Most of the tablet PC market at present seems to be divided between those rather obsessed with the iPad and those favoring smaller, more affordable devices. However, while the Amazon Kindle Fire’s 7-inches and the 10 or so inches boasted by most market leaders never fail to strike a chord with consumers, at least one manufacturer seems to think bigger really is better.
For a good few weeks now, the Toshiba Excite 13 has been put through its paces by developers and critics in their hundreds, measuring in at…yes, 13-inches or prime screen real-estate. Even at first glance, when held alongside any of Apple’s iPads and certainly the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Excite 13 is a real monster.
The question is, does it manage to make up in features and attributes what it unquestionably lacks in portability? After all, a frame of such a size weighing in at 2.3 pounds is not exactly what could be dubbed handy.
Well, the good news is that Toshiba didn’t create the Excite 13 to be slipped into a pocket or briefcase for casual, on-the-go tasking, but instead as something of a standard home/office desktop/laptop replacement or addition.
Or in other words, a decent all-in-one PC more portable than a desktop machine.
Behind the scenes lies an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, backed by 1GB of dedicated RAM and 32GB/64GB storage options. The multi-touch display packs in 1600 by 900 pixels to reach a modest 120 ppi density, which delivers movies, photographs and e-books quite superbly.
The 5-megapixel camera also delivers a decent standard of image and video capture, though it’s rather difficult not to feel a little bit on the silly side lifting up such a leviathan to take a snap or two.
Battery-wise, Toshiba claim that the Excite 13 is good for 12 to 13 hours of use, though in most tests the actual figure has been closer to 10 hours – still less than shabby of course.
Pricing options include the 32GB version for $650 and the 64GB model for $750 – both of which are priced higher than the equivalent iPads and are scheduled to hit the shelves in July.
So…back to the question at hand…is bigger really better?
A matter of personal opinion perhaps, but in this instance it is impossible to see the appeal. Most of the screen seems wasted when two simultaneous apps would be advantageous – the Excite 13 can only run one at a time. What’s more, the virtual keyboard just doesn’t seem to cut it at this size and critics have already spoken of ongoing typing errors during testing.
That being said, if you intend to use a tablet just for home entertainment you could certainly do worse, but if looking for something with versatility and convenience you could also do much, much better.