to buy! I just like drooling over new tech.

> Sales are tied between the Xoom and Thrive. The Xoomer's aren't interested in the ports; the Thriver's are.

> the guys loved the Android platform vs. Apple's because they loved tinkering with the tablets and rooting them. Personally, rooting is nothing to be afraid of, and gives custom access and features to any Android tablet or phone. Just be aware it voids your warranty. I'll probably be rooting my Thrive once it's a little older.

Looks like Amazon removed the link, so if you're interested, just look for Pie Grrrl's post in this review's discussion section: Posted on Sep 27, 2011 3:51:40 PM PDT.

And lastly, and this time I mean it, a word about NetFlix -- I've cancelled my account, but some people have found a workaround until the official app is released. Point being, it will work, but just do a Google search, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of info. Having said that, Amazon VOD works perfectly, no tinkering required.

BTW -- there's a post in this review's discussion thread, where on September 7, 2011 2:48:15 PM PDT -- where U. Shelat says explains how to get NetFlix working; As I no longer have NetFlix, I cannot verify if this works or not.

Okay, I lied, I have to leave you with 1 last suggestion... get the Kindle app and read Jermaine Jackson's book about his brother Michael -- it's riveting. Yes, I have a review there, too. Love reading Kindle books on m Thrive. The book is called You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother's Eyes

That's all for now, folks!
Go forth all, and "Androidify" your Life!
(Believe it or not, I didn't just coin that, it's actually an app)

:oD

UPDATE 4 10-18-2011

Had an interesting experience with an iPad today...

Ran into someone who was trying to get photos transferred to their iPad -- they fumbled with hooking it up to their laptop, syncing to iTunes, then futzed another 30 minutes unable to make anything happen. I just smiled. Told the person how much I genuinely admire Mr. Jobs' genius, but wouldn't it be easier to just have onboard ports like on my Thrive -?- you'd be 30 seconds away from being done. :oD

>MORE GREAT APPS:

>Webroot Security - FREE anti-virus, secure web browsing and rogue app scans. Paid version includes ability to wipe a lost device clean on command.

>Thumb Keyboard - Split your tablet's keyboard to the left and right corners of the screen -- makes typing and texting just as fast as a cell phone.

>Circle Launcher - A nifty launcher widget that you place on your homescreen. Choose from a circle, a horizontal or a vertical line.

>ADA Disabled Service Members - Free Americans With Disabilities Act info for Returning Service Members.

Androidify all!
:oD

UPDATE 5 10-21-11

Thrive just got an update adding Google Video support; basically movies on demand for a small fee. Between that, and Amazon VOD playing so well on Honeycomb and the Upcoming Kindle Fire, I'm beginning to think Netflix not working on Android Tabs is no accident. Either way, Netflix's time may well have come and gone, by their own doing as much as anything else.

No word on Honeycomb 3.2, though at this point, I'm more interested in Ice Cream Sandwich! (Android 4.0) I saw a video and it looks yummy! :o)

UPDATE 6 10-24-11

NETFLIX -- User ID "Visa Citi" just posted in the discussion thread for this review that NetFlix is now working. I downloaded the app, but was unable to log in, because I cancelled my NetFlix account several months back. I'm not interested in rejoining, but I checked another forum and confirmed that it is working.

Android 3.2 -- is due shortly. And 3 weeks tardy in my humble opinion.

Android 4.0 -- is the one we all want; no word on if or when.

And it just goes without saying that I have to recommend more apps. Or as I like to call this portion of the review...

KAIO'S ESSENTIAL ANDROID APPS:

> AllRecipes.com Dinner Spinner -- Great recipe app.

> Iris Alpha -- A prototype app that mimics Siri iPhone 4s.

> Circle Launcher -- One of my new faves and recent Amazon Free App o' The Day -- Unclutter your desktop with this nifty launcher widget that you place on your homescreen. Choose from a circle, a horizontal or a vertical line. The widget contracts to a small icon that, when touched, expands to display all the icons you've enclosed within it. Can be completely customized to your preferences.

Th-th-that's all folks!
Enjoy and Androidify!
;^D

UPDATE 7 - 11/27/2011

Skype - is officially working. I don't use it myself but several users have verified it.

Android 3.2 - click the Service Station icon to update. No meaningful cosmetic changes; most likely bug fixes. No word on when 4.0 will be ready.

A word about memory, by Jeffrey Peterman:

"If you look at the memory on the tablet, you'll find it split into 4:
1. "Normal" internal memory, the same as the base memory on a phone.
2. Internal SD memory, which is internal memory allocated for storage.
3. External SD memory (an inserted microSD or SD, depending on the model.)
4. USB memory.
The system dynamically allocated memory between 1&2, without needing any user intervention, and this memory makes up the 8, 16, or 32 GB in the tablet. The other two "spaces" (inserted memory cards and USB memory) can ONLY be used for media storage - you can't run any program from an inserted card or a thumb drive, but you can open videos or documents that are on those removable spaces."

Comment posted: Nov 27/11 3:30pm
Thanks Jeffrey

The question about memory comes up a lot; how much to get? Do I need 8, 16 or 32gb? To me, it's not a matter of the cost of a 32gb v.s. a 16gb + SDcard. That comparison isn't equivalent, because having all the internal memory I need is far more valuable to me than an SDcard. I'm not a fan of splitting critical and personal files that way. I use my SDcard to float between several devices, but it always comes down to personal preference.

Here's how it approximately breaks down:

> an 8gb Thrive will have about 2.5gb available
> a 16gb Thrive will have about 10gb available &
> a 32gb Thrive will have about 25gb available.

I've tried to write & update this review so it would answer an array of basic questions that come up often. This is new technology to everyone, and it's the beginning of an exciting, new frontier.

Androidify All
Kaio
:oD

UPDATE 8 -- 3/17/2012

Durability: Well it's been 9 months with our Thrive, and still going strong. The chrome finish near the camera is showing slight signs of wear. And the lock on my SD card slot gave out just the other day. It still reads SD cards, but I guess I'll have to tape them down, so the spring doesn't shoot it across the room. Other than that, it's physically holding up quite well.

Cool Volume Boost App: I found a cool app called Volume+ that boosts the audio up to 20X on the Thrive's speakers, and I even installed it on my new LG Marquee cell phone. The app boosts the volume nicely on both devices, and can even boost bluetooth headsets and call volume as well.

WiFi Tethering: When I got my new cell phone I had to figure out all over again how to root it and configure the hotspot so I could tether my Thrive to it, but I got it working, and have a tutorial on how I did it posted on my blog. Just check my Amazon profile for a link to my blog if you're interested, or check my post on March 7th in the Comments of this review for more details on tethering to a cell phone.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: According to Toshiba's Twitter page, the Thrive will be getting this new version of Android by the end of Spring. FINALLY!

Android Green Back Cover: I got the green back cover for my Thrive awhile back and it looks really cool.

New Kid On The Block: Toshiba Excite came out a couple of weeks back. It's much thinner than the Thrive, so just decide if you need Thrive's ports and exchangeable battery. If not, take a look at the Excite; it's currently the thinnest tablet on the market.

More than likely this is my final update for the Thrive. It's been fun seeing just how long this review can get, and how many comments we can all generate!! Thanks to Everyone for all the fun.

Keep Thriving & Androidify!
;oD
Kaio
... Still just visiting Earth!
5150+ comments| 2,359 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 4, 2011
This is my first tablet (had it about two weeks), but I work in IT and have configured upwards of 40 iPads for employees to use at my job. I liked the iPads, don't get me wrong, and while configuring them for our employees, I came to see the real benefit of having a tablet. I'm a big fan of the Android OS, so I decided I'd go with an Android tablet since it offers superior customization and streamlining.

I went with the Toshiba Thrive and couldn't be happier. It's fast, responsive, and the Honeycomb OS is very, very slick. I can see a lot of potential in the OS and am looking forward to Ice Cream Sandwich (the next update that will integrate phone and tablet operating systems into one) later this year.

PROS
* Stable - I never experienced the sleep issue at all, but installed the fix yesterday anyway, since it offered some additional performance improvements. No issues out of the performance at all. Everything is fast and responsive. A joy to use.
* Responsive - Honeycomb OS is very fast, clean, and customizable. Very intuitive to use (at least for me). Adding widgets, etc. is fun and easy to layout.
* Video/graphics - Videos look great in all formats, but really snap in HD. All the graphics look great, and the text in the Kindle App looks amazing. Visually stunning. Everyone that has seen it has been impressed.
* Customization - You can set up the five screens any way you want. Widgets are wonderful things! Also plugged it into my laptop and it loaded up without any problems, allowing me to copy some pictures, etc. quickly.
* Multi-task management - The third button along the bottom left allows you to easily switch from application to application quickly. It's amazing how quickly you can get to something once you get used to using that button!
* Size - to me, this is a pro, because you feel like you're holding something and it's very easy to hold on to. You don't get the sense it's going to slip out of your hands, like you sometimes do with the iPad2. It doesn't feel cheap or cheesy, but very solid.
* Battery life - I've read some mixed reviews on this, but I get a good 7-8 hours of serious use out of it before it gets below 20%. Over nights, when sleeping, it uses 2%-4% battery life. And it does charge fast, they aren't kidding about that!

CONS
* The charger - Not a big deal, true, but it's a small laptop power supply, which I just find annoying to have to lug around. They should have a simple adapter you can use with the provided mini-USB to USB cable.
* Sound - Not really a big issue (and I may be missing something), but even with the volume all the way up on the device, it still sounds a little low to me using headphones. Maybe just a preference here, but I thought I should mention it. It does sound much better without the headphones on, though, but can be a little clinky and suffer from reverb on heavier tracks of music.
* Storage - not really a "con", but more of a heads-up. You won't have the full storage amount available to use. For example, if you buy the 8 GB version, you won't have 8 GB of storage to use. Honeycomb and other things (drivers, etc) take up part of that amount. Same with the 16 and 32 GB versions. Not a big deal, but I know some people are wondering why they only have 5 GB free when they bought the 8 GB version, for example.

OVERALL
A wonderful tablet, performs great, looks great, and has impressed a couple of co-workers enough that they are going to buy one. The full USB port was the big selling point for both. This tablet has been everything I'd hoped for and more. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a tablet. This is a great first step into the tablet pool by Toshiba, I must say. If you're wondering if this tablet will do what you want, I'm pretty sure it will :)

I give the Thrive 5 Stars.

NOTES
* There were a couple of image/OS updates ready to be installed right out of the box using Toshiba's SERVICE STATION app. I recommend immediately installing those updates before you do anything else. As with any new laptop, PC, phone, or tab, you should update it first before jumping into other apps, etc.
* I use ADVANCED TASK MANAGER to kill open apps that don't come with a native procedure for closing them. It integrates into Honeycomb very nicely, and all you need to do is tap the icon along the bottom right of the screen to open it from anywhere. Very slick and easy.
* I recommend that after updating the Operating System and Tablet image through the SERVICE STATION app, you set the LOCK SCREEN PIN (founds in SETTINGS >> LOCATION & SECURITY >> LOCK SCREEN). Also fill out the owner information (it will appear on the lock screen with the keypad). You can never be too careful, and if you do lose it, at least when someone tries to activate it, you'll have it PIN protected with your contact info right there for them to see.

Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful.
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on July 19, 2011
I took weeks looking at and trying in-store all my choices, and decided to wait for the THRIVE.

I have had my 32GB Thrive for a week now. The Thrive is IMHO THE BEST TABLET AVAILABLE, including all other choices - Androids, iOS(Apple iPad), webOS(HP), etc. For me, the things that set it apart from ALL other tablets are its solid construction, great design, and all it's connections/ports (removable battery, full size HDMI port, full size USB 2.0 and a mini USB port. You can take your SDXC/SDHC card right out of your camera and plug it in to the Thrive. And Toshiba provides a great set of accessories if you want even more connections - like a dock, additional batteries - swappable without tools, just a lock on the back of the tablet. Try that on an iPad! The display is outstanding, it beats the iPad. The touch screen response is great. I get true multi-tasking with the Tegra dual-core processor, plus HARDWARE ACCELERATED Adobe Flash and high quality gaming powered by NVIDIA GeForce. The rubber and ribbed back make it really easy to hold, and it wont slide around on a hard surface like those rounded backed tablets.

A tablet should be an integral part of your home network and this tablet offers more inter-operabilty with everything else I have. For me,it is inter-operable with my HTC Incredible Phone, My Windows7 and Linux PCs, my Multimedia systems - TVs and Home Theater. I also added a Verizon MiFi 3G to my Thrive carry-bag, so my thrive has a 3g connection, so i can even THRIVE in my car while I am waiting for my wife to finish her shopping.

Toshiba Thrive 10.1-Inch 32 GB Android Tablet AT105-T1032 Black

I went with the 32gb model, but with an SD slot and all these connections, the 16GB model is also a great choice at under $500. To get equivalent capabilities with an iPad I would have had to add a lot of accessory connectors and additional devices. And I would still not get the flexibility Android offers.
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on September 24, 2014
I love this tablet. I bought my first one in a black Friday sale from Amazon. Sadly Toshiba no longer makes the Thrive. Yes it is heavier and thicker than other tablets, but it comes with a port for a full and mini flash drive and HDMI cable, ear plugs mic and an sd card slot. It has a comfortable back easy to grip. It's really not much different than holding a book and just like when reading a book, I usually prop it up. I've had it for 3 years I think and I should have been getting annoyed that it was slowing down, but it wasn't. It was still peppy. The touch screen worked fabulously the whole time and the display was crisp and bright. I loved the Thrive so much that when I dropped it while riding the exercise bike, proving my theory that exercise is bad, and I couldn't stop pedaling and the thrive was caught between the descending pedal propelled by all my weight and the metal frame, as tough as the thrive was it was unable to survive that assault. With an electronic device that old, I would normally be guiltily thinking yea I can get a new one. I love the Thrive so much I looked into replacing the screen... Didn't want to take out a second mortgage though. Then I looked at new tablets. It is so annoying that they don't include all the great plug ins. After agonizing I decided to buy this one, a used Thrive. I am and was nervous about it, but it's such a great tablet I decided to take a chance. The description of this one was used like new, a description verging on hyperbole. It arrived it turned on and I am hopeful that the like new description is of the interior. It makes me sad that Toshiba stopped making this tablet and that the day will come when I will be forced to move on.
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on August 3, 2011
Who I am
I am a very experienced pc user and willing to play with software, though totally unfamiliar with Android. Don't have a smart phone - think the surfing and apps are cool, but that screen is just too small for my middle-aged eyes.

What I wanted
I was looking for a tablet pc for three main things - surf the web, serve as an e-reader and that had a real USB port that I could use to download and backup photos from my old digital SLR camera. Note the camera uses compact flash memory, not micro SD, so I can't use that to transfer the photos. I had previously bought and returned the eLocity A7 Android tablet because I couldn't get it to do the things I wanted. Don't like the whole concept of the controlled Apple world plus the IPAD lacks a real USB port though you can get an adapter.

Overall
I've been very happy with the Thrive. The screen looks great and the touch features work smoothly. It's a little heavier than some others, but I generally rest it on my lap so that's not an issue. Haven't had the dreaded not waking from sleep issue. The file manager that's included is straightforward and easy to use. I was able plug in my camera and copy files with no problems. Also, I added 32 GB more memory using a standard card, which can be swapped out if necessary. There aren't a huge number of apps yet, but they include enough to make it immediately useful and the number is growing.

Minor annoyances
As others have mentioned, the on/off button is inconvenient to find, especially in low light.
You can't close apps without turning off the tablet - though this may be a function of Honeycomb.
You can't delete the included programs, but really they don't take up much space.

It doesn't come with any directions except a small startup pamphlet. Typical, I know, but would it hurt them to include a pdf on the tablet with more details? FYI, here is a link to an Android 3 manual [...]
Here's a link to the Thrive manual [...]

Apps
Comes with a fine file manager and browser. There is also a gallery program to review photos and a bunch of solitaire type games. The maps app is really great - it works with the gps system so you don't have to be in wifi range to use it. It also can be used to get directions or look for restaurants etc near you.

I have so far downloaded Kindle and Aldiko book readers which both work fine. Also got a free photoshop lite program to do simple photo editing. And I'm afraid I'm already addicted to Crazy Birds.

There is a list of optimized to Honeycomb programs here
[...]
Sadly, Netflix doesn't yet work, but hopefully will soon.

Bottom Line
I've had the Thrive for a couple of weeks and it can already do all the things I was looking for and more. There are a few annoyances, but mostly I've enjoyed playing with it and plan to keep it.
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on November 5, 2011
I did all the research on these things, comparing the Asus, Acer, Motorola, iPad and this one. In fact, I found a spreadsheet someone did that added another dozen or so tablets, including the HP, etc.

Why did I pick the Toshiba? Primarily? Usability. I realized something about my own use of products that is actually true for most people, though only visionaries like Steve Jobs take it to the limit.

The easier something is to use, the more likely you are to use it.

If you don't need to find Adapter A (say, mini HDMI) to plug into Adapter B (the actual full-sized HDMI cable you have) to plug your tablet into your TV, the more likely you are to USE the HDMI functionality. Want a keyboard? You can take the one you plug into your PC and plug it into your tablet. Yes, ANY keyboard, not a wireless one, not bluetooth, just a keyboard. ANY thumbdrive becomes an expansion drive.

This is huge. The iPad has NO (as in Zero) normal ports. Neither does the (very pretty to look at) Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which is so nice that Apple is suing Samsung to keep their tablets out of the country). Everything has to be done wirelessly or through an adapter for other adapters.

Price is competitive. On several levels - both with the overall unit, and you can use regular SD cards, which almost none of the others can use. This RAM is cheaper. You can use regular HDMI and regular USB - again, cheaper to acquire and use.

Feel is solid - my kids have dropped this thing onto a hard surface floor several times - still works great. The rubberized back prevents slippage and dropping. I like the black border around the screen, as it gives you a place to hold the screen w/out smudging your viewable area.

I could go on, but I really wanted to address one last thing that I have found people complain about this particular model.

__________________________________________________________________________________-

The screen!!

Look, it's vibrant but people complain about the smudging. However, if you get the Toshiba screen protector (I usually hate screen protectors!) I found it all but eliminated the problem completely. It also works great to protect your screen against scratching.

I love this tablet. I've had it now for over a month and it lives up to everything I'd hoped it would. The graphics are better than the iPad, the cost is a LOT less, and the full-sized ports makes this thing so dang usable.

Update: 11/30/2011

The kids are using it (as in three of them) watching Tangled on Netflix. Again with the usability! I had some pretty cheap computer speakers kicking around and it sounds great, and the over 10" screen is keeping a 2 year old, six year old and 10 year old happy as clams. And it streams over Wi-Fi darn near magically. I love this tablet and I haven't used my 4 month old laptop since I got it! Seriously.
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on November 12, 2011
After researching to death what tablet to buy and visiting several over priced brick and mortar stores I decided on the Toshiba Thrive. Reasons: Able to replace battery, lots of available ports, runs Android and lastly: not an IPAD. I have not experienced any problems with the tablet works perfect.

Updated 18 Jan 2013......... Purchased this item 6 Nov 2011 and gave it 5 starts. After preforming ICS update and waiting for Toshiba to fix the issues that ICS caused I have to downgraded it to 2 stars. There is a forum filled with users complaining about the same issues since the update. Toshiba's response is they warranty the hardware and not the software, they had a third party handle the upgrade so it is not their problem. This is totally illogical of Toshiba, their response just baffles me. Is it not their product? I can not go back to the prior Honeycomb, the upgrade to ICS prevents going back. BUT If I send the item to them and they will format it to Honeycomb... AT MY EXPENSE! What the cost is is unknown and they would let me know when they receive the device.

This is my first and last Toshiba product I have owned..... I will never, never buy another Toshiba Product.
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on October 8, 2011
So we have had our Toshiba Thrive for about a week. Love it. The screen is quite nice. Sound good. New Android 3.1, Honeycomb Operating System awesome! What Toshiba has added such as the Toshiba Media Player, just add to the wonderfulness.
I have had the IPAD 2 since the beginning of September and liked it at first..... then the limitations just blew me away!

-Example when emailing with the IPAD 2, I cannot attach files from different locations. Instead I have to open the app, choose my document or picture and then email it from there. If I have more than one attachment, I have to send separate emails for each! This is just silly!

-With the Thrive I open my email, be it gmail or outlook or any other acct. that I may have created, compose an email and click on attach and voila! I have access to most of the folders in my Thrive. So instead of opening each program, I open the folder where my document or picture is and attach. I can do this numerous times using the same email that I am composing! Wonderful!!!!

-Another limitation with the IPAD 2 is the keyboard. I can only use the IPAD keyboard. If I want to convert handwriting to text, I have to buy an app such as Phat Pad, use the handwriting to text capability, then copy and paste into a word document or email. You can use speech to text with the Dragon app but again..... you have to copy and paste into the program that you want it in. Again this is just silly!

-With the Thrive I can download an app such as the Tflex-9, which uses all of the following: - handwriting to text - Dragon speech to text - and a keyboard that has slide capability for selecting numbers or other symbols. This will work in all the programs that I open in the Thrive. I do not have to copy and paste. Another cool keyboard is the Thumb Keyboard which splits the keyboard so that your fingers don't have to stretch to the middle of the tablet and it also has arrow keys that are sometimes just so much more convenient then selecting with your finger.

-The Thrive does not have Netflix yet but it does have ADOBE FLASH support unlike the IPAD 2. How irritating is that! Especially when you go to the news sites on the web and you want to watch a news video.... OOPS.... YOU CAN'T DO THAT WITH THE IPAD!!!!.

-I could go on and on. I find the features on the HONEYCOMB OPERATING SYSTEM, once you discover them all, because there are many, just so much more convenient than the IPAD 2. Not to mention what TOSHIBA has added to the mix.

-Oh! But wait, I almost forgot about Ports & Expansions - HDMI port (full-sized) for 720p video output - 2 USB ports (1 full-sized, 1 mini-USB) - Dock connector port and - Secure Digital (SD) card slot, compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC media. You can download documents with a thumb drive, as well as pictures. You can transfer your music or back up the music you have purchased onto the thumb drive. I mean, really.... How convenient is that!

-My husband, who also has an IPAD 2, bought the Camera Connection Kit and when he plugged the SD card from his camera into it, the IPAD indicated that there were no pictures on it! So what is the purpose? What a waste. It may have been defective, but why should we have to buy so many accessories!

-My husband and I have been so frustrated with our IPAD 2s that we finally broke down and invested in the TOSHIBA THRIVE. The price was great and the case we got for it was very reasonable and fits quite well without adding tons of weight. (BLUREX Leather ULTRA-SLIM folio Case With convertible Stand
What more can I say. If you are looking for a tablet you may want to consider the THRIVE, or any other one that has MULTIPLE PORTS and uses the HONEYCOMB OPERATING SYSTEM.
Toshiba Thrive 10.1-Inch 32 GB Android Tablet AT105-T1032 Black
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on July 19, 2011
After about a month of research, comparing $270-$600 tablets (iPad2, Acer A500, MSI Windpad, Coby Kyros 1024) and $800 17" Core i7 laptops, I decided on the Thrive as a mobile solution based on all the reviews I have read on Amazon despite the fact I am totally new to Android. It's the only unit I couldn't demo among my list. I definitely like the rubberized back compared to the Acer's aluminum backing. The Thrive feels like it is more durable and scratch resistant than the Acer. I don't think it is heavy at all, it is thicker, but I like it that way. iPad feels too thin that I might bend it or forget I am holding it because it is too light. The Kyros I tried, had too few reviews online, I figured there might be too little community support. The Windpad the was most expensive, it didn't really feel right to me.

The good news was that the Thrive worked perfectly right out of the box (I did not update the OS by the way). I have installed through the "market" icon a number of free games/apps (Angry Birds), Webster Dictionary. I also installed Documents to Go 3, OfficeSuite Pro, QuickOffice, and sad to say none of them can display correctly any powerpoint animations I made on MS Office 2007. Maybe I am not using them right.

I bought a few accessories like a tablet stand from connectland for about $9. It allows me to tilt the tablet the way you would a laptop screen. Crude, but it works. I connected a keyboard and a mouse through a USB Hub, works fine, a mouse pointer appeared on the tablet. I installed a FAT32 formatted 16GB SD card, the tablet found its contents immediately through the "file manager" icon.

I did have a hard time making it talk via Wi-Fi to my Linksys WRT54G Router. If you have the same router, try these settings to save you the trial and error:
SSID Broadcast - enabled, Security Mode - WPA2 Personal, WPA Algorithms - TKIP+AES, WPA Shared Key - "your password", MAC Filtering - enabled (you can find the Thrive MAC in settings/about tablet/status). On the Thrive, goto settings/wireless networks/add Wi-Fi network.

I have also tried the voice input, cool. If you click on the mic icon on the browser, and say "google.com", well, the browser will take you to google.com without typing it. Did I mention I am completely new to Android? It didn't take me that long to figure out the interface. I like it!

Some people have been complaining about the tablet not waking up, I don't have that problem. When the tablet goes to sleep (default is about 2 minutes), you wake it up by pressing the power button a few seconds, it won't wake up by tapping the screen, but it seems it will wake up through the USB keyboard after a few keystrokes.

Bottom line, I believe I made the right choice, I am happy with the purchase. Even my sister who owns an iPad2 thinks the Thrive is a better tablet.
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on July 10, 2012
(FIRST LET ME TELL YOU, I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN OVER 55 YEARS IN AGE)

I was not interested in the new technology coming out, I don't own a smart phone nor did I participate in the social network. Frankly, I never understood any of it. My interest in this particular Tablet came about when I was shopping, I noticed this tablet was on a one day sale.

When I saw over 1000 purchased within 2 hours from the start of the sale, I wanted to know more about this product. The price was right and I had the extra cash on hand. ( I'm on a fixed income)
As I Googled Toshiba Thrive I learned more about this product and I compared them to other tablets, with 4 1/2 stars out of 5 I was sold.

I have always owned a desktop computer, I found similarities in operation, of the Toshiba Thrive tablet to work almost in the same way. The ports were very familiar to me as I noticed some of the same connections on my desk top were on the Toshiba Tablet.

When I turned the tablet on, first thing I noticed was CARD GAMES...I am known as the CARD SHARk in our Senior Citizen Community..nobody wants to play poker, hearts, bridge or a honest game of Binocle-(also known as PINOCHLE)because I win all the time. When I saw the card game icon I knew I made the right decision to buy this tablet.

I had no problem navagating through my first game, I had to change the rules to make it harder for me to keep winning. I found out after a week, I can play on line. I now had to get this Tablet connected to WiFi.....I never had anything on WiFi....so now I learned about Wifi..now I am on line kicking Butt in various card games.

I made some new friends on line, most had Facebook, twitter and other social media accounts...I was never interested in any of this, now I have a Facebook, twitter and I am learning about youtube.

I have learned about APPS. oh my god, so many to choose from. The tablet comes pre-loaded, most I use. I bought the 8GB Toshiba Thrive, the space I use on the tablet is only for the APPS. The SD card I bought is 32GB storage space. I store my PDF books...I download my books from a Torrent website..I am now reading 50 shades of Gray...(some men like reading that too)

I found a movie converter that works for the Toshiba Thrive, so I have movies stored on the SD card. I love classical Music so I have music on the storage as well.

I have iHeart APP. so I can listen to newstalk radio...(this APP is free) for android devices. PDF ..Adobe Reader APP is also free to download on to the tablet so you can read books in PDF format.

ONE IMPORTANT THING..WITH THE TOSHIBA TABLET...OPEN an Account with GOOGLE, I now have a Gmail account...this opens a lot of doors and access to a lot of features for the Toshiba Thrive.

I have learned so much in my old age, I credit the Toshiba Thrive. The other Seniors love the music, one lady always tells me to play the jukebox....LoL....

There is so much more for me to learn about this Tablet, I have a new found interest and happiness in my life especially at my age, I thought this would never happen.

There are other accessories that go with this tablet, I have bought a Dock for the tablet, and a cover, and keyboard. I don't use my desktop as much as I use to. I am now using that for down loading my books and music for my SD storage.

I have some movies I hook our community TV to my Toshiba Thrive, with the HDMI cord. We watched Gone with the Wind..and now, From here to Eternity, since Enest Borgnine just passed. Our senior community is so happy. The Director is thinking of letting our Events Coordinator Go, because the Toshiba Thrive has taken over our Senior Community. LOL...lol...

I love I can carry this tablet everywhere. I can't believe the ease in operation, and how it's organized to think like people, meaning everything you need to make life easier is now at your finger tips. I do my on line banking on the tablet, I email, tweet, and keep in contact with me card buddies through Facebook.

I use the calendar, and alarm clock to know when it's time for my medications....The Toshiba Thrive Tablet has brought life back to me.

I love it, now I am a fan to the SMART era thanks to the Toshiba Thrive, I will stick with this product, and I will look for other products from now on that has to do with Toshiba.

I am so happy with Toshiba..I will look for Toshiba products first before I buy another name brand.
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