Toshiba’s thinking big
This new tablet is a whopper, but is also smart, writes Jennifer Dudley-nicholson
iPad and delivering something that looks like a thin TV.
This tablet is so big, users are advised to set it down and use two hands to reach both sides of the screen. Thankfully, this arrangement is often handy and a smart way to avoid pulling out a laptop computer.
The AT330’s size is clearly its defining feature, but Toshiba is not relying on its size alone to win an audience. This tablet is well made, with an attractive, textured metal rear, a slender but solid 9.8mm form and plenty of connections.
Around its perimeter, users will find two speakers, a screen lock switch, space for a fullsize SD memory card, and both HDMI and Micro USB ports to connect other gadgets.
It’s more than most slate computers offer and adds flexibility to this tablet.
The ability to slip a still-warm SD card into the side of this tablet, to show off fresh photos, is handy, though there are also built-in cameras front and back.
This tablet is also no slouch in the power department. It uses a 1.4GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra chip, 1GB RAM and Google’s fresh Android Ice Cream Sandwich software to deliver apps speedily.
Even so, it’s the massive HD+ screen that makes the biggest impact on its use. The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio — the same as a widescreen TV— and this makes for comfortable TV and movie viewing.
It’s handy in other applications too. There is plenty of room to scan your email list on the AT330’s screen, and it’s easy to file Gmail into folders when you can select emails with your left hand and their destinations with your right. Similarly, this screen delivers plenty of room for touching up images, reading books, inspecting your calendar, and having several widgets stretch across one homescreen.
Naturally, the keyboard on this tablet is also as large as a regular desktop model, making typing significantly easier.
Having such a large tablet has its downsides too. This computer weighs 1kg — fine for a backpack but too much for a handbag. It also features just 16GB of storage, 12GB of which are available for use, and a proprietary battery charger rather than the more common Micro USB.
Tablet computers don’t come much bigger or as easy on the eye. Users looking for a desktop replacement should appreciate its big, bold display.
Star performer: AT330 makes typing easy,
and its 13.3-inch screen makes it ideal for TV or movie viewing.