Written by Super User
Toshiba is launching a new line of tablets running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in May and June, the company announced Tuesday. The "Excite" tablet family will come in 7.7-inch, 10-inch, and 13-inch sizes, and all will have Tegra 3 quad-core processors.
The WiFi-only Excite tablets will all have 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear cameras, and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras. The 0.4-inch thick, 2.2-pound Excite 13 will have a 1600x900 resolution display and 13 hours of battery life. The smaller 0.35-inch thick, 1.32-pound Excite 10 will have a 12800x800 screen and get 10 hours of battery life. The two larger tablets will both have SD card slots, while the smallest will have a microSD slot.
Unlike some other manufacturers, Toshiba doesn't plan to give up the price fight with Apple's iPad: the Excite 7.7 will start at $499.99, the Excite 10 at $449.99, and the Excite 13 at $649.99, all for 16GB of storage. The Excite line will also be stepping up to compete with the Asus Transformer Prime, which uses a Tegra 3 processor and starts at $599.99 for 32GB of storage.
Young Bae, a product marketing manager at Toshiba, told Ars that the company's initial tablet offering, the Toshiba Thrive, had captured an odd niche of the market: two-thirds of the Thrives sold went to customers 55 and older, according to a survey the company took of buyers. Despite that buyers had much grander ambitions at the time of purchase, like gaming, most ended up using their tablets to just read email and surf the Internet. "We're trying to enable the things that people are telling us they want to do but haven't done," Bae said. The Excite line seems to be an attempt to capture a savvier demographic that pays more attention to specs and weight, and considerably less to price.
Even Samsung has stopped trying to compete at the iPad's price point: the Galaxy Tab 2 cropped up for $310 on QVC. The Excite 7.7 may have a particularly hard time finding an audience with inexpensive competition like the Kindle Fire, especially when e-mail and Internet have turned out to be tablets' killer apps.
The Excite 10 will launch first on May 6, followed by the Excites 7.7 and 13 on June 10.
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