Here is some more pre-CES news! Toshiba might also have a contender for the likes of the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, or the Kobo Vox in the form of a new 7 inch device that it intends to launch during CES. However, if that is the case, the Japanese company will have to ensure it plays its price card well enough, similar to what Amazon, B&N, or Kobo have done with their tablet offerings so far.
Toshiba’s last tablet offering has been a 7 inch tablet named Thrive, which was launched in the later half of 2011 and carried a price of $380. It came with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and packed decent specifications, though did not fare too well owing to its slightly higher price tag.
For the lower price, Toshiba has dropped the resolution of their tablet to 1024 x 600 pixels, and gave it a slightly thinner look (the first gen Thrive tablets are quite stubby). The rubberized black panel that was available on the previous model is missing in this one. Further, there is no LED flash with the new 7 inch tablet so as to keep costs low. However, Toshiba has added a rear camera, a microUSB, and a SD card slot. It will also have Bluetooth feature, all of which are missing from the Amazon and Nook tablets. The new tablet is also likely to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
However, what Toshiba clearly lacks is the extensive and elaborate software ecosystem that Amazon has for Kindle Fire owners. Sure, the Kindle Fire is priced low and Amazon is incurring losses with each Kindle Fire sale, though with the tablet being closely knit to its ecosystem it can recover the loss by way of selling enough content. Toshiba will have to price its tablet low enough to lure in buyers while also ensuring a worthwhile ownership experience for its buyers.
Meanwhile, in other pre-CES news, Toshiba also has something for the bigger 10 inch tablet segment. The tablet, which it claims to be the world’s lightest and thinnest so far, will boast of an organic EL display and will allow for wireless charging.
More details next week live from the CES show.