Toshiba Excite 13
Toshiba's new 13.3-inch tablet isn't a desk, or a serving tray, toshiba satellite l305-s5921 dvd drive
even really a tablet. After a couple of days of using it, I realized
what it is. It's a TV. The Toshiba Excite 13 ($649.99 for 32GB, $749.99
for 64GB) would make a great portable TV. But it's too expensive to
become a mainstream hit, and it's missing the apps which could deliver
good-looking HD contenttoshiba satellite l305-s5919 dvd drive
to its huge screen.
Physical Design and Networking
The largest tablet we've ever seen, the Excite 13 is awkward to hold,toshiba satellite l305-s5865 dvd drive
and even a little awkward in my lap. There's a reason this thing comes
with a stand, a completely separate squarish chunk of metal that the
tablet sits in. The tablet is slim, though, and slides easily into a
backpack for transport.
As for actual numbers, the Excite 13 is 13.5 by 8.5 by .4 inches and 2.2
pounds. It's very well-built, with the same aluminum body found on the
Excite 7.7 ($499, 3.5 stars)toshiba satellite l305d-s5938 dvd drive
and Excite 10 ($449.99, 3.5 stars) tablets and a flat glass screen.
There's a micro USB port for syncing, but to charge the tablet, you need
the included unique, laptop-style power brick. The tablet also has a
microHDMI port, full-sized SD card slot and headphone jack.
You have to think differently to figure out where to use the Excite 13,
but once you get into the mindset, it becomes easy: You'd prop it toshiba satellite l305d-s5934 dvd drive
up in the kitchen for recipes, you might stick it on a side table in a hotel room, or prop it up at the end of a dorm room bed.
One thing you don't really want to do is put it in your lap. The Excite 13 is a long, skinny rectangletoshiba satellite e105-s1402 slim dvd drive
and it's just awkward to hold. When I put it in portrait mode on my lap
to play a game, the end of the tablet went off the edge of my knees.
Other than video playback, there's another potential market for this
tablet. Because the 13.3-inch, 1,600-by-900 LCD screen packs a
relatively low 133 dots per inch, text is pretty large, and the touch
keyboard istoshiba satellite a305-s6858 dvd drive
just plain huge. That makes the Excite 13 a good choice for people with
mildly impaired mobility or vision. The flip side of that, of courseltn156at19-001
is that some graphics (especially in games) look jaggy if you have your
nose right up to the screen.
The Excite 13 is a Wi-Fi-only tablet and connects to 802.11b/g/n
networks, albeit only at 2.4GHz. You also get Bluetooth and GPS,toshiba satellite a215-s7437 dvd drive
although the idea of tacking this monster to your dashboard is pretty
Apps and Performance
Running on Nvidia's latest quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the Excite 13's
benchmark results are absolutely killer. This is one of the fastest
Android devices we've tested, and performance is impeccable. sony vaio vgn-c190g dvd drive
Tegra-enhanced games like Zen Pinball toshiba satellite a105-s4064 dvd drive
and Riptide GP play very smoothly.
But, as I mentioned earlier, the large, relatively low-DPI screen can
make some graphics look poor. Some of this is the developers' fault; I
downloaded some games from Nvidia's Tegra Zone, and it became painfully
that some of the images in the game Princess Punt THD were being scaled up, for instance. But I also found diagonal lines sony vaio vgn-nr385e dvd drive
the Zen Pinball flippers a bit jaggier than usual.
The 133 pixels per inch is actually higher density than the iPad 2's
9.7-inch 1024-by-768 131-ppi screen. But it's lower than most 10-inch
Android tablets, which have around 150 ppi, and much lower than most
phones, smaller tablets, and the New iPad, which generally clock in
between 215 and 330 ppi. Whether you see the screen as low-res depends
on where your expectations are, and devices like the 215-ppi Samsung
Galaxy Tab 7.7 ($699, 3.5 stars) and upcoming 224-ppi Asus and Acer
tablets have raised my expectations. None of this mumbling about sony vaio vgn-a790 dvd drive
per inch matters if you're sitting more than about two feet away from
the tablet, though.
Toshiba didn't do much to alter Android 4.0 here, only adding some
pre-loaded apps, most of which you can ignore. There's a Flipboard-like
news app, a Blio-powered book storesony vaio pcg-frv28 dvd drive
a file manager, and a custom DLNA-enabled media player with a better
file viewing layout than the standard Android media player.
The Excite 13's size means it can pack a very large battery, and we got
excellent battery life results—8 hours and 38 minutes playing a video
with the screen on maximum brightness and Wi-Fi turned on. That's longer
than the new iPad, which only managed five and a half hours hp pavilion zv6130us dvd drive
on max brightness. The difference? The new iPad's super-high-res screen is a power hog.
The Excite 13 as a TV
The Excite 13 practically begs to be used to watch video, with itshp g60-635dx dvd drive
with lightscribe blaringly loud bottom-ported stereo speakers,
included stand, and giant display. Admittedly, the screen is glossier
(and thus more reflective) than I'd prefer, but that's common to most
If you're playing your own ripped files, life is pretty good here. The
Excite 13 could handle all of our sample audio and video files at up to
1080p resolution. And the full-sized SD card slot makes it easy to
transfer files from a PC. There's 26GB of on-board storage along with
support for cards up to 64GB. The stereo speakers are extremely loud, if
The problem is trying to find legal, HD content that looks good on this
big screen. Netflix is your best bet. The video streams show some
compression artifacts, but they're perfectly good enough. YouTube has
gorgeous HD content, but little of it is professionally produced. Ditto
for Vimeo: Videos viewed in the Vimeo app look great, but they're a real
Other apps didn't perform as well. TV.com has many great CBS TV shows,
but they're decidedly low-res. SPB TV has low-res but smooth video from
various international networks. Qello's concerts are melodious but
blocky. Ditto for Vevo's music videos, which were so low-res I couldn't
make out facial features. Hulu and HBO GO just spit out error messages
about how the Excite 13 isn't an authorized device.
Want to rent movies? Google Play has a decent selection, but none of its
movies are in HD here. Amazon and Blockbuster movie services don't even
show up in the Google Play market for this tablet either.
This is a typical Android tablet experience: Offer the hardware, but
then make the user go hunting for the content. The market here is
frustrating enough that I'm sure many people will think step one,
Netflix; step two, BitTorrent.