Toshiba Excite 10 Review

Introduction and Design

Looking back on the Toshiba Thrive from last year, it doesn’t surprise us in any way that it was left in the dust by the competition, especially when it sported one of the ugliest designs amongst the first-generation Honeycomb tablets. Lucky for all of us, the Toshiba Excite 10 is undoubtedly pushing forward as being a more compelling and exciting device thanks to an updated design and its top-notch specs. No doubt it’s brushing up against some other competitive offerings with its starting price point of $449.99, let’s cross our fingers and hope that Toshiba has learned from its old ways.


First and foremost, we have to give some kudos to Toshiba for giving the Excite 10 a very contemporary design – whereas before, the Toshiba Thrive was simply too monolithic with it chunky laptop-like appearance. Specifically, it employs some the favorable design qualities we expect out of tablets nowadays, like a streamlined profile, sturdy construction, and premium choice materials. Thanks to its aluminum casing, it does add a hint of solidness to its overall build quality, and at the same time, its patterned design allows us to grip it with ease. Frankly, it sticks to the safe approach of utilizing a conventional design, which means that it’s not as attractive as something like an Asus Transformer Prime or new iPad.

Taking a tour around the Excite 10, we’re presented with a proprietary dock connection port for charging & data connectivity, left & right speakers, power button, volume control key, orientation lock switch, microphone,3.5mm headset jack, microHDMI port, microUSB for data connectivity only, and a full-sized SD card slot.

Towards the upper right corner on the back of the Toshiba Excite 10, there’s a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash. Meanwhile, a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chat and self-portrait is perched above the display.


Feasting our eyes on it for the very first time, we’re enchanted by its 10.1” WXGA (1280 x 800) IPS LCD display – though, it’s the rich and deep color production that attracts us the most. Naturally, its resolution is standard amongst its size, but nevertheless, it’s sufficient enough for us to make out fine text with relative ease. However, take it outdoors with the sun’s presence, it washes out and becomes nearly unusable unless it’s shaded. Strangely, we notice some bleeding going on around the edges of the display that’s only recognizable when it’s displaying the color black. For the most part, it’s still an alluring display from afar, but doesn’t quite have breathtaking aura of something like the new iPad.

Interface and Functionality:

Call it taking the safe approach, Toshiba decided on giving us a stock Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich experience with the Excite 10 – meaning, there’s nothing different about it versus other recent ICS tablet offerings. Sure, we’re still presented with that always expected high-level of personalization, but it would’ve been nice to see some additional widgets just to give the experience a tiny bit of personality to differentiate itself from the pack. Conversely, we’re certain that there are people out there that simply prefer a vanilla experience that won’t burden its performance.

Hardly a shocker to us, the Excite 10 is easy on the fingers when it comes to typing with its on-screen keyboards, which consists of the stock and Swype keyboards. More than spacious thanks to its screen size, it’s accompanied with a peppy responsiveness to keep up with our rate of input.

Considering that we’re presented with a stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience, we’re treated to both the standard email and Gmail apps. Although they share the same familiar two-panel interface, the standard email app allows us to execute pinch gestures to zoom – whereas in Gmail, it’s stuck on a fixed view.

In terms of preloaded apps out of the box, there are an abundance of third party ones – these include Amazon Kindle, Amazon MP3, Backgammon, Crackle, HW Euchre SE, HW Hearts SE, HW Solitaire SE, HW Spades SE, Kaspersky Tablet Security, LogMeIn, Netflix, Quickoffice, Rdio, WildTangent, and Zinio.

Processor and Memory:

Without a doubt, we’re comforted to know that the tablet is powered by a feverish paced quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and coupled with 1GB of RAM. Using the same CPU that’s used by its contemporary in the Asus Transformer Prime, the Excite 10 effortlessly performs nearly all tasks without a hitch – though, every now and then, we do experience just a tiny bit of lag. Nonetheless, it’s able to maintain its fluidity with its operations to instill in us that it’s a powerhouse. And of course, the benchmark results go on to confirm our expectations.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Toshiba Excite 1040461067547,7
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.12341516720,6
Asus Trasnsformer Pad 3003872955147,1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)2711499518,7

Available in either 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, they’re priced respectively at $449.99, $529.99, and $649.99. So if you do the math, you get the most bang for the buck with the 32GB model. Then again, its capacity can be supplemented thanks to its full-sized SD card slot.

Internet and Connectivity:

Honestly, you really can’t go wrong in the web browsing department when you’re packing a mighty fast quad-core processor underneath the hood. Rightfully so, the Toshiba Excite 10 fits the bill as it’s able to provide us with smooth operations with all of its navigational controls. Throw in its ability to play Adobe Flash content without flinching, we’re encompassed with a very rewarding experience throughout it all.

Currently, all three models of the Toshiba Excite 10 are 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi only tablets – with no word on whether we’ll see ones with cellular connectivity. Connected to a hotspot that’s approximately 30 feet away, the tablet seems to have a decent connection to it – and in our time using it, we didn’t experience any major fluctuations or disconnects. Additionally, it features aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and mass storage support with its microUSB port.


Ouch! On one hand, we see a lot of love in other aspects of the Excite 10, but when it comes to taking photos with its 5-megapixel snapper, they’re simply terrible beyond belief. Well, it’s quite apparent that low contrast images suffer from a lot of over-exposure, and on top of that, details are simply too indiscernible to make out small things in the background. Forget about trying to shoot anything in low light, as its quality is diminished by a heavy presence of noise muddying up its shot.

Faring poorly with still images, it doesn’t surprise us in the very bit that it’s also lacking in the video recording department. Limited to a maximum 720p video capture, its poor quality is once again evident by its inaccurate colors, super soft details, and aggressive exposure. Audio recording is decent enough to accept, but overall, there’s nothing to like about this one.

Toshiba Excite 10 Sample Video:


Between the Toshiba media player and the stock ICS one, we’d still choose the latter mainly because of its cool looking 3D carousel for browsing through our catalog of songs – plus, we’re given a few different equalizer settings. As for the audio quality from its dual speakers, it’s effective enough to please out ears, seeing that its neutral tones are smooth without being too overbearing at the loudest volume setting.

As expected, the tablet fares well when it comes to playing high-definition videos, as it’s able to perfectly play our test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution. Additionally, it has support for a wide array of codecs, like XviD, MPEG-4, and H.264, to ensure you’re covered with all your video watching needs.

Out of convenience sake, the Toshiba Excite 10 offers a separate microHDMI out port for all our multimedia sharing needs. Connected to a high-definition television, we’re able to get that ever useful mirrored experience.


If there are any fears about the potential of having a battery hungry quad-core processor, it’s put to rest as we’re able to easily obtain a single day of normal usage out of a full charge. However, power users will probably want to charge it nightly so that it’s at a usable level in the morning.


Above all, we have to admit that we truly love the direction that Toshiba has gone with this tablet, as it seemingly obliterated all remnants of the Toshiba Thrive from last year that has floated around in our heads. Donning a vastly better looking design combined with some muscle flexing hardware specs, there’s enough to like about the $450 priced Toshiba Excite 10. Indeed, it’s an exciting offering from Toshiba’s camp, but we’d still settle for a $500 Asus Transformer Prime any day of the week – mainly because the difference in price is justified by its killer design, convertible aspect, and better overall performance. Then again, some people won’t mind saving the $50 by settling with the Toshiba Excite 10 – so it’ll all depend on the circumstance.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 4.0.3
Kernel Version:
Build Number: IML74K.01.000041114

Toshiba Excite 10 Review:


  • Solid aluminum body
  • Fast quad-core processor


  • Bleeding around the sides of the display
  • Shoots terrible photos & videos

PhoneArena Rating:


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