Toshiba’s Excite Pure Jelly Bean tablet available in Europe now
Jul16

Toshiba’s Excite Pure Jelly Bean tablet available in Europe now

Officially announced in early June alongside the Excite Pro and Excite Write, Toshiba’s new Excite Pure tablet has been launched in Europe recently. Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and Amazon France are all selling the Excite Pure as we speak. The tablet costs €299 in Germany, €349 in France, and £307.55 in the UK. Feature-wise, the Toshiba Excite Pure offers Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a 10.1 inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3MP rear camera, 1.2MP front-facing camera, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and MicroSD card support. Obviously, the Excite Pure has been available in the US for some time (it costs $299.99 there). The more expensive Excite Pro and Excite Write (which feature 2560 x 1600 displays and more powerful Tegra 4 processors) are available in the US, too. Both the Excite Pro and Excite Write should land in Europe soon. Amazon Germany says the Excite Pro will cost €429, while the Excite Write should be offered for €599 (the price includes a Bluetooth keyboard...

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Toshiba and Samsung start 13 mpx camera CMOS sensor production. With Sony monopoly lifted, megapixel war resumes
Jul16

Toshiba and Samsung start 13 mpx camera CMOS sensor production. With Sony monopoly lifted, megapixel war resumes

Do you know why we have so few 13 megapixel smartphones so far? And why even major smartphone OEMs have to reduce camera resolution to 8 megapixels in everything except flagships? See Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, or Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra. It’s because up until recently, nobody except Sony was able to produce a good enough quality 13 megapixel camera sensor chips in volume. And even Sony themselves couldn’t make enough of them, to satisfy all the demand. So they could keep 13 mpx camera sensor price pretty high, affordable on only the most expensive devices. But things are about to change soon. Both Toshiba and Samsung have finally figured out 13 megapixel camera CMOS image sensor manufacturing and quality issues, and are now starting volume production of these chips. Toshiba announced their imaging chip on July 5th, and will start shipping T4K37 13 megapixel backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS image sensor in early December, for $20 apiece. Samsung LSI division (responsible for design and manufacturing of all Samsung chips), is now mass producing their own 13 megapixel CMOS sensors, too. And, according to industry insiders, already has the order for 80 to 90 million of them from Samsung Electronics mobile unit. The good news here is, that with Sony’s monopoly on 13 megapixel camera sensors lifted, the prices for them should start coming down fast and availability will increase. So from next year, or maybe even before Christmas,  you will start seeing Galaxy S4/Xperia Z level cameras in midrange devices. And what about upcoming flagship smartphones, you may ask? That’s easy. On to 20 megapixels and beyond, with Sony Xperia i1 leading the way. (Nokia 1020 is a special case here – nobody is likely to catch up to them in imaging department anytime soon). Despite some proclamations, it seems that megapixel  war in smartphone cameras is far from over. And a few years lull at 8 megapixel level, was simply an armistice until manufacturers figured out some technological problems. Now that they did, expect some cool action real soon. Via ETNews and...

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Toshiba’s new 10″ tablet trio: Excite Pro and Excite Write with Tegra 4, $299.99 Excite Pure
Jun04

Toshiba’s new 10″ tablet trio: Excite Pro and Excite Write with Tegra 4, $299.99 Excite Pure

Toshiba’s introduced some new tablets of its own, not to let Asus steal the spotlight for this week. The new devices are called Excite Pro, Excite Write, and Excite Pure. All are powered by Nvidia processors, with the latter sporting a Tegra 3. The Pro and Write come with Nvidia’s Tegra 4, so there will be no shortage of performance over there. The Toshiba Excite Pro has a 10.1-inch 2,560×1,600 touchscreen, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a microSD card slot, an 8 MP rear camera, Harman Kardon stereo speakers, and it runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It’s going to be priced at $499.99. For $100 more than that you can opt for the Excite Write, which has the exact same specs as the Pro, except that it adds a digitizer to the touchscreen, and is sold with a bundled stylus (that has its own note-taking app preinstalled on the tablet). The Excite Pure will be Toshiba’s cheapest offering for this summer, coming in at just $299.99. For that amount of dough, what you’re getting is a 10.1-inch 1,280×800 touchscreen, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, a 3 MP rear camera, stereo speakers, and the aforementioned Tegra 3 CPU. The Pure also runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean like its siblings. All three tablets will become available on June 25 direct from Toshiba’s online store. Major retailers (online and offline) will have them in stock in...

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Toshiba AT10LE-A with Nvidia Tegra 4 processor gets photographed
May02

Toshiba AT10LE-A with Nvidia Tegra 4 processor gets photographed

Nvidia announced its latest mobile chipset, the Tegra 4, at CES in January. That said, we’re still waiting for the first device sporting it to be on the market. Things may change soon though. The Toshiba AT10LE-A may be one of the first shipping tablets to feature the new Tegra 4 CPU, alongside the recently uncovered HP SlateBook 10 X2. Hopefully the AT10LE-A will get an actual name before its release. This is going to be Android-powered, and it’s certainly not the first time Toshiba has used Google’s mobile operating system to run the show in its tablets. The AT10LE-A has starred in a photo shoot, which was then sent to Techblog.gr. As you can see, it’s quite the looker, which isn’t surprising considering that all of Toshiba’s tablets so far have been rather nice. The Tegra 4 processor inside could be clocked at 1.8 GHz, and this device should also come with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a microSD card slot, mini HDMI, and stereo speakers. The AT10LE-A will be dockable onto a keyboard, like Asus’ Transformer line. And it will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it seems. Unfortunately though, that’s all we know about the Toshiba AT10LE-A for now. However, we’re hoping more info will make it out in the wild soon (leaked or otherwise). So stay...

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Toshiba launches 4.7 mm thin 13 MP camera sensor
Mar28

Toshiba launches 4.7 mm thin 13 MP camera sensor

Toshiba is set to release the thinnest 1/3 inch 13 MP camera sensor ever made. The module, named TCM9930MD, will be just 4.7 mm thick. It’s specifically designed for use in smartphones and tablets, and may show up in a flagship device or two in the future. The module’s pixel size is 1.12 µm, and you probably won’t see it in HTC devices anytime soon, since the Taiwanese company is focusing on bigger pixels with its One flagship phone. The size of this camera sensor makes it suitable for use in extremely thin devices, so we may get more and more 13 MP handsets in the near future. That said, at that size, don’t expect miracles in terms of picture quality. Even the 12 MP sensor in the two and a half year old Nokia N8 will surely produce images that are a lot better, thanks to its huge 1/1.83″ sensor size. Let’s not even mention the 808 PureView. But, for ‘casual’ photography, and casual users who don’t necessarily know what’s important in a camera – this will be swell. To make the TCM9930MD this slim, Toshiba’s used four plastic lenses and a dedicated signal processing circuit for improving lens performance. The circuit “compensates for the distortion of the lenses and conducts the restoration of resolution (MTF: modulation transfer function) for the peripheral area of an image”, according to Tech-On. To further reduce the thickness of this camera module, Toshiba even used a flip chip structure in place of a wire bonded structure. So everything in the name of extreme slimness. That seems a little bit similar to what certain smartphone makers are usually up to. Toshiba’s new camera sensor is probably going to be used in all kinds of smartphones that won’t have any real ambitions in terms of imaging quality – from the flagships of the so-called ‘Tier 2’ makers, to the upper-midrange offerings of the most well-known companies. However, it will be a while until it will be inside shipping products. Toshiba will begin to ship samples in May, but volume production will only be started in December. One of these modules will cost 7,000 yen, so approximately $74 at the current exchange rate. At the end of this year, Toshiba will be making around one million of these each month, so the company certainly expects the TCM9930MD to be at least a moderate...

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Toshiba Excite 7.7 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update now rolling out
Dec27

Toshiba Excite 7.7 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update now rolling out

Toshiba really isn’t known for timely updates to new Android versions, so this may come as a surprise to some of you. The Toshiba Excite 7.7 now has an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the way. The Excite 7.7 was launched back in April alongside a couple of bigger tablets, and it comes with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and an AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass. So far it has been running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Not anymore, though. Over-the-air an update notification will come, and if you choose to download and install the Jelly Bean software, you’ll then be running Android 4.1.1 (build JRO03C). Be aware, though, that the download comes in at 348 MB, so it may take a while to complete depending on your connection speed. It’s good to see Toshiba update what probably isn’t one of its best sellers. On the other hand, this still isn’t the latest version of Android, and whether or not you’ll ever get to run 4.2.1 on your Excite 7.7 is a mystery at this point. Via Android...

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Toshiba Excite 10 SE gets unveiled for the US, yours for $349.99 starting on December 6
Dec05

Toshiba Excite 10 SE gets unveiled for the US, yours for $349.99 starting on December 6

Toshiba has announced the Excite 10 SE tablet for the USA today. This looks like it’s a very close relative to the AT300SE that was unveiled over in the UK a few weeks ago. The Excite 10 SE has a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 3 MP rear camera, an HD front-facing camera, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 16 GB of built-in storage space, and it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (a pretty stock variant, to be exact). Those are all the specs we know, for Toshiba hasn’t bothered to announce the full list. So it’s up to you to guess how much RAM is in there, or how big the battery is. The good news is that we may get the missing pieces in just a couple of days, because that’s when it will become available. More specifically, on December 6 (so this Thursday). You’ll be able to buy the Toshiba Excite 10 SE from “select retailers” as well as ToshibaDirect.com for a recommended price of $349.99. That’s definitely not a bad price for a 10-inch tablet. But for just $50 more, you can order a Google Nexus 10, which comes with a next-generation processor (Cortex-A15 based, although ‘just’ dual-core) and an insanely pixel-packed screen coming with 2,560×1,600 resolution. And you get pretty much guaranteed Android updates for a few years, updates which you’ll also get many months before anyone...

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Toshiba AT300SE announced for the UK, run of the mill 10-inch Android tablet for £299.99
Nov15

Toshiba AT300SE announced for the UK, run of the mill 10-inch Android tablet for £299.99

Toshiba has announced a new tablet for the UK market today, the AT300SE. While it’s unclear whether the “SE” in that name stands for “second edition”, or “sequel”, it’s pretty clear that this is the successor to the original AT300 unveiled back in May. The AT300SE comes with a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a 3 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of built-in storage space, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and claimed 10-hour battery life. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This tablet will be in stores sometimes before the end of the year, and it will cost £299.99. Therein lies the problem. The specs are certainly decent for this day and age, but this is obviously not a high-end tablet. The Google Nexus 10, on the other hand, is. And it costs just £20 more. The Nexus 10 has a much better display (with 2,560×1,600 resolution, the highest ever seen on a tablet), next-gen processor (Cortex-A15 based Samsung Exynos 5), and it runs Android 4.2 out of the box. Plus, software support will be incomparably better for it, since it is a Nexus – which means you’ll get new Android versions first. We can’t imagine that paying £20 more could be a real problem for any of you considering a £300-ish tablet, so the only real downside to the Nexus 10 is that it doesn’t have a microSD card slot, so you’re stuck with the built-in storage space. But hopefully that’s not a dealbreaker for you, since it really is a much better offering than the AT300SE. Sure, the Nexus 10 may be sold out at the moment. Then again, the Toshiba AT300SE isn’t even available yet. In the end, you’ll decide what’s best for you. But one thing is clear – with its pricing for its new Nexus products, Google has instantly made many competing Android devices seem overpriced. Via...

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Quad-core Toshiba Excite 10 tablet can now be yours for just $299.99
Aug21

Quad-core Toshiba Excite 10 tablet can now be yours for just $299.99

The Nexus 7 is probably your best option right now if you’re looking for a 7-inch Android tablet. But what if you want to go larger? Sure, there are many contenders out there, but none that match the Nexus 7’s price per features ratio. Until now, that is. For just $50 more than you’d pay for a 16 GB Nexus 7, you can now get a full 10-inch tablet – the Toshiba Excite 10. It can be yours for just $299.99 in this configuration, or $349.99 if you’d like it to come with 32 GB of storage. Shipping and handling costs are included in those prices, by the way. And if you’re expecting the Excite 10 to disappoint in the hardware department, you’re wrong. It has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, 1 GB of RAM, a 5 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front-facing camera, microSD slot, micro USB and micro HDMI ports, and it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Interested yet? Then head straight to Costco here for the 16 GB Excite 10 and here for the 32 GB version. This offer will only be valid until December 1, so don’t postpone this acquisition any longer than necessary. For what you get, it’s impossible to stress how great a deal this is. Via...

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Toshiba Thrive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update now available
Aug07

Toshiba Thrive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update now available

The update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the Toshiba Thrive is now out. We’re talking about the original Toshiba Android tablet, the 10-inch Thrive, and not its smaller sibling. The update was supposed to roll out this past spring, but it got delayed. Thankfully though, it’s actually a bit early, since it was pegged for a fall release after the delay. After applying the update, your tablet will run Android 4.0.4. The update will arrive over-the-air, so your tablet should notify you when it’s available. If it hasn’t done so already, and you’re really impatient, you can manually check by going to the Service Station app and tapping on Check for Updates. Via...

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