Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
One of Toshiba’s newest Android tablets, the Excite 13, felt like a practical joke when I first tried it.The tablet has a massive 13-inch screen, easily making it one of the largest touchscreen devices you can buy today.
(For a comparison, the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.)
The Excite is big. It’s really heavy. And it’s super impractical unless you only plan to use your tablet at home. In one room. In one spot.
Based on what Toshiba’s reps have told me, that’s the point. You’re supposed to leave this thing on your coffee table or kitchen counter or whatever, and keep it there.
I think that misses the point of what a tablet should be. Tablets are supposed to be portable and versatile. But in my tests, I only saw one true advantage to the Excite’s massive 13-inch screen: watching movies. Video looks incredible on the display whether your streaming it from YouTube or playing your own files. While the resolution isn’t as high as the new iPad’s Retina display, you still won’t be disappointed.
But the large screen makes it difficult to do much else. Web browsing feels awkward. Productivity apps like Evernote are tough to use since it’s tough to type on the Excite’s expansive touchscreen keyboard.
Other than that, the Excite 13 is pretty standard for Android tablets today. It runs Google’s latest operating system called Ice Cream Sandwich, and Toshiba did a great job at keeping the software pure. (Too many manufacturers like Samsung modify Android on their tablets. I think that can ruin the experience.)
It’s also packed with ports, making it easy to hook the Excite 13 up to your HD TV, add photos with an SD card, or connect USB devices.
Should you buy it?
The Excite 13 costs a very steep $650. Unless you really, really want a heavy Android tablet with a giant screen, it’s not worth the price. If Android tablets are your thing, there are many better options out there at reasonable prices and sizes, including Toshiba’s own Excite 7.7, which is pretty good.