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Toshiba is set to add another choice to the small slate market. The company will soon sell the Excite 7.7 tablet running on the latest version of Google Android (s goog). I received an early review unit and have spent a little time with the device, which is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 I bought earlier this year. The slates share the same 7.7-inch AMOLED screen technology with 1,280 x 800 resolution, have 16 GB of internal storage and have dual cameras. The biggest difference is in the process: Toshiba chose the peppy Tegra 3 from Nvidia (s nvda) to power its small slate.
I’ll follow up with a full review, but here’s first look and some initial impressions of the device. I definitely like Android 4.0 on a tablet much better than the prior version — which is what my Galaxy Tab still runs on. The slate is light and thin, making it very portable. The Wi-Fi-only connection is my preference as there’s no monthly contract.
But on the potential downside are a proprietary charging cable and the relatively high price of $499. As I mention in the video look, at that price Toshiba’s small slate is competing with larger devices that offer a greater range of functionality and potential. The Asus Transformer Prime — also with a Tegra 3 chip — is one that comes to mind, as does Apple’s iPad (s aapl).