Tablets Guide

Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300 review

Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300 - A MidFielder

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Launch SRP S$799

Overall rating 8/10
Design:
8.5
Features:
8
User-Friendliness:
8.5
Performance:
8
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Good design and handling
3G support
Supports 128GB SD cards
THE BAD
Proprietary dock connector for charging
Below average imaging quality


Design, Features & Performance Benchmarks

Overview

Earlier last month, we reviewed the Toshiba Regza Tablet AT270, a 7.7-inch tablet with an AMOLED display that could possibly give the Apple iPad Mini a run for its money if its priced lower. 

Today, we are taking a look at its 10.1-inch sibling, the Regza Tablet AT300 which has almost similar specs and design. Will it be able to pose a grave threat to the fourth generation iPad? Let's check out in this review. Just before that, here's a quick look at the key highlights of the Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300: - 

 

  Key highlights of the Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300 (3G)

  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 10.1-inch IPS display / 1280 x 800 pixels
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32GB internal memory 
  • microSD card support up to 128GB
  • 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash 
  • 2-megapixel front facing camera
  • 6600mAh battery
  • 595g
  • 260 x 178.9 x 9.0mm

  • Price and availability: S$799

 

Design and Features

It's obvious that the AT300 shares the same design language as the AT270 apart from the difference in screen sizes. This isn't necessarily a bad connotation as having a standard design will strengthen the brand's image in the minds of the consumers. For Toshiba, we feel it is their way of differentiating their tablet devices from the iPad lookalikes in the market especially when Apple is going hard on competitors who "copied the design" of its iPads.

Weighing at 595g and measuring 9.0mm thin, the AT300 competes favorably against its contemporaries. For example, the fourth-gen iPad is thicker at 9.4mm and weighs 662g (4G variant). The latest Samsung Nexus 10, on the other hand, is slightly thinner at 8.9mm and weighs 603g. Here's a quick reference as to where the AT300 stands among the 10.1-inch competition: 

  • Apple iPad (Fourth-Gen): 9.4mm, 662g
  • ASUS Transformer Pad Prime: 8.3mm, 586g
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: 8.9mm, 600g
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1): 9.7mm, 587g
  • Samsung Nexus 10: 8.9mm, 603g

Similar to the AT270, the AT300 feels relatively light in the hands and its textured back offers a good grip of the device. However, as a 10.1-inch tablet, it is obviously best used with two hands rather than one.

You will still get the micro-USB port and SIM card slot but the microSD card slot on the AT270 is replaced by a full-sized SD card slot on the AT300 which also supports up to 128GB SDHC-class cards. As expected, the AT300 can only be charged via its proprietary dock connector at the bottom of the device.

The AT300 runs on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and there is no specific time frame as to when it will be updated to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. For the list of software features on the AT300, you can check out the review of the AT270

 

Performance

A NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB RAM powers the AT300. The "4-PLUS-1" quad-core architecture has been in the market for close to a year, and over time, competing processors such as Samsung's Exynos chipsets and Apple's custom designed A6X processors made their debut.  

As such, we will be comparing the AT300 against the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, ASUS Transformer Pad Prime and the fourth generation Apple iPad to assess the performance of the Toshiba tablet. The following benchmarks are used for raw performance evaluation: -

  • Quadrant evaluates the CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance. This is an Android OS based test.
     
  • Smartbench 2011 is a multi-core friendly benchmark application that includes both the Productivity and Games indices for a more complete gauge of the overall performance of Android tablets.
     
  • SunSpider Javascript benchmark measures the browsing performance of the tablet. 

How the Tablets Stack up
Device Toshiba Regza Tablet AT300 (3G) Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1  ASUS Transformer Pad Prime Apple iPad
(4th Gen)
CPU NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core
1.2GHz
Exynos 4 Quad  quad-core
1.4GHz
NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core
1.3GHz
Apple A6X dual-core 1GHz
GPU 12-core GeForce Mali-400MP 12-core GeForce  PowerVR SGX543MP4
RAM 1GB 2GB 1GB 1GB
OS Android 4.0.3 Google Android 4.0.4 Google Android 4.0 Apple iOS 6

 

The NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset is starting to show its age and clearly had difficulties keeping up with the latest mobile processors that the other tablets are equipped with. Take the Quadrant benchmark results for instance: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 easily surpassed the two Tegra 3-powered tablets and led the race by a healthy margin. The Smartbench 2011 results are a mixed bag, with both mobile processors gaining an upper hand for each sub-test respectively. 

When it comes to the Sunspider benchmark, the Android tablets couldn't hold a candle to the fourth-gen Apple iPad where the Apple slate smashed the benchmarks with an astonishing score of 850ms (lower is better). 

Would these benchmark-based results affect actual usage on the on the AT300 tablet? Fortunately, user experience was generally good although both the AT270 and AT300 could do better with an upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and take advantage of Project Butter for a smoother user experience.