Toshiba Thrive Tablet release date in Mid-July; pre-order now

Toshiba is the latest company to throw its hat into the tablet ring, as its Android-based Thrive slate has been given a release date and pricing. Toshiba’s 10.1 inch Android 3.1 Tablet PC “Thrive” set to arrive in July and start at $429, with three different hard drives available.

Latest news regarding the Toshiba Thrive indicate that the tablet will be available for pre-order starting June 13th at BestBuy and it will be available to the general public on July 10th. The Toshiba Thrive will come in three flavors, with 8, 16 and 32 GB versions available. The price for the 8 GB version is expected to be $429, the 16 GB version should cost you $479 whilst the biggest brother, the 32 GB version should cost you $579 (Click Here to pre-order it from Amazon).

Amazon and Office Depot as well as direct with Toshiba. And although an exact release date has not been announced, it was noted that the pre-orders will begin shipping around mid-July. Of course, that brings us back to a previous rumor in which we had heard that the Thrive would ship on July 10th. That said, July 10th is certainly not a confirmed date. Otherwise, a few key points here with the Thrive that make it stand-out a bit from the competition. First, the Thrive comes with an Easy Grip back cover system which can be swapped in and out allowing you to change the color and in-turn, the look of the tablet.

Also released were a couple of other specs. All Thrive models will have dual cameras, with a 5 mp rear camera and front facing camera with a “hardier than most” 2.1 mp camera for photos, video conferencing and video chat. No word if the rear camera will record in HD, but most tablets at that price are offering video capture in at least 720p HD, so that is expected.

The usual collection of prerequisite media and connectivity ports are present, with a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port, mini USB, USB and SD card slot. HDMI output allows a tablet user to send movies, videos, PowerPoint shows and slide shows from their smallish tablet screen to a large HDTV or monitor for presentations, or sharing with family and friends.

With so many Honeycomb tablets set to enter the market, it will be hard for consumers to differentiate between them. Toshiba is apparently banking on its price point (about $20 less than the 16GB Acer Iconia Tab A500, but $30 more than the 16GB Asus Eee Pad Transformer) and name recognition to get some traction in what will be a highly competitive field of Android slates.

Battery life is offered as 6 to 7 hours, slightly above average for tablets, and the Thrive, all three of them, will use the processor that has been considered the best of the best, the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core. The back plate of the Thrive can be swapped out for other colored skins.

One downside about the Toshiba Thrive is the fact that it weights a bit too much. The tablet weights around 700 grams ( 1.6 pounds ). That’s a bit too excessive but if you can get pass that, then the Toshiba Thrive could be one interesting choice if you’re thinking of buying a tablet this year.