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Posted on September 2nd, 2010 by Sasha Muller

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet review: first look

Toshiba folio web browserAfter traipsing around the semi-completed halls of Berlin’s IFA show, it seems like every manufacturer under the sun has decided to release a tablet. Toshiba is no exception, but its Folio 100 tablet has decided to tread a slightly different path to its rivals. The 10.1in form factor and Android 2.2 OS come as no surprise, but Intel and Qualcomm don’t get a look in – instead Nvidia’s Tegra 2 takes centre stage.

Any qualms as to whether Nvidia’s Tegra 2 is up to the job are soon dispelled – the Folio 100 eagerly zipped through the familiar Android menus, and the whole experience felt suitably slick and refined. The full-sized HDMI socket on the device’s edge gives a clear indication of the Tegra’s mighty graphics crunching power: this is one tablet that’ll relish the challenge of HD video playback. And, with Flash 10.1 on board, YouTube HD footage is only a few clicks away.

Toshiba folio 100 home screenWhile most of the Folio 100s were tethered to a wall, secreted from the clumsy, prying hands of eager journalists, we found Toshiba’s conference demo unit sitting quietly in a dimly lit corner. But while we were pleasantly surprised by the fine figure of ViewSonic’s ViewPad tablets, Toshiba’s effort is a touch disappointing.

The 14mm thick chassis feels lightweight, and even relatively gentle twisting motions left the Folio’s plastic body creaking under the stress. It might weigh a very reasonable 760g, but if you’re expecting a Toshiba-branded iPad, this just isn’t it.

That 10.1in multitouch screen boasts the usual 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution, but image quality is also far from stellar. Tilting the Folio from side to side revealed narrow viewing angles, and the Android home screen looked noticeably less sharp than Viewsonic’s efforts.

At least the specification is more promising. The 16GB of internal storage is complemented by a full-sized SD card reader which supports cards up to 32GB. Wireless networking stretches to 802.11n speeds, while Bluetooth and 3G comes as standard. A 1.3 megapixel webcam rounds off the proceedings.

Toshiba folio 100 ports

We’re not overly keen on the plasticky-feeling chassis, but with Toshiba suggesting the Folio 100 is going to retail for around 399 Euros, we’re willing to cut it some slack. The Folio 100 might yet be the Flash-enabled iPad killer some people have been waiting for.

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10 Responses to “ Toshiba Folio 100 tablet review: first look ”

  1. milliganp Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    The Tegra chip has an ARM core!

  2. Sasha Muller Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Oops, corrected! Thanks milliganp.

    I think my brain must have gone to sleep due to not having eaten anything since 9am this morning.

    Trade shows. Gotta love ‘em. :)

  3. Roger J Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 8:35 am

    When is a company going to bring out a PROPER tablet, ie one that enables handwriting and not just “touch”?
    I want a “Pad” that I can use for work and not just for entertainment, news etc, although I would expect that as well

  4. Anonymous Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Roger, they’ve been making them for years.

  5. Agostinho Dias Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 1:09 am

    For years I have been using a Toshiba Protege P3500. I still use it running XP Tablet Edition. I can write with a pen in the same way as I write in paper. I can draw and paint. Browse the Internet listen to music and whatch videos. The P3500 is a PIII released around 2003 (7 years ago). So why all this fuzz with tablets now? Because Apple finally decide to release one?

  6. david winchester Says:
    October 10th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    i think these things are amasing and they should make more allthough ive never been on one the reviews ive seen on some of these websites i think i might get one for christmas

  7. helena stavington Says:
    October 10th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    seren you should think what you are saying i have a ipad and 1 of those and they are just as good as each other

  8. Angus Says:
    October 17th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Would agree with Agostinho, I was using GIS mapping software with a stylus pen in 1995/6, and could control most other attributes as well, admittedly pretty heavy and slow but come on, these have been around for years if you wanted one. And now style over substance has made all go crazy. Sticking to my Blackberry and Tosh laptop for a while longer.

  9. Michael Frater Says:
    November 4th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Ok… I just brought this Folio 100 last night from a UK retailer. I got it home and was excited to play with it. I opened the box and found a statement about “flash 10.1″ you need to register the product to get the updates. I did this and then got a return screen say ” we will email you when flash 10.1 is ready for download. (note flash websdites only with the default browser and not with opera browser. Also Fring is part of the O/S and may clash with a skype hack. So in a nutshell… if you want flash & skype i think its a case of waiting a few days before someone hacks this device and re – flashes. I was also told by support at Toshiba that this will also include future Android updates such as Gingerbread… lets see about that… Still in the meantime this little baby is going back to pcworld as the money is better off in my bank until this is ready for market… maybe this is why the Advent Vega was delayed 2 weeks?

  10. Robert Says:
    November 4th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Sure they’ve made tablets for years – I have a Tosh M200 that I loved. But the applications were not there – most Windows apps are NOT tablet aware, and the restive, stylus-driven screens were far inferior to capacitive touchscreens for everything BUT handwriting. Most Windows apps require nested menus, or worse, command keys – hardly useable on a tablet. What has made tablets hot is NOT style – but having a library of gesture-driven, touchscreen aware apps. Which is why two smartphone OSes currently dominate the tablet market, and why Win 7 never will. It’s not about the tech, it is (as usual) about the apps…


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