If You're Looking For A Tablet That's Thicker Than The iPad And Runs Honeycomb -- Check This Out

toshiba thrive tablet

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

I dare you to name a major electronics company that doesn’t have plans for to make a tablet. (If they don’t have one already.)That’s right. You can’t.

Toshiba is the next big name to offer a tablet with it’s 10.1-inch Thrive. And like many others, it went with Android Honeycomb.

Click here for a bunch of photos of the Thrive >

If you’ve read my reviews of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Motorola Xoom, you know I’m not too hot on Honeycomb. Despite a lot of great hardware running the OS, Honeycomb still feels like a mess.

But I’m not even sure about the hardware this time around. Toshiba’s philosophy behind the Thrive is to add what other tablets are lacking: full-sized USB, HDMI, and SD card ports.

While that sounds nice, it means the Thrive is thick. Really thick. As in “thicker than the iPad 1” thick.

I’m not sure that’s what people want. As we increasingly move into cloud computing, there’s less need to carry around physical storage like USB drives and SD cards. (Cameras being the obvious exception.) And with printing over Wi-Fi, there’s no need to plug a tablet directly into a printer.

When I met with Toshiba a few weeks ago for a preview of the Thrive, the reps were pretty convinced that people want all these full-sized ports. I disagree. The iPad already proved them wrong over a year ago.

All this tablet theory aside, I’ve had the Thrive for 24 hours now. The full review is coming in a few days. For now, check out my first impressions and photos below.

The Thrive runs the latest version of Honeycomb, version 3.1.

At 10.1 inches, the Thrive feels like it should be held in landscape. But for some reason Toshiba put the front-facing camera at the top. It's kind of awkward.

Here's a close up of the front-facing camera

Power, volume, and orientation lock buttons on the side

Here's the SD card slot.

View from the top. Nice Google branding

There's a port for docking the Thrive to keyboards and other accessories

Here's a look at the full-sized USB and HDMI ports. They're hidden behind this flimsy piece of plastic

Here's the 5 MP rear camera

A full look at the back. The cover is made from ridged plastic. You can remove it to access the battery. Toshiba is offering a bunch of rear covers in different colours

Here's the Thrive next to the original iPad...

...And it's thicker than the iPad 1. The Thrive already feels a year out of date

Like most Honeycomb tablets, you'll be using landscape a lot.

Now check out another iPad alternative

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