Toshiba placed a premium on audio features in its Thrive, which has built-in stereo speakers and also comes with a 3.5-millimeter jack that lets you connect to exterior speakers or headphones. Thrive keeps tabs on background noise in your environment, and if things are chaotic and loud, it correspondingly boosts volume to compensate [source: TechRadar].
Thrive offers even more when it comes to visual capabilities. A forward-facing camera is 5 megapixels but doesn't have a flash, and a user-facing camera is 2 megapixels. You can capture still pictures or video with either, meaning that video-conferencing is an option via Google Chat.
The 2-megapixel camera pulls double duty by sensing ambient light wherever you might be working. That sensor enables Ambient Display technology to adjust screen brightness and color saturation automatically. So if you're working in darkness, the screen dims, and in bright sunlight the screen becomes much brighter (and uses more battery power, too).
This tablet also has an integrated gyroscope and accelerometer. Together, these sensors detect the tablet's tilt angle and movement. In simpler terms, that means if you're surfing the Web, you can simply turn the Thrive 90 degrees and it will automatically adjust the screen for portrait (vertical) or widescreen (horizontal) viewing. And for certain types of games, such as driving simulators, you can turn the tablet back and forth like a steering wheel to guide movements within the game.
Toshiba also worked to ensure quality video. Thrive incorporates the company's Resolution+ technology, which scales up standard definition video to a level that simulates high-definition video. This feature is perhaps most useful when playing video from the Thrive to an HD television via the HDMI port.
The Thrive isn't for everyone. Its looks might not appeal to people who want to impress their friends with the latest and greatest in digital innovation. But it does provide a utilitarian range of tools found in no other current tablet. Those features alone may make help this tablet thrive amidst a jungle of appealing smartphones, tablets and laptops.