Toshiba Excite and Encore Tablets, Click and Z10t Hybrids - CES 2014by Jarred Walton on January 17, 2014 5:09 PM EST
The tablet and hybrid side of Toshiba was similarly diversified, with and ultra-budget device sitting right next to a very high-end tablet. Toshiba reps said they’re going after the $99 price point with an updated Excite 7 tablet, which seems to be the same core hardware as before but with a lower price. I wouldn’t be too sure about that price, however, as the reps also told me it was a Tegra 4 SoC and that’s clearly not the case – we’re looking at a dual-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 SoC with PowerVR SGX 540. Judging by some of the information I could get off the tablet, it may come with 6GB (8GB) of storage and 1GB RAM, with a 1024x552 display. While performance and overall quality may not match that of the latest and greatest tablets, if Toshiba really hits a $99 MSRP for the Excite 7 they could still move a lot of units.
Jumping way over to the high-end – and with nothing in between – is the Excite Write, a 10” tablet with a Tegra 4 SoC (probably the SoC the reps were talking about earlier), with a Wacom digitizer and stylus. The Write also has a 2560x1600 display, 2GB RAM, and a variable amount of storage depending on the model. Starting price? $600. So yeah, you could buy six Excite 7 tablets or one Excite Write, though obviously there’s more to it than that. Rounding things out on their tablets is the Encore 8.1, a Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8” display and Atom Z3740 SoC with a new target price of $299 (down from the original launch price of $329). If you’re after a Windows 8.1 tablet, the Encore 8.1 might fit your needs, and it includes Microsoft Office Home and Student to sweeten the deal.
None of the above devices are new, but it was our first chance to go hands-on so I thought I’d at least mention them. There were a couple more tablet-like device at Toshiba that have come out during the past few months, the Satellite Click and the Portege Z10t. Portege tends to be the business variant of Toshiba’s ultraportable line, but in this case there appears to be little overlap between the Satellite Click and Portege Z10t – I’m simply mentioning them together as they’re both hybrid detachable tablet-laptop devices.
The Click is a 13.3” hybrid that uses an AMD A4-1200 (Kabini) SoC/APU with a target price of $600. That will get you 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD (yeah, no SSD here), the keyboard dock, and a 2-cell battery in the tablet with another battery (2-cell?) in the keyboard dock. Battery charging and drain are prioritized do the dock is used first and the tablet is charged first, but holding a 13.3” 1366x768 tablet is still probably more conspicuous than most of us would like, and sadly the AMD Kabini APU doesn’t do a lot to make up for other deficiencies in the design.
As for the Portege Z10t, it’s a slightly smaller detachable with an 11.6” 1920x1080 display and with Intel’s Y-series CPU powering the device. Think of this as basically an Ultrabook with a detachable keyboard and you’re not too far off, though it can still be a bit bulky for a tablet. The Z10t originally launched with Ivy Bridge, but it is now being updated with a Haswell i5-4200Y processor and appears to come with 8GB RAM. That should help improve battery life over the earlier model, but the pricing for the currently shipping IVB models starts at $1449, so that’s still pretty steep. The Haswell update will likely come in around $1500 MSRP starting prices, but I didn’t get any specific information on pricing or availability.
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cbehnken - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkAre you ever going to review any of these Windows 8 8" tablets? The Venue 8 Pro is excellent and has been out for months, but all I see here are more Ipad reviews.
JarredWalton - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkIf someone sends us one for review, yes. Maybe I should just go buy one....
nathanddrews - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkIf I had the money to burn, I'd buy you one. :P
kyuu - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkI'd love to see a review of the Dell Venue 8 Pro, and also Asus's new 8-inch Wintab.
damianrobertjones - Sunday, January 19, 2014 - linkMaybe, you know, call Dell and ask for a sample? Isn't that what you guys do...
World_without_madness - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkExcite pro and write are one of an example of wrong design. Whilst it has a very good spec but judging by many reviews (amazon, etc). It is very hot while running game or watching movie, Tegra4 just doesn't cut it to fully powering 2560x1600.
The Click is even worse. In the timeframe without baytrail, this should've been a good thing but nowadays with baytrail is out in the crowd and can compete with a6-1450 or a4-5000, this just seems very badly designed or a wrong move. For $600, you can grab asus t100 and an ext HDD.
I'm wondering whose fault is this? AMD? Toshiba? or ...?
Anyway, if you want to review dell's windows 8 tablet, please also review their active stylus as well :D
ados_cz - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkRegarding Excite Pro being bad design. This is not true anymore. After December's OTA firmware updates and for £169 at amazon.co.uk excite pro became the best tablet of 2013, I had it for week setting it up for my father. Check the reviews on amazon.co.uk now...
World_without_madness - Saturday, January 18, 2014 - linkWell, if you look around for more. Check this out, it still persist :D
It is just plain stupid to give this kind of resolution in 10 inch. Full HD is enough, heck even most laptop doesn't have full HD as standard yet.
ados_cz - Saturday, January 18, 2014 - linkDisagree... as much as I am conservative in desktop monitors and would not mind to keep my 1920x1200 28 inch tn panel forever to counter the need for stronger hardware to be able to play games in native at max detail, retina for tablets, especially for older people with weaker sight is so much more pleasant to read on and consume media. And of course the excite pro performs flawlesly after December's update, I had it taxing for a week myself, did you? I dont need any link, I have my personal experience.
TheJian - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - linkNO soc can handle 2560x1600 (at least talking gaming, everything else sure), and most gpus can't either with many games hitting well below 30fps at that res and some even the avg fps is below 30 and this is with some stuff already turned down or off...LOL. They shouldn't be aiming tablets above 1080p until 10nm most likely even then it will take on chip cache (like IRIS) or something to help a maxwell or volta to based tegra (M1/V1? like K1?) pull this off.
But if someone doesn't need the pen, you can save a hundred and get the same specs from Toshiba for $500 (t4, 1600p etc). I have no interest in any 1600p tablet. It seems as if google may be figuring out GAMERS need 1920x1200 or 1080p to have fun on these if rumors are true. They may be going larger screen on the 10 (12in rumor? or near it in same footprint) and 1920x1200. I hope so, as even that is tough for mobile without gimping graphics. My radeon 5850 can't pull this res in MANY games without dialing it down. Can't wait for 20nm maxwell to upgrade my monitor to 1600p and maybe be able to play most stuff there, and if not throw the game over to my dell 24 (1920x1200) and max graphics out again when needed. The story only gets worse as engines keep upping their game too. Will I be able to max out unreal 4 at 1600p with maxwell? Or will I be right back into the 1920x1200 5850 boat again that I'm in now just one notch up? Will star citizen and it's ilk be able to play 1600p maxed or again dialed down (and games after this surely get more taxing not less).
It's funny my 1200p dell is probably near death and I'll finally be buying a card that can play ANY game maxed on it (6yrs+ old now). I hoped the 5850 would do it a few years ago but that was a pipe dream for most games (I don't believe in playing anything NOT maxed out). Games taxed it pretty much from day one and I waited nearly 7 months for Amazon to finally give it to me at the price they announced ($260, 400+ backorders they tried to screw out of the model by switching to a model with a few different letters). No complaints though, once I got it, it was still selling for ~$300...LOL. Still a decent card today but much else at the time (with more power) added too much heat to an AZ room. It's comic they are aiming tablets at a res I don't even have on my desktop yet (and only 2% or so of the world runs there or above still today). Idiots are in charge of tablets. 60% of the time on mobile is spent gaming, you'd think they'd be 1080p as even a console can barely do this with xbox1/ps4 (and some games upscale to this already).
IF they don't start aiming lower, I really hope at some point google can get android to change res like windows etc. If I could drop games down it would make all of these SOCS more able to game. Not sure why android can't do this already. It can't be that hard to do something windows has been doing for what 2 decades? That should have been built in to android from day 1. Whatever, one day they'll wise up I hope... :) Hopefully desktop gpus in mobile and their drivers will get this in at some point since they've been doing it for 20yrs on them.