Toshiba Thrive Review: The Swiss Army Knife Of Tablets

HDMI Output And Camera Quality

HDMI Output

HDMI output on Toshiba's Thrive works the same as it does on the Xoom, Eee Pad Transformer, and A500. TVs and monitors supporting native 1080p reproduce the tablet's screen as a 1280x800 upscaled image that fills the entire display.

Google can and should refine the experience a little bit more, though. When you're typing, the Android keyboard is automatically cloned onto the external display. Ideally, you'd only want to see it on the tablet. At the very least, you should have the option to hide it. A resolution of 1280x800 doesn't facilitate much workspace, so every little bit counts.

While the UI issues are shared between all Android-based tablets, cable management is not. This is one part of the design that Toshiba gets right. All the ports are located on the right side, which means you don't have to deal with a mess of cables shooting out from every direction. 

Camera Quality: Rear-Facing

The Thrive's rear-facing camera is probably closest to the A500 in terms of quality. However, without a flash, you really need good lighting if you want half-decent pictures.

In poorly-lit environments (click on a picture to see full image gallery), the sensor has a hard time compensating, and you end up with grainy snapshots.

Camera Quality: Front-Facing

The lighting issues are particularly evident when using the front-facing camera. In dim lighting, image quality is extremely poor. If you're planning to use a VoIP app like Skype, make sure you're in a well-lit room first.

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  • bobharvey
    So, it expects FAT on external devices. Does that mean licence fees to Microsoft?

    So, it is running Android. Does that mean licence fees to Microsoft?
  • mi1ez
    " more likely to have your tablet at the ready than your camera."

    are you? I don't know anyone who always has their tablet with them!
  • LePhuronn
    The Transformer's keyboard dock fils in the two missing features. But granted it stops being a tablet at that point.