Ina Fried

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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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