There is no doubt the Toshiba Excite 10 LE is one of the best-looking tablets we’ve seen at TabletPCReview. In fact, Toshiba has claimed it’s the world’s thinnest 10.1-inch tablet. Given how slim the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 are, that’s a bold claim; but we can’t dismiss it because the Excite 10 LE is one extremely well-designed piece of hardware.
This stands in stark contrast to the first Toshiba Android tablet, the Toshiba Thrive. That was a clunky device, but made good use of girth by offering a replaceable battery and a selection of full-sized ports. The good news here is that the Excite 10 LE maintains many of the same inputs, though in micro form, and this tablet has more ports than most in its class. Also good is the Android Ice Cream Sandwich implementation as it is near stock. There is very little Toshiba tweaking.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good ends. As for the bad, this tablet is pure eye candy and not much more. Its performance is not impressive and the tablet is way too buggy. It has 2011 specs, complete with a dual-core processor (quad-core is the standard now) and 1280 x 800 display. The fact that Toshiba thinks it can get away with charging $529 at launch with a 16GB unit is laughable. It’s more expensive than a 16GB Wi-Fi third-generation iPad, which is superior in almost every aspect.
This is no more apparent than in the display. The new iPad has its vaunted Retina display (approximately 260 pixels per inch), while the Excite 10 LE has a 2011 display (about 150 pixels per inch). Even compared with a tablet display from 2011, say from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Excite looks terrible. You can actually see the grid overlay without much squinting.
While we praised Toshiba for not messing with ICS, they did load the Excite with a ton of crap-ware, which can’t be completely deleted from the tablet. That problem is not unique to Toshiba, but it’s worth pointing out as a con until the OEMs stop preloading tablets with crap.
There are simply way too many issues with the Excite 10 LE to recommend it. It’s too buggy and expensive, and the screen is lousy. This device is best experienced powered down and behind glass, where you can appreciate its excellent design and ignore its drawbacks.