Now that the 10” tablet market is pretty well fleshed out, the new hot device to have this season is a smaller tablet in the 7-9” range. Toshiba came to the 10” game later than many of the other industry giants, but it’s looking to be more timely with it’s newer tablets. To that end comes the Thrive 7”, the smaller companion to the earlier Thrive 10”, of which we should have a review posted in the coming days (it got delayed, sorry Toshiba!). Like its larger sibling, the Thrive 7” is built around the now-ubiquitous Tegra 2 platform. Rounding out the specs are a 7” WXGA (1280 x 800) display, Android 3.2, 2 and 5 megapixel cameras front and back, an LED flash, a non-removable 15 Wh battery, and your choice of 16GB or 32GB of onboard NAND. Ports are much scarcer than on the original Thrive, with only mini-USB, micro-HDMI, and microSD included. The screen is a pretty interesting one, in that it’s the only 7” device thus far with a full WXGA resolution on tap. Of course, the directly competing Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7” also has a WXGA screen, but it’s a distinction currently enjoyed only by these two devices.

The form factor is much more competitive than the original Thrive, with a thickness of 11.9mm (0.47”) and a weight of just under 400g (0.88lbs). For comparison, the 7” Acer Iconia A100 measures in at 13.1mm (0.52”) thick and 470g (1.04lbs), while the Galaxy Tab 7.7” looks downright anorexic at 7.89mm (0.31”) and 335g (0.74lbs). My biggest complaint with the original Thrive was the sheer size of the device, so I’m pretty happy to see that the 7” has slimmed down significantly. 

Many of the design touches remain; the chrome webcam surround and textured rubber-coated back cover, for example, are direct carry-over pieces. This time around though, the back cover doesn’t come off, which is why the battery isn’t removable like on the 10”. The only colour on offer is black, which is a bit of a shame. I rather liked the loudly coloured replacement lids offered for the larger Thrive. The dock connector is also still there, so the existing docks should work with the Thrive 7” as well. 

The Thrive 7” will hit store shelves in December; price is as yet unannounced, but somewhere in the $350-400 range would be a good bet. We’re on the list to receive an evaluation unit, so we’ll update you with a review when we get it.

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  • inplainview - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    When you say "fleshed out" what exactly do you mean? Are you saying the market is done, or the players identified, or some other explanation? That is a bit nebulous on your part it appears.
  • Jaegs - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I think its refering to no one buying a 10inch tablet until they find out if they can get a $100 touchpad out of HP before that ship goes down.
  • inplainview - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    It appears that the iPad is still selling quite well so that can't be it. I think, and I could be wrong, that it was a throw away statement not based on any sort of facts or at least any I can see.
  • Mugur - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I think it refers to the fact that 10" tablets market is full, well structured already and not many surprises can happen there in the near future. By comparison, the <10" market is just starting to form and new hot things will happen there soon.
  • inplainview - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Thanks but which tablets are "filling" the 10 inch tablet markets? I see the iPad pretty much dominating with a few Android tablets here and there. Not trying to be pedantic but I don't get his logic.
  • jwbarker - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Didn't you just answer you're own question? There's no 7" ipad to dominate that market (and no others either), so one could say that the market hasn't been "fleshed out".
  • name99 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    It's because he doesn't want to say the obvious:
    - everyone has concluded they cannot compete with iPad, so they're trying to differentiate themselves
    - the only way they can figure out how to do that is a different screen size
  • mcquade181 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Sorry Toshiba, I think the 10" Thrive is the best of the bunch mostly because of it's full size USB, SD card, and HDMI ports, but by putting micro versions on the 7" Thrive it's just one of the bunch.
    At the least you should have given it a full size HDMI port so we could use a standard HDMI cable to connect it to a TV to watch videos and photos when away on holdays/business.
  • rickcain2320 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Well I'm sure the 7" model is targeted at a different class of buyer. The 10" monster is for the power user who demands normal/familar ports and isn't obsessive about being able to stick their tablet in a manila envelope.
  • rickcain2320 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Complaining about having too many ports, too big a battery and too many features?

    You Apple minimalists are a joke.

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