April 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM ET
We hope you're sitting down, because you'll need to be to in order to hold the Excite 13 in your hands. Starting at a steep $649 and available June 10th, this is the largest Android tablet yet, featuring a billboard-like 13-inch screen.
What's the point of being 3 inches bigger than the iPad? Toshiba says this 2.2-pound device was designed primarily for home use, whether you're surfing the web, playing games, video chatting, or watching movies. Here are our first impressions of this Ice Cream Sandwich-powered beast.
This slate's huge display (1600 x 900 pixels) is sharper than your typical Android tablet but lower res than the new iPad's Retina Display (2048 x 1536) and full HD Android devices like the upcoming Asus Eee Pad TF700T (1900 x 1200). Nevertheless, there's plenty of real estate for two people to view content at the same time, which could help prevent the kids from fighting over the family tablet.
The Excite 13 packs a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor for quad-core power, a front-facing 2-MP camera and 5-MP back camera. Other features include a full-size SD Card slot, micro USB port for attaching peripherals and a micro HDMI port. The 32GB model costs $649, while the 64GB model will run you $749.
During our brief hands-on time, the Excite 13 was unwieldy to use unless we had it in our lap or on a table. It's simply too large to hold while you're standing. The big footprint also made reaching across the display with our thumbs to type almost impossible. However, we do appreciate this tablet's slim .4-inch profile and its textured back, which ensures a firm grip.
Our first instinct is to dismiss the Excite 13 as a ploy to get shoppers to stop in their tracks when they see it on the shelf. We'll have to wait and see whether the performance and large canvas make up for this slate's awkwardness. Stay tuned for a full review.
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