When Toshiba launched its first tablet in early 2011 it logically differentiated it from the iPad by packing it with many of the things the iPad didn’t have. Hardware-wise that was mostly ports which made the AT100 a hit with geeks who loved the idea of a tablet with as many connectivity options as a laptop (even if was a thick as one!). But out in Harvey Norman land the AT100 was largely bypassed by consumers who wanted thin and light and sexy the qualities championed by the iPad and later the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
So Toshiba felt it had a point to make with its next tablet: that being Toshiba it did have the technical knowhow and design skills to make a tablet that was thinner than the competition. And so with the AT200 it has. Weighing 535g and 7.7mm thick it is the among the world’s lightest and thinnest tablets.
Pick up an AT200 and your immediate reaction (not just this reviewer’s and that of several APC staff) will be to notice that it’s unusually light. You react not just to its weight but to its combination of extreme thinness and the fact that it’s made of a superlight alloy that feels more like plastic than steel.
Despite its insane slimness the AT200 still provides several ports: a micro HDMI (connect it to a TV) micro USB 2.0 (transfer data) and micro SD slot (expand storage or shift photos from a camera). Not quite the full-sized ones of its predecessor but extraordinary in something only 7.7mm thin. It also comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (3G version may arrive later).
The other standout feature of this tablet is its excellent video and music playback quality – powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 Cortex A9 SoC with integrated graphics. It’s also DLNA-compatible which means you can stream content from it to other DNLA-compatible devices in your home theatre. There are 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras and the tablet runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Toshiba will provide an upgrade to Android 4.0.
The AT200 comes with Wi-Fi only but a 3G version may arrive later this year.
Available from Toshiba retailing for $579 (16GB).
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)