Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Toshiba Thinks Smaller With Second Android Tablet

It’s not the seven-inch tablet that many people are waiting to hear about, but Toshiba on Tuesday is announcing the Thrive seven-inch, a smaller-screen follow-up to the 10-inch Android tablet it introduced earlier this year.

If you are familiar with the 10-inch model, the seven-inch Thrive is largely the same. Its biggest selling point is probably its easy connectivity to other devices. It boasts the same connections as its big sibling — USB, SD card and HDMI — though the bigger model packs full-size slots ; the new device uses a mini-USB and microversions of the HDMI and SD cards.

The smaller-screen version, which is due to ship in December, will come in 16 gigabyte and 32GB varieties, both featuring a 1280-pixel-by-800-pixel display, Android 3.2 and a Tegra 2 processor.

The company isn’t saying yet what it plans to charge, but it recently cut the price on the 10-inch model. Toshiba executives said the pricing moves were not unexpected in a competitive market, and insist that the product has done well, though they declined to release any sales figures.

Toshiba is not the only one hoping to find a hit with smaller Android tablets, with Acer and others offering seven-inch models. One of the main benefits of the Android 3.2 update is its support for smaller-screen devices, and a number of diminutive tablets are on shelves or on the way, including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9, which is due to go on sale Oct. 2, with a 32GB version selling for $569 and a 16GB model priced at $469.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik