The Toshiba Thrive 7-inch occupies a useful middle ground in two respects: As a 7-inch tablet, it provides a much larger screen than an Android phone, but it is much more portable and comfortable to hold than a 10-inch tablet.
As a fully featured Android tablet, it offers more productivity features (along with full access to the Android Market) than a specialized 7-inch tablet such as the NOOK or the Kindle Fire that costs less but offers inferior specs and functionality. But the Thrive is not all work and no play. Compared to a Windows tablet, it boasts much better usability (as in, night and day) while providing access to an app store for all manner of productivity and entertainment pursuits.
It’s not without its faults, however. For starters, the low-end 16GB version cost $379, which is nearly double the price you’ll pay for a Kindle Fire. Further, its small battery runs for only so long and is annoyingly not replaceable, and the tablet has trouble maintaining a wireless signal if you stray the shortest distance away from your router. Lastly, the rear-facing camera is in a terrible spot.
None of the above issues are deal breakers, and on the whole, we love the look and feel of the Toshiba Thrive 7-inch, its high-resolution display, and the fact that Toshiba didn’t strip out the connectivity options when fitting the tablet into the 7-inch form factor.