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Toshiba Excite 10 review:

Toshiba Excite 10

Toshiba's excessively curated app store, App Place, is available by downloading the APK from the App Place Web site and installing it. App selection is limited, but most of the apps are exclusive to the App Place store and can't be found anywhere else. With no search function, however, the interface feels clunky as it requires you to know which category the app you want is in before you can download it.

Hardware features
The Excite 10 houses a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties. Tablet mainstays like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS are included as well as gyroscope, accelerometer, and digital compass support.

The Excite 10 uses an IPS panel for its screen, running at a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels; that's typical for most 10-inch tablets. The screen displayed images with a high, but accurate level of color saturation, about on par with the Asus Transformer TF300, with typically wide IPS viewing angles. When viewing black screens, however, backlight bleeding can be seen on the right and left edges of the screen.

Tested spec Toshiba Excite 10 Toshiba Excite 10 LE Acer Iconia Tab A510 Asus Transformer Pad TF300
Maximum brightness 358 cd/m2 359 cd/m2 353 cd/m2 331 cd/m2
Default brightness 154 cd/m2 249 cd/m2 118 cd/m2 135 cd/m2
Maximum black level 0.41 cd/m2 0.38 cd/m2 0.22 cd/m2 0.22 cd/m2
Default black level 0.19 cd/m2 0.26 cd/m2 0.08 cd/m2 0.09 cd/m2
Default contrast ratio 811:1 957:1 1,475:1 1,504:1
Maximum contrast ratio (Super IPS) 873:1 944:1 1,604:1 1,500:1

When swiping through screens and navigating menus, the screen matches the sensitivity of most Android screens out there but can't quite compete with the uber sensitivity of the Transformer Pad TF300. Also, apps launched without delay and settings menu options appeared readily after tapping them.

Web and app download speeds matched most other Android tablets when within 5 feet of our test router, and even when up to 20 feet away, the connection retained much of its strength. While scrolling through Web sites was smooth with no noticeable clipping, images were blurred while scrolling until scrolling ceases, after which they then loaded fully. This is characteristic of all Android 4.0 tablets and is an interesting solve for the clipping problem.

Thanks to its hardware scalability, I once again used Riptide GP as a game performance benchmark. Depending on the speed of the tablet's CPU, Riptide GP will deliver a noticeable increase or decrease in frame rate. The Excite 10 delivered high frame rates that approached 60fps smoothness. Still, with its splashy screen particle effects, Riptide remains one of the very few games that take specific advantage of the Tegra 3's architecture.

As mentioned, the Excite 10 has a front-facing 2-megapixel camera and a 5-megapixel back camera; 1080p video recorded with the back camera was washed out and didn't have the kind of clarity seen on some of the better tablet cameras out there, like the iPad's or Pad TF300's. Still photos fared better, but with no autofocus built in, they sometimes came out blurry; however, the LED flash was useful in low-light situations.

The 2-megapixel front camera took fine-looking pics with serviceable detail, but you wouldn't want to use it beyond light video chat.

The 720p video playback from outside sources was smooth and crisp; 1080p files played fine. However, thanks to the connector cable not working on my model (and Dropbox not allowing large file uploads) I couldn't test how larger, 1080p files fared. Tegra 3, in my experience, though, isn't known to have problems displaying large 1080p files smoothly.

Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.

Tablet Video battery life (in hours)
Toshiba Excite 10 7.8

Final thoughts
The Extcite 10 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions, starting at $450. That's the same price as the 32GB Acer Iconia Tab A510 and $70 more than the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 with 16GB. Releasing the Excite 10 at $450 with only 16GB of storage, clearly puts it at a price disadvantage compared to the other Tegra 3 tablets.

While it sports overall sound design and fast performance that matches the aforementioned tablets, its one standout feature is the high, 128GB expandable storage option. If storage is important to you, the Excite 10 is one of the best (and one of the most portable) options out there; however, with 128GB SD cards starting at about $150, the costs will begin to pile up. You'll have to decide for yourself whether those costs are worth it.

Whether having potentially monstrous levels of storage is worth the extra money is up to you.

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