on 23 July 2012
I make this review as someone who is very comfortable with computers and windows but who has not owned a smart phone or tablet before and therefore I have gone through something of a learning curve to get to this point.
I originally just wanted a colour e-reader (to supplement my Kindle) for art books etc but discovered that as soon as I went to an LCD (away from e-ink) that the world changed to reflective bright glass and poor battery performance. If I was to endure those things, then I thought I may as well go the whole hog and get a tablet that could at least perform well for the other things that a tablet will do.
I initially bought the Samsung Galaxy 2 7 (7" tablet) for £200. It had the latest Android version, duel core processor, 8 GB of memory and could take a micro SD card to expand the memory. Anyway, I then discovered that the SD card could only store data type stuff (movie, music and docs) and not apps and since the system hogged half the memory, it only left 4GB on the machine.
I changed the device to the Toshiba AT300 costing £330 and the step - up was noticeable. Quad processor (4+1) and 16GB of memory but with the higher screen resolution spread over a bigger screen (10.1") so lower actual resolution per square inch. The machine also had better connectivity with more ports and could take a full sized SD card. It also runs on Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Unfortunately, like the Samsung tablet, Apps do not want to seem to move to the SD card, I even downloaded the APS 2 SD app without success (Comments online now lead me to believe that this is a problem with Android 4 rather than the machines) however on this 16GB machine it matters less, the system takes up the same 4GB as it did on the Samsung but the difference is,you are left with 12 GB spare, so although 16MB is double the memory of 8MB tablet, in practical terms you actually get triple the capacity (12GB not 4GB remaining) to play around with, so I can't see app storage being a problem for me. The Toshiba also takes a full sized SD card rather than the micro SD card that some machines are limited to, so it might make a useful camera companion. The Samsung by the way does come in a 16GB version and had I got that version, I might have stuck with it, though I like the bigger screen, extra processing power and USB port on the Toshiba.
I had to fully charge the machine as it was flat from new, which I did as an overnight job, as it takes around 8 hours. The charging cable is almost 1.5 metres long, which is handy when accessing plugs, though not convenient to carry around
On start-up I noticed on the black screen that there was quite a bit of light bleed around the outside edge of the screen. A quick internet search broadly put my mind at rest. It seems bleed is fairly common on LCDs but can be more pronounced on some machines, the Toshiba AT300 might be one such example. The forum comments generally took the view that providing it is not too intrusive, it is just one of those things to live with. In real world use, I only see the bleed on the black start-up screen and never in anything else that I do, though I have not run any movie yet with dark scenes such as night shots etc.
The machine uses Gorilla Glass, I wasn't sure what that was, but the clue is in the name. Anyway, I was not surprised, it just adds to the sense of this being a nice machine that has not fallen prey to short cuts for cost cutting .
I don't have much use for the micro HDMI connection at the moment but the macro USB is useful. Once tethered to my Desktop, the Toshiba shows up on the windows screen and is treated just like another hard drive, so that it as easy for the user to add and remove files from the Toshiba, such as my music files by just dragging on the PC's window environment.
I really enjoy the bigger screen, in particular it feels much better than the 7" model when viewing websites in landscape. The tablet is very slim and light for it's size and has a nice aluminium effect rear plate, it feels really nice and sleek in the hands - though, after 30 - 40 minutes of hand holding, it can feel heavy on the wrists when reading, so I bought one of the generic flip out cases, so that the screen could stand upright unaided by me, making things easier for longer sessions.
The bigger screen means you get a nice sized (soft) keyboard, which has nicely spaced letters that suits my big hands. You can shift the keypad into two other modes that allow either numerals or the directional keys (for editing) to be used.The text system works well, especially from a mobile perspective, but this is probably not a replacement to a laptop for people who type a lot of text as despite the `office' apps being very good, editing on a long article will require flipping back and forth between keyboard modes for text, directional arrows and numerals and this is much less convenient than a traditional keyboard. However, the tablet has a microphone that can be activated from the soft keyboard and you can just speak and the computer prints your speech as text into the document with incredible accuracy.
The microphone can also be activated from the home page with commands such as `find maps' or find `google' and the computer then delivers you an internet link that you can tap onto.
The screen is nicely responsive to touch and things can be moved around the screen and managed effortlessly, no doubt with thanks to that quad processor. I have not come across any lag.
The speakers are on the bottom of the gadget and their reproduction is reasonable for their size, providing the volume is not pushed to full. Earphones and external powered speakers are the better option and on my portable external battery powered speaker, the sound is very good.
The screen is quite bright and fairly sharp, good enough for games, text and photographs for most people. I tend to be a bit critical about photo images and when I compare the pad photograph with the same photograph (being read from the pad via USB) on my monitor,there is a clear difference in very fine detail , vibrancy and contrast, though I am probably being quite unfair on the tablet here and would like to see the same image on other higher resolution tablets for a comparison. I like the program that uses an art filter to change the photographs into a more `painterly' look, it just gives your photo collection a different and generally satisfactory feel.
The screen brightness is set to auto by default, I have switched to manual and lowered the brightness, which especially for text based pages on a white background makes for a more comfortable read and hopefully it will save me some battery juice as well.
There is a rumbler / buzzer in the tablet, which you can feel through the back plate, it heralds the machine being turned on, but can also be `alive' for every time something is activated on the screen. At first I was puzzled as to how I could turn it off and even sweated that it might be a permanent feature, but eventually I found that the control was located under the Haptics section. I am now happily vibration free!
Being keen on photography, I was interested to see how the back plate camera would perform and I was disappointed with both inside and outside shots, though I gather that tablet cameras in general are not the best devices, so it's not just a thing with this model, which does have flash by the way. The camera does auto focus and you can tap on the focus screen for the point of focus. The camera has easily accessible controls for EV, white balance and scene mode. The capture will certainly show the details of the scene but I am rather spoiled by my dedicated cameras - which again probably causes me to make an unfair judgement on tablet cameras. It serves fine as a point and shoot recording device and I can see it being useful for taking record type shots.
On it's first charge, the battery ran down to 3% after 6 hours 40 mins and 6 hours 38 mins the second time. I was quite careful to turn the Wi-Fi off while game playing. I am hoping that this will improve a little after the battery has been discharged and re-charged a few times, as it seems a tad on the poor side, though I doubt any of the `advertised' battery capacities are attained on a regular real world basis.
I have sold a handheld console and a laptop computer to help pay for this tablet, as the tablet seems to render those two items unnecessary (I still have a desktop computer and a netbook), particularly as the type of games that I enjoy are puzzle games, word games, chess, platform games and some adventure type games, all of which seem ideally suited to the tablet. I do quite a bit of heavy work on the computer, so even though the tablet is competent, for me, it doesn't make a computer replacement device yet, though for net browsing, video, game play and checking e-mails on a very portable platform it is superb. I can even see myself doing a bit of word processing when in places like cafes etc - although talking into the microphone might be best avoided in such places (a new take of "I'm on the train" being broadcast to the annoyance of others).
Google Shop content for Android seems fine for my needs. I have put the kindle app on the tablet and my books on watercolour paintings look nice as do some military illustrations. When it comes to a coloured picture in the books, you can just tap on the picture and it expands to full screen size, very nice. I will still use my kindle for my black and white text based books as it is kinder on the eyes for long reading sessions.
I have downloaded the Avast app for my anti-virus needs and I am hooked on the word game `Dropwords' at the moment - good fun.
When reviewing, I ask myself `would I buy this again'? For the AT300 my answer is yes. My only reservation has been the light bleed, which surprises me as the build quality otherwise seems very good but this has never been a problem for me in actual use and I can only see it on start-up. In all other regards I really like the machine. It feels good in the hands and it has the power to move everything around without lag. It has good connectivity and I feel that despite this being an area of quickly advancing technology and capability, the new crop of machines are good enough to service my needs without too much worry about having to upgrade anytime soon.
Just for the record, at the time of looking at the Toshiba, I was also looking at the Google Nexus 7 (same power, same memory, newer version of Android, smaller screen, less external connectivity), the iPad 2 (same price, same memory, less external connectivity), the iPad 3 (£70 more, less external connectivity, similar power, same memory, gorgeous retina screen that outclasses all other tablet screens and would almost certainly make my photographs look better). Probably the biggest deciding factor for me was external connectivity, especially as I am not on unlimited broadband.
EDIT 3rd Aug 2012 - A couple of weeks on and I remain happy with the machine. The battery use seems fairly consistent at around 6 hours 40 mins. I still charge it overnight (every 3 days or so) but noticed last time that it had fully charged from 1% to full in less than 6 hours. Someone asked me if it can read PDF's, it can. I download PDF's via the USB from my PC and when I open the file in the AT300 it asks what you want to read it with. Adobe is one of the options, it seems to work well.
EDIT 5th Sept 2012 - I remain content with the machine and use it daily. The battery continues to have a life of around 6 hours and 40 mins, I wish it was more but it's OK. I am playing 'Dead Trigger' which is a 1st person shooter game (zombies!!!)and the graphics run very smoothly on the machine and I think it is probably a demanding game in terms of graphics, so processing power looks good. I am also using Kingsoft Office for my word processing stuff (though have Android Office installed as well), I am getting used to the keyboard and it is becomming a bit more second nature to edit the text, you really need to go into the EDIT mode to do that properly (press the 123 softkey), but it makes using internet forums quite easy to be active in and even doing longer documents is easier than I first thought. I have downloaded a couple of PDF files to read and they present well on the screen. Also enjoying a word game called '7 words'. Basically I am using this machine to replace my old console, to check e-mails and internet browse and to compose short documents and keep a photo gallery of favourite shots (some manipulated to look like oil paintings using the 'oil paint' app. To date the light bleed has not caused me any issues, though I have not watched a movie on the machine, but judging from the shooter game, it should not be an issue.
EDIT 7th April 2013 - Just confirming that I am still using this tablet and remain fully happy with it. If I were to identify the weakest points, I would say they are battery life (as previously mentioned) and the camera. I am enjoying my Apps and the tablet has made a total replacement of my previous hand held gaming console. I am pushing the boundaries to see how much I can do on this rather than on the laptop and my most recent discovery is a free draw package called Express SketchbookX which seems fairly sophisticated and lets you use layers. It is surprising how much control you have even with fingertip control. You can export the artwork as a JPEG and then that can be later dragged into documents, which I save as PDF. (also enjoying super stickman, Shuffle and Wordslide as games). I have also started using the spreadsheets in Kingsoft Office to manage my monthly finances (another job taken from the laptop). My next project is to see if I can run a hobby blog just from the tablet and also to try to get the tablet to work with my HP printer which is ePrint enabled, so it should be OK, I just need to work out how to do it. I do not really use the SD card that much, though am glad it is there as an easy device to import files from either the laptop or the camera. I quite fancy the better camera and the retina screen of the iPad but at this moment in time cannot see sufficient justification cost wise of moving from what I have to the iPad, I m more than happy to sit back and watch how the variolus technologies advance, particularly as developers try to make tablets true alternatives to nebooks and laptops. In short, the tablet is starting to work quite hard for me and seems up to those tasks.
on 2 October 2012
This is an amazing tablet! I spent ages researching and checking all available 10 inch tablets before buying this one. Sure you can get a good 7 inch tablet for less, but I wanted a 10 incher or nothing! I will share my thoughts below, together with how it compares to the Apple ipad 3, as I get fed up of Apple lovers saying the ipad is the best!
The quality is superb, very good quality build. The back is silver metal, so are the sides. The display does pick up alot of fingerprints, but there are screen protectors to help with that. The toughened gorilla glass puts peace to mind too. This is something the ipad does not have.
It is heavy so you can't hold it in one hand for long. Its just a case of placing it on your lap when it use. But the ipad is even heavier.
There is some slight light bleed on the screen when there is a completely black screen, but I rarely notice it. The screen is very bright with controls to manually or automatically adjust brightness. The automatic option reduces battery usage. The viewing angle is incredible and can be viewed from almost any angle.
There are lots of ports to insert a memory card to increase storage, a micro HDMI port, a mini USB port, together with the power charging port. I bought an extension to allow a memory stick to be plugged into the mini USB port too. The ipad has none of these and you cannot expand the storage in an ipad.
The camera quality is super despite reviews. Sure its not as sharp as a dedicated camera, but no camera on any tablet (including the ipad) is as good as a dedicated camera. The video is HD quality and I can't see much difference between the video recorded on this, and full HD video recorded on a dedicated camcorder. So don't believe what people say about the camera and video recording quality!
There are two speakers at the bottom - the ipad only has 1 speaker. The sound is slightly quiet but there are lots of settings to increase the volume and make it more surround-sound like. There does seem to be a bug in the software as people have reported the speakers stopping working sometimes. It happened to me a couple of times so I had to restart it. Hopefully Toshiba will release an update soon.
It runs Android ICS and I read that Toshiba will upgrade it to Jelly Bean soon. The software is very fast, although if you have a few applications or updates running at once, there might be some slight lag. This would be the same on any tablet, and even slower on the cheaper ones. The software is very easy to use with lots of settings. Not too many Apps built-in just standard ones like Facebook, Evernote, and a great non-MS Office suite.
Having a fast Tegra 3 processor helps the speed of the software, as its 1.3GHz. Only two other Android tablets are faster, and neither of them are available in the UK yet. The ipad processor runs at 1.0GHz.
There is 1GB of RAM, which is fairly standard apart from the ipad which is only a mere 256MB of RAM. I have played some 3D graphics intensive games and they run with no lag at all. There are many games designed just for the Tegra graphics processor in this.
I think thats about covered it! I adore this tablet, independent reviews have shown it is one of the fastest and best on the market at present and I agree. Buy one, you won't be disappointed!
on 5 October 2012
First impression. This is nicely designed tablet. There is nothing "flashy" about it. It's simplicity of a full glass front and an uniform textured aluminum back, does give this tablet a rather attractive and premium look and feel. It's weight of just under 590g, makes this one of the lighter 10" quad-core tablet out there in the market (if not the lightest). Despite some competitor product being just several tens of gram heavier, I do find this tablet to more comfortable to hold than others. The casing is well made, no creaking sound or flexing of the casing. All the corners are very smooth and no sharp edges (except for one, which I will come to later).
To the left side, you have the power button, the orientation lock switch, and the volume rocker. The volume rocker is very tactile, it has a positive click to it each time you press it. And it is fitted very well, no wobble. The power button is not as good. It feel slightly "spongy". Sometimes, when I pressed it, I've to check the screen to find out if it has registered the press. As for the orientation lock switch, well it is also very well fitted, and you can customize this switch to other functions, eg mute sound or lock hardware buttons, nice :). On the right side, you'll find the headphone jack, micro hdmi, micro usb and sdcard. There are two cameras; one in front, smack in the middle on top of the screen and another behind, on the top-left corner of the tablet. The front camera is low-res, but it will prove to be useful and sufficient if you are planning to use the tablet video call, eg skype. On the rear, you have a 5mp camera. Is it any good? Hell no. It is rubbish. Even my £100 pay-as-u-go smartphone takes better picture than this tablet. The focus is bad and the color is washed out, I've nothing positive to say about the picture quality. The only upside here is, I absolutely didn't buy this tablet for its photo taking prowess (or the lack of it in this case). On the top edge, you will find the built-in mic, which again will be useful for video call. And finally, on the bottom, you will find two speakers (left and right) and in the middle is a ridiculously huge (I do mean huge) proprietary slot for charging the tablet.
One of the main attraction of this tablet is connectivity. Toshiba have literally stuff every conceivable wired and wireless standards on this tablet. On the wired side, you have; micro usb (OTG), micro hdmi & full sdcard slot. And on the wireless front, you get the WIFI, bluetooth & gps. No built-in 3G modem though, since I intend to use this tablet at home, this is not a problem. I've tried connecting, keyboard, mouse, usb flash, external drive (exFAT format) and digital camera to the micro usb, and they all work perfectly. As for the full sdcard, I am using a lowly class 4, 32GB sd-card, FAT32 format and this tablet have no problem reading or writing to the sdcard (even with 3rd party file manager). I found the WIFI signal to be very good and strong. The GPS works very well to, even getting a lock when I am sitting indoor, fairly near a window. But I see little use for the GPS, am I really going to put this 10" tablet into my car and drive around? Definitely not!
And now, the screen. Got to be honest, it is not great. There are better screen out there, eg samsung tab2 10.1, asus tf300 and even the ipad2 beats this one. The color reproduction is actually very good (probably b'cos toshiba makes TVs), but the contrast and the brightness is lacking compared to other equally priced competitors. Also the viewing angle is lacking compared to other. I am not saying it is a terrible screen. On its own, looking at the screen it is a perfectly pleasant experience. Just when you put it side-by-side with other tablets, you quickly realized that Toshiba have definitely cut-cost here. On the upside, the screen is gorilla glass and it give you that added "security".
How about the sound? I am happy to report that it is good. Some says that it sounded a little soft. But I didn't think so. I mean, of course, if you are in a busy retail center or in a train you might find it pretty hard to hear it, but at home, the loudness is pretty acceptable. I almost never turn the volume above the mid point. Also worth mentioning, that toshiba have included some of their own software that allows your to tweak the sound. It is under the "audio enhancement" menu. I found the enhancement help a lot with the loudness and give the sound a bit more clarity.
As for the software, the tablet runs Android 4.0 Ice cream sandwich (ICS). I personally thinks that Android is a fantastic platform. No saying that Android is the best mobile OS, and it not perfect either, but the flexibility and the openness of the OS appeals to me. So if you don't want or don't like Android, go buy some other device. The OS runs very smoothly on this tablet, the transition in and out of apps are very quick. This tablet doesn't miss a beat. There are rumor out on the web that Toshiba will be rolling out the Jelly Bean upgrade in the future, but since ICS runs so well, I don't think I will be too bother if Jelly Bean comes or not.
The apps installed on this tablet are pretty much standard stuff. I use this tablet mainly for browsing, watching videos and some casual gaming. The stock browser is excellent. Loading of web pages are very fast (this is a relative concept of course), the zooming in and out is smooth (not that you need to do much with a 10" screen) and embedded videos (flash and html5) all play perfectly. As for video, I've thrown a few formats at it, and the stock player cope very well with divx, xvid, mkv & mp4 (mixture of SD and HD resolution). But stock player fail to play flv, not a real problem because most 3rd party video player would do it. Gaming, well this is where this tablet shines. I've tested some of the more cpu/gpu intensive games from tegra zone, and this table eat games for lunch. The effect were fantastic and the games runs silky smooth. I've got about 20 games installed so far, and all of them runs beautifully.
Toshiba has thrown in a few bloatware, some of them good and useful (eg, the file manager is not bad and the office suite is good too), and there are others that are not so good (eg, toshiba places). There is also the audio enhancer (which I mentioned earlier) and there is also a video enhancement feature. I've enabled this once and it simply crashed the video I was watching a reboot the tablet. So avoid the video enhancement feature.
There are a few things that I do not like about this tablet. One is the proprietary charging connector and slot. Why can't we just use the standard usb for charging? I know other tablet manufacturer (eg asus, samsung) does it as well, doesn't mean I have to like it. Another issue is the sdcard slot. To insert a sdcard, you will have to remove a plastic cover. Once the cover is removed and the sdcard inserted in its place, you now have a big gap along the right side of the tablet. And the corners/edges on this gap is fairly sharp. So, if you are gripping the side of this tablet, you find the edges digging into your hand, very very uncomfortable. I find myself consciously, avoiding the sd card gap when holding the tablet. This is just a sign of bad design by Toshiba.
Now, the bits that are not so good. The built quality is a bit of a let down. I like to point out that I am now on my second AT300 tablet (returned the first one). On the 1st At300, on the top edge left side, I found that the screen is "lifting/separating" away from the casing. Then if I run my finger along the edges of the screen, I can feel some bits are lower or higher than the rest. It is as if, the screen have not been secured evenly/properly onto casing. And also, as many have mentioned, there are backlight bleed all around the edges of the screen. So, is my second AT300 any better? Unfortunately NOT! Bits of the screen is still lifting off the casing, though less severe, and the backlight bleed is still there. I know, I know, at under £300, this is not a "premium" product, but bits of the screen sticking out of the casing, that's just a sign of very very bad manufacturing and no quality control! Shame on you, Toshiba.
So, despite the bad build quality and the minor problems, why am I still holding on to this tablet? Because right now, in the UK, for under £300, I feel this tablet have the best combination of features versus drawbacks. The nearest contender is the galaxy tab2 10.1 (£300), but this one uses a out-of-date dual core TI OMAP chip. The next one up is the old ipad2 (£330), and this one has no ports at all, useless! Next is the acer a510 (£330), which I've to admit is pretty tempting, but down to personal experience with acer laptops, I've sworn never to buy acer ever again (too bad for me?). And finally we have the asus tf300, this one tick all the right boxes, but the package and pricing of this product represents everything that is wrong with how the UK consumers are being rip-off when it comes to consumer electronic products (compared to the ppl in the USA). I mean you can go to US today, walk into Best Buy and get a basic model of tf300 (16GB, no keyboard) for a mere £260 (yes pounds, not dollar). And what do we get in the UK? We get a bloated, pre-packaged, asus tf300 32GB + keyboard dock for £399! That's £140 more for the extra things that I do not even want or need.
Rant over. And that's it. Thanks for reading :)
on 19 August 2012
I am really blown away by this tablet, it does everything I want beautifully and I'm discovering things I never knew I could do on a computer. I investigated other tablets or before deciding on this one. The IPad gets all the reviews but trying to be objective about it I found it to be limited in in several areas, fixed amount of storage; can't add extra storage, (the Nexus 7 is the same),no HDMI, etc. The Toshiba seem to fit my requirements; 10,1 gorilla glass screen, display equal to most other tablets (not the IPad 3 of course) Tegra 3, Android 4.03 ICS(announced to be upgraded to jellybean soon), 1 GB/32GB internal storage, full-size SD card slot, HDMI & mini USB port and good battery life.
When I first received my AT300 I had a problem with it but Toshiba were very efficient and replaced it very quickly. The new one is fine; fast, solidly built and very easy to use. I have added a Logitech Tablets Speaker which makes it into a great personal entertainment centre;stereo sound transformed into surround sound with the Toshiba software.
Although the touch screen and the screen keyboard work extremely well, for alternative or heavy duty input I can add a Bluetooth keyboard, but currently I can use both a ordinary PC keyboard and mouse via the mini USB port through a USB hub.
I also love watching TED talks in HD on my 42 inch Panasonic TV via the HDMI cable.
The software provided is of good quality and of course I have made good use of the Google Play Store, TED Talks being one of the Apps I really like.
I wondered whether I would find a tablet a passing fad, but I find I use it all the time.
on 3 October 2012
I have upgraded from the Motorola Xoom to the Toshiba AT300. The Xoom was good but the AT300 is far better with it's quad core processor as well as being so much lighter weight wise. Much less lag on swiping and brilliant screen quality. When hooked up to the micro HD to HD cable I also get fantastic picture quality on my TV. Whether streaming , using an app or internet (I use a 10ft cable). A few people mention light bleed but its nothing; as soon as you open an app, website, office document, publication, you don't notice it. The Gorilla Glass screen also means that it really hard to get scratches. I even prefer it to the ipad 2 I owned prior to becoming an Android convert. 3g would have been useful but apart from that I'm very happy with my choice of tablet. Hope this feedback is useful.
on 30 December 2012
To be honest I have only owned this tablet for a few days and my knowledge, sadly, is not up to the level of many of the reviewers, however, having created a list of 'requirements' about what I wanted the tablet to do for me, this one ticked all the boxes. So I have bought it and am very pleased with it so far.
The price offered by Amazon (Marketplace) is very competitive - just see for yourself when surfing the net. There are vast differences in prices. Do be aware however the one I purchased has an 'Ice Cream Sandwich' operating system rather than the 'Jelly Bean' system - if you want this later system, and this tablet, there is a different version of it - look for the letters 'SE' added to the model number. But you'll have to pay more.
Some tablets do not have access to the BBC Iplayer App - this one does. And it has Micro to HDMI connectivity. Also you can add extra memory with (standard size) SD type cards - I think up to an additional 64GB but do check - though will you need this much more on top of the existing 16gb internal memory ? I have added another 16gb for now. Wifi connection is easily set up. I have a fast broadband speed so whether a slower broadband speed will make any difference I do not know.
Some have mentioned 'light bleed' - you might notice this when tablet is first switched on - along the top and bottom edges but frankly once you start using it for any reason this is not noticed, at least not in my experience. The picture quality is excellent, well, more than that - stunning - but to be fair I have not compared this 'side by side' with other tablets so if you're an Apple Ipad fanatic,for example,you might disagree.
For further information, this tablet did get a 4 star (out of 5) rating in a computer magazine I subscribe to.
So along with all the other reviews, consider my words of advice before making a final decision and make a list of what you need a tablet to do, and check it does this before you buy. There appears to be a lot of rubbishy tablets out there if many of the reviews I have read prove to be right, so do be careful when spending your hard earned dosh ! As my magazine put it in the latest issue, don't spend your dosh on dross. This tablet is NOT dross. Good Luck. I hope this has helped.
Unexpectedly in March 2013 the HDMI output failed - I was able to return the tablet at no cost to myself to Toshiba
I was originally told a repair would take 10 working days - and was able to track the repair - however after 1 month the 'track message' still indicated 'waiting part' - so on 15th April I decided it was necessary to escalate the matter with Toshiba and was told the part was not available as the company no longer made the tablet - and they had no replacement available ! So I only had the tablet from new for (not even) 3 months and they couldn't repair it or replace it - absolutely ridiculous - so beware if you plan on buying this tablet - if it goes wrong
then all that will happen in the guarantee period is that you will get your purchase price back which is what Toshiba are now arranging with me.
I still say if it was not for the problem this was the best tablet by far for the reasons I originally gave - so why oh why Toshiba did you stop making it ? The 'competition' choices simply do not provide all the facilities that this tablet did !!!! Poor show, Toshiba.........
on 21 November 2012
I previously owned a fairly cheap no brand Android Tablet and was getting so frustrated with constant hang ups, crashing apps and general slowness that I decided to find a successor and I chose the AT300. I spent ages looking around and after reading nearly 100% positive reviews ordered the Toshiba tablet which has not let me down.
It feels fairly light and well built, however as mentioned in some reviews there is a fair bit of back light bleed (which I had never heard of until doing some research for this tablet) however this has not presented any issues to me, people who sent theirs back must have had better eyes than me!
What really sold me on this tab was the performance, and it does not disappoint! It starts from boot quickly and apps, webpages and media all open in an instant, I have pretty much replaced my laptop which I could never do with my previous tablet.
I really cannot fault the product therefore I've given it 5 stars. I have now been using it for over a month.
on 30 January 2013
I was looking at getting a new laptop for £300 to £400 which I wanted to have more RAM than my old laptop (1.7GHZ) and a DVD rewriter and importantly an HDMI port.
A number of my friends had waved their IPads in front of me a few times and it had piqued my interest enough to look at the Android equivalent. I didn't want to buy another Apple product after the issues I had transferring songs from my old iPod to another new computer without wiping all my old songs off the iPod; that and Apple software limits you in what you can do with other manufacturers and software.
Anyway, in the end I decided I hardly ever need a DVD rewriter and for the convenience of hand held surfing in front of the tv or sat on the loo or just wandering around the house that a tablet would provide I could sacrifice a little bit of speed and RAM (but only a little) and this tablet had an HDMI port, so I went for it!
I really like it. My girlfriend's and my computing use has become a much more entertainment based experience with loads of apps making things quick and accessible and loads of free games making it fun and challenging. We've still got the ability to surf and shop (of course) but now we can stream movies and Youtube through the tablet and onto the TV where before we would sometimes watch a movie on the laptop screen.
So, on the whole, it's great. Two little notes of warning though: Being Android you can't watch Lovefilm movies through it (not at the mo' anyway (30.01.2013)), Secondly, I think, also being Android you can't run Java programs on it (or I haven't discovered the right app to do so yet). It's amazing what you can do without Java nowadays but I think there are still some things that you really need it for (hence, the warning).
In summary, get one, I recommend it.
on 2 November 2012
I Mainly got the tablet for PDFs, as i'm a student and i therefore needed something portable for reading pdf textbooks, which its quite fast at doing, you can also add notes, highlight, draw, underline, sign on Adobe (Which is already installed). Since its has a quad core+1 processor its quick at rendering. However if you have PDF's with heavy pictures expect few seconds delay (if any).
The internet browser is pretty decent, and just like the desktop, you can have multiple tabs and WATCH flash videos. Its easy to navigate, and rendering is quite quick and decent, but it will depend on your broadband, i have 8 mega bits, which is pretty standard for households now.
The tablet has also got a mini hdmi port, and a mini usb port, which i havent tried, but very useful, you can get the cables for a few quid on amazon or ebay. The advantage of this tablet is that it takes "FULL SD CARDS" since i have quite a few lying around the house. According to the manufactures booklet, it says it can take up to 64gb sd cards, and somewhere i read it can even take 128gb! (if this is true i'd appreciate it if anyone can confirm this).
The tablet does suffer from light bleed, but its not really noticeable (around the edges, you notice it on start up because of the black screen),just so long as it doesn't increase. My only disappointment for this tablet is the fact that battery life could have been much better. I tested it roughly at 93% and it gave me around 6.5 hours with wifi, but i had my screen brightness really down, but was view-able (i'd say normal for me). The screen takes around 90% of the battery, if no applications are running, the browser can take up to 20%. Adobe reader, which is my main app, takes around 2%. The wifi takes a lot of battery life, so i'd recommend, switching to flight mode, when on standby. There are some apps on the android market that claim to increase the battery life, but not sure how it would. (four stars only because of the battery)
Also worth nothing, a lot of the android apps, are for phones, you may still be able to use them on the tablet, but it just enlarges it, and it may not seem very flexible to use.
if you decide to buy this tablet, i'd recommend you get a screen protector and a case, i bought both from eBay for around £13, it has a thick layer of leather which closes like a book, and can act as a stand when you flip it.
i would also like to add it has office based apps already installed, so you can open power points, word documents or just simply create new ones.
on 12 October 2012
Why waste your money on an ipad? This piece of kit has it all. Plenty of differing connectivity, it supports flash and has a forward and rear facing camera. Compare that lot to your ipad!!! The screen is nice and bright either in auto mode or select your own preferance via the manual setting. I have not noticed any light "bleed" at the screen edge as noted in other reviews. Sound is acceptable given the size of the device. The "ice cream sandwich" operating system works well and is quite intuitive and quick. A good product from a good manufacturer so a good balance between price and quality