The Toshiba Excite 10 LE Android tablet first spotted at CES 2012 now has an official release date and price. It’ll start at $529 and land on March 6th. I’m sure it’s just a total coincidence that Apple is unveiling the iPad 3 the very next day.
The Excite 10 LE appropriately features a 10.1-inch display with a 1280 x 800 resolution and Gorilla Glass on top. It ships with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, but Toshiba promises it will receive the Ice Cream Sandwich treatment later on in the year. As for dimensions, it’s only 7.7 mm thick and weighs 1.18 pounds — just a tiny bit thinner and lighter than the iPad 2 and the thinnest tablet on the market. There’s a 2MP camera on the front mainly for video calling and a higher quality 5MP camera on the back. The entire device is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor.
One great feature the Excite 10 LE has that is somewhat of a weakness of the iPad is ports. Here you’ll find microUSB, microHDMI, and microSD slots. This helps it act as more of a standard personal computer than a post-PC device. Toshiba took this same approach with the Thrive tablet of yesteryear, which we gave quite a favorable review.
That said, the Excite does have some drawbacks. The 25-watt-hour battery provides for about eight hours of usage — pretty good but not good enough to compete with the iPad’s ten hour battery life. Also, because it’s being released a day before the iPad 3 announcement, it’s hard not to pit it against the iPad 3, which is expected to be faster than the iPad 2 and set a new standard for tablet displays with the “retina” pixel density seen on the iPhone 4 and 4S.
Overall, the Toshiba Excite 10 LE still does look like a good offering with a fair price point. It will come in two flavors: 16GB for $529 and 32GB for $599.