Toshiba AT330 Review: Big 13.3-Inch Tablet With Ice Cream Sandwich

How big is too big? A tablet is already too wide to fit in a pocket. So what's holding it back? Nothing! Toshiba went nuts with the enormous AT330. At this size, it's more table than tablet.

What Is It?

It's a really big tablet with a 13.3-inch LED backlit screen. The tablet switches between a 1.3GHz quad-core and 1.4GHz single-core Tegra T30S processor depending on usage, and it runs on Android's Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Who's it For?

People who watch a lot of video and never leave the couch.

Design

The AT330 has one micro-HDMI port and one micro-USB port, as well as a full-sized SD card slot that can expand storage up to any SD XC card currently available. That's fewer ports than the old Toshiba AT100, but the AT330 is thinner by a third at just 0.4 inches (1cm). It comes with a stand, which it needs.

Using It

Between Ice Cream Sandwich and the Tegra 3, it's very fast. The audio is loud and deep, but the fidelity is lacking, and the speakers on the bottom side get muffled.

The Best Part

The size! Definitely a great tablet for watching movies.

Tragic Flaw

The size! The only thing the tablet excels at is watching movies. It weighs just shy of 1kg, which is heavy for a tablet, it's awkward to transport, and the screen is such a wide rectangle that gaming and typing can be difficult.

This Is Weird...

The surface of the Gorilla Glass would often stick to the LCD behind it. An inky puddle emerged in the middle of the screen. It disappeared when the tablet was twisted like an ice cube tray. For some reason, travel in a backpack amplified this effect.

Test Notes

  • Fantastic battery life! Close to 11 hours.
  • The 1600x900 resolution gives it a greater pixel density than most Android tablets and the first two iPads. But it's nowhere near the retina display on the latest iPad.
  • The screen is far dimmer than average. Bummer.
  • Handheld thumb-typing is impossible. Even with a split keyboard. Keep it in your lap.
  • It gets attention on buses and trains. Is that good or bad?
  • Having a full-sized SD card is great. You can expand storage up to a crazy 128GB.
  • At 998g, it's quite a bit heavier than the comparable 10-inch Galaxy Tab 2.

Should You Buy It?

If you only want a tablet to watch videos at home, it would be worth checking it out. Home entertainment is one instance where the AT330's size makes sense. For anything else, the lighter and cheaper 7.7-inch AT270 ($539) or 10.1-inch AT300 ($539) might be more practical. According to Toshiba, these three tablets will be available in Australia late June.

Toshiba AT330 Specs

• Network: Wi-Fi • OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) • CPU: 13GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra T30S processor • Screen: 13.3-inch 1600x900 HD LED backlit display • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 16GB + up to 128GB SD card • Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front • Price: $699 RRP in Australia

Toshiba AT330 with the iPad 2 on top.

Toshiba AT330 next to the iPad 2.

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