Toshiba Excite Tablets
The Toshiba Excite 13 (bottom right), with a 13-inch screen, is the world's biggest mass-market tablet, dwarfing its brothers in the newly christened Excite lineup, the Excite 10 (bottom left) and Excite 7.7 (top).
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Up till now tablets have generally been in two size classes: smaller models like the Kindle Fire whose screens measure 7 inches or less, and large-size models like the iPad that are in the 10-inch range. But the category has evolved. Now there's a new giant-size species.
Toshiba just unveiled its new line of Android tablets, called Excite, and one of them's a doozy. If the iPad is a mid-size sedan in tablet world, the new Toshiba Excite 13 is an SUV: a 13-inch monster that makes other tablets look like pygmies.
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Why would anyone want a tablet that big? Toshiba has a couple of ideas.
The first is that in sometimes multiple people gather around the same tablet to collectively watch a video or look at photos. Say you have three kids, and each one wants the tablet. Instead of getting three tablets (or having them all fight for one), the large screen lets them all share the tablet. And propped up on a kickstand -- on a kitchen counter, for example -- users can see media clearly from a short distance away.
The other reason you may want a dreadnought-class tablet is as a casual gaming platform. If you lay the Excite 13 on, say, a coffee table, it would theoretically be used as kind of an electronic board game for people gathered around -- similar to Microsoft Surface.
As you'd expect, Toshiba's ginormous tablet is heftier than other models, weighing in at 2.2 pounds, although it's just 0.4 inches thick. Its LED-backlit LCD screen has a resolution of 1,600 x 900 pixels and a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio, and it has 10-finger touch support.
The Excite 13 packs a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip with GeForce graphics and 1GB of RAM, so it should be ready for the most performance-taxing games you can throw at it. It ships with the latest Android, version 4.0 or "Ice Cream Sandwich." Like Toshiba's previous Thrive tablets that the Excite line replaces, it has micro USB and micro HDMI ports, plus a full-size SD card slot.
We got some hands-on time with the Excite 13 and were taken aback by its massive size. It's noticeably heavier than an iPad, or roughly as heavy as a smaller-size MacBook Air. Still, we must say videos look fantastic on it, making them that much more shareable between multiple people -- the tablet's main raison d'être.
The Excite 13 strains the definition of "mobile," but we could see it as a family device, occasionally propped up on a kitchen counter, then come evening moved to the family room for the Android equivalent of Sorry.
If you like the sound of that experience, it's going the cost you: The Excite 13 starts at $650 for 32GB of storage. The 64GB version goes for $750.
Do you like the idea of a gigantic, 13-inch tablet? Let us know why in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.