BERLIN--Samsung's Galaxy Tab got a lot of the attention Thursday, but Toshiba had an Android tablet of its own to debut here at the IFA electronics show: the Folio 100.
Unlike the smaller Tab, the Folio bears more of an outward resemblance to Apple's iPad, the dominant tablet device on the market today. And where Samsung will sell the Tab only through phone companies as a kind of smartphone on steroids, Toshiba's Folio will like the iPad come in 3G and non-3G models when it goes on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter.
The Folio will cost 399 euros (about $511) for the version with just Wi-Fi networking; the 3G version price jumps to 499 euros (about $639). It's got a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 1024x600-pixel resolution, an Nvidia Tegra processor, stereo speakers, a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, two USB ports, an SD card slot, an HDMI connector for sending video to other screens, Bluetooth communications, and 16GB of memory.
It weighs 760 grams--about the same as an iPad with 3G abilities. The Folio's battery lasts seven hours when being used 65 percent for Web browsing, watching video for 10 percent, and idling for 25 percent, Toshiba said.
Besides the array of Android applications available, the Folio 100 also comes with the Opera Mobile Web browser, the FBReader e-book reader software, Documents To Go for productivity suite, Evernote for taking notes, Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 for running Flash apps, and Fring for video chat. Most of these are useful, so let's hope this doesn't portend the migration to Android of the crapware that bogs down (and subsidizes) many Windows PCs.
I found the Folio 100 to be comfortable to hold and easy enough to use for basic tasks. Its performance didn't jump out at me, and pushing buttons seemed to come with a lag I'm used to on phones, but applications loaded reasonably fast. I found the interface easy to dive into--but then, I'm already familiar with Android quirks, such as how to make the virtual keyboard pop up when you need it and go away when you're done. … Read more