RSS
Toshiba's 13-inch tablet: A colossal mistake?
The Android-powered Excite 13 dwarfs the competition with an extra-large touchscreen — but in the tablet market, bigger might not be better
On Tuesday, Toshiba unveiled three new Excite tablets, but the giant 13.3-inch version is hogging all the attention.
On Tuesday, Toshiba unveiled three new Excite tablets, but the giant 13.3-inch version is hogging all the attention.
CC BY: Toshiba_US
T

oshiba is going big (or going home) with an oversized new addition to its line of Excite tablets. With an enormous 13.3-inch touchscreen, the Android-powered Excite 13 is much larger than any tablet on the market, nearly twice as expansive as the 7-inch Kindle Fire, and significantly bigger than the 9.7-inch iPad. Despite the extra real estate, the Excite 13 is still relatively lightweight at 2.2 pounds. But when you factor in its base price of $649.99, will consumers embrace the idea that bigger is better? 

What a monstrosity: The Excite 13 exposes what's wrong with the Android ecosystem, says Chris Davies at Slashgear. Most Android apps were designed for phones, and then "simply shoe-horned onto tablets." Such apps look okay on a 7-inch model, but stretched across 13 inches? Things get awfully ugly. "Android manufacturers need to wake up to the fact that they can't keep pushing ahead with hardware without the software ecosystem in place to support it." This "poorly thought-through" tablet is too much, too soon.
"Toshiba's giant tablet is a giant mistake"

It's expensive and impractical: No one will hold and use this tablet for long periods, says Kevin C. Tofel at GigaOm. It's simply too heavy (compared to the 1.44 pound iPad). Plus, with a budget-busting $650 price tag, it's hard to picture consumers choosing this over a more comprehensive notebook or a lighter, more portable tablet. This is a "large slate with a big price" — Toshiba probably won't move too many of these.
"Why a 13-inch tablet is a big bet for Toshiba"

But it could work in your home: Maybe families will convene in their living rooms and watch a movie on the Excite 13, or flip through photos together, consultant Jakob Nielsen tells Wired. It won't be an on-the-go iPad killer, but "if a small group of people is trying to use the tablet together, sitting on the couch and consuming content, this size makes sense."
"Toshiba's 13-inch Excite: Does the world need a tablet this large?"

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week