Toshiba squished tons of high-tech wizardry into the Thrive's 1.6-pound (0.7 kilogram), 0.62-inch (1.5-centimeter) thick frame, which is heavier and chunkier than the iPad (1.3 pounds, 0.5 kilograms and 0.34 inches, 0.86 centimeters) and all other tablets currently on the market. In the $400 base model, you'll find a 10.1-inch (25.6-centimeter), 1280 by 800 resolution touch screen and 8GB of internal memory paired with 1GB of RAM. For $30 more, you can upgrade to a version with 16GB storage, and the 32GB model is $500. In comparison, the 16GB iPad 2 goes for $499.
At the heart of the Thrive is a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, a mobile CPU (central processing unit) that's specifically designed to devour a minimum of power while providing ample oomph for processor-intensive applications.
Thrive has two built-in touch-screen keyboards. Those include the standard Android version and Swype, an app that lets you "draw" words by running your finger from letter to letter as the program predicts the word you want.
Both work via the capacitive touch screen, which detects changes in an electrical field on the screen's surface. Because human flesh (and thus, a finger) is a conductor, the screen can precisely determine where you're pressing and understand the commands you're inputting.
This screen also provides haptic feedback in the form of vibrations, which give you tactile confirmation that the tablet is receiving your finger presses. Most haptic feedback systems use small motors which produce vibrations, giving a livelier feel to what would otherwise be a lifeless touch sensation.
The exterior of the Thrive has what's called Easy Grip, a rubberized and texturized backside that's designed to provide you with a secure hold. If you don't like the neutral black color, you can remove it and replace it with a more colorful back; there are 5 options, and they sell separately for $20 each. You can also buy a carrying case that lets you protect the entire device and any fancy covers you add.
Like its back cover, the Thrive's battery is also replaceable. Unlike the iPad, you can remove or replace the device's battery at will. Not only is this helpful if you'll be far from a power source for long periods, but it also lets you substitute a new battery for one that goes bad without having to consult the manufacturer. You can charge the battery with the included laptop-sized AC adapter or by investing in the standard $35 dock, which also enables you to use a Bluetooth keyboard.
There's a lot more magic in this machine. On the next page, you'll discover even more about the advanced features found on the Thrive.