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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The Toshiba Excite Pure

A big, lousy screen

Polycarbonate textured back

Not too thin or thick

Power button

Volume controls, SD card slot

Right-side speaker

Covering up the SD card slot

Toshiba's volume controls

Giant keyboard

The Toshiba Excite Pure is running a pure version of Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1, with few modifications from Toshiba. It's the lowest-cost tablet in Toshiba's updated Excite line, selling for $299.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Though the Excite Pure has a substantial 10-inch, 16:10 wide-screen display, its 1,280x800-pixel resolution is unimpressive.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The back of the tablet has a silver-champagne-colored, textured plastic cover that feels more slippery than it looks.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Excite Pure is thin enough to not feel clunky, but thick enough that it doesn't feel fragile.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

There's a power/lock button flanked by two microphones on the top of the device in landscape mode.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the left side of the Excite Pure (in the landscape orientation) are a headphone jack, USB charging port, volume rocker, and cover for the HDMI port and SD card slot.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The tablet has two speakers, on the bottom left and right sides. There's also a lanyard eyelet on the right edge so you can attach a stylus.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Excite Pure has a small plastic cover that hides away the microSD card slot and Micro-HDMI port. You can add up to a 64GB microSD card to get more storage space for videos, apps, and photos.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

When you tap the volume rocker on the side of the tablet, you'll see two scales. One is for the tablet's media volume (top) and the other was added by Toshiba to balance the audio to either emphasize music or voice.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Since the tablet screen is wide, the stock keyboard is big enough to type on with two hands. It's awkward using the keyboard in landscape mode with one hand, but you can make it a little easier by using gesture typing to draw a line connecting the letters in a word instead of tapping each letter.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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