Toshiba Has The Thinnest Tablet In The World, But Does That Make It The Best?

toshiba excite le tablet

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

After the disappointment with its clunky line of Thrive Android tablets, Toshiba needs a winner in the space.That’s why we now have the 10-inch Excite LE, which Toshiba claims is the thinnest tablet available right now. (That’s true, as far as I can tell.)

The Excite LE is definitely a major improvement over Toshiba’s earlier tablets. Even though it’s so thin, it still feels incredibly sturdy. 

Instead of the cheap-feeling plastic found on many Android tablets, the Excite LE has a magnesium alloy body. It’s a nice touch.

Even more impressive, Toshiba was able to pack in some handy ports for Micro USB, Micro HDMI, and Micro SD. 

Performance-wise, I found the Excite LE to be on-par with several other Android tablets. It runs the latest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich, and I like that Toshiba didn’t make too many modifications to the operating system. Many manufacturers (like Samsung) dilute the best parts of Android by making too many changes to the software.

But the Excite LE also suffers from the typical Android tablet problems such as a lack of tablet-optimised apps and a limited selection of downloadable music and movies.

I also think the Excite LE is a bit overpriced. The entry-level 16 GB model costs $530, $30 more than a comparable iPad. The 32 GB model costs $600.

That’s going to make it tough for people to pick the Excite LE over the iPad or another cheaper Android tablet, especially since Toshiba doesn’t offer any killer features to set it apart from the competition.

The Excite LE is a super thin and light Android tablet.

The volume rocker, sleep button, and orientation lock switch are tucked on the right side.

Even though the Excite LE is so thin, Toshiba was able to include ports for Micro HDMI, Micro USB, and Micro SD. Impressive.

A closer look at the ports.

There's an iPad-like port at the bottom for charging or syncing to your computer.

Instead of plastic, Toshiba made the body out of a magnesium alloy. It looks and feels nice.

The rear 5 MP camera is pretty decent for taking simple snapshots. (You wouldn't want any tablet to replace your camera anyway.)

Here's the front-facing camera for video chat. It has a stylish silvery ring around the lens.

Branding!

The Excite LE is noticeably thinner and lighter than the iPad.

The display is on-par with other Android tablets. It's bright and clear.

Android does multitasking better than any other mobile operating system, even Apple's iOS.

Toshiba included a handful of its own apps on the Excite LE. Here's a file manager that lets you organise your photos, music, video, and other files.

We really liked Toshiba's media player. It's pretty.

But Google Music is a better app if you have your songs stored in the cloud.

Toshiba also included a news reader app. It looks a lot like the popular app Pulse, which is already available for Android tablets.

The Excite LE uses Android's default web browser. However, you should download Google's Chrome for Android and use that instead.

The Excite LE's resolution is fine, but it's still not as sharp as the Retina display on the new iPad.

Should you buy it?

The Excite LE is a decent Android tablet, but I don't think it's the best one. So far, no other Android tablet has been able to top the Asus Transformer Prime. If having the thinnest and lightest Android tablet is all you care about, then you won't be disappointed.

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