PC World pulls Toshiba Folio tablet

15 Nov 2010
Toshiba Folio 100

High return rates prompt PC World to pull Toshiba's Android-based tablet

PC World has pulled the Toshiba Folio 100 tablet from its shelves because of high return rates.

The Android-based tablet is Toshiba's answer to the Apple iPad, but it doesn't appear to have gone down well with the electronics retailer's customers.

"We can confirm that we have taken the Toshiba Folio off sale temporarily as we have had a high level of returns and we do not want to give our customers a bad experience of what is actually a very good product," said PC World's head of consumer PR, Anina Castle. "We are working with Toshiba to identify what the issue is and hope to have a resolution very soon."

In a statement issued to PC Pro, Toshiba added that it was "aware of reports regarding customer returns of the Folio 100, and is currently working with Dixons Retail to provide a solution."

Opinion - Editor, Tim Danton

Remember when Linux-based netbooks first went on sale? Soon afterwards, reports appeared saying customers were returning them because they didn’t work as expected – that is, they didn’t run Windows software.

I suspect we’re seeing exactly the same pattern here: people are buying the Folio expecting the same smooth user experience as with an iPad, with the same link to a richly populated software store. It's months away from offering that experience, and when you mix in the bugs and niggles we reported in our Folio review it’s no surprise that people are disappointed.

PC Pro's testers noticed no major problems with our Folio 100 review unit, although the media player did struggle to connect to DNLA servers and apps had an occasional tendency to crash.

Perhaps the biggest flaw, however, is that users are barred from accessing the Android app store, with users directed to Toshiba's cut-down store instead.

The decision will raise further doubts over the use of current Android builds on tablet devices. Last week, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang dismissed Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab as "large phone" and said several manufacturers were holding back releases of Android tablets to make sure they had a product that could compete with the iPad.

Version 3 of the Android software - which is expected to be released later this year - has been designed with tablet PCs in mind, unlike current versions, which were intended exclusively for smartphones.

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