Toshiba continues its quest to cover a gamut of tablet shapes and sizes with the introduction of the Excite 7.7, so named because of its screen size. The company already offers a 7-inch model, two 10.1-inch tablets (including a very thin one), and a 13-inch model that’s promised for this fall that will be bigger than any tablet available.
Touch and feel. Although larger than a 7-inch tablet, the Excite 7.7 still feels very portable. It’s thin at 0.31 inches and light at 12.3 ounces. It’s easy to hold and small enough that you can reach across the screen with your thumbs, even in landscape orientation. In portrait mode, it’s narrow enough to comfortably hold in one hand. The aluminum casing keeps it light, and it’s textured on the back so it doesn’t feel slippery. The power, volume, and lock buttons are easy to find but never in your way.
Display. The AMOLED display looked very good. It was bright, with 1280 x 800 resolution. The blacks looked good, and colors were in the ballpark, although oversaturated and orangish. Viewing angle was quite wide, making it easy for several people to view at once.
Apps. Toshiba took a minimalist approach with the home page. It didn’t add its own interface as many others (including Toshiba itself) have on other models. Instead, it put together bundles of apps, grouped by theme. These include apps for productivity, such as Quickoffice and PrinterShare; for entertainment, including Netflix and Crackle; and for books & news, which includes Toshiba’s and Googe’s book stores, along with Zinio for magazines.
Other specs. The Excite 7.7 starts at $500 with 16GB of storage or $580 for 32GB. Both models use a quad-core processor and run on Android 4.0. The front-facing camera is a 2-megapixel webcam and there’s a microphone. The rear camera is 5 megapixels with a flash. There’s a MicroSD card slot and a Micro USB 2.0 port.
Bottom line. The Excite 7.7 is a nice size that fits between 7-inch and 10-inch tablets, keeping it portable but adding a bit of screen real estate for movie viewing and other activities. We’ll post complete test results in our Ratings soon.
â€”Donna L. Tapellini