Sep 06 AT 11:24 AM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet is a steaming pile of disappointment

On paper the Toshiba Folio looked like one of the hottest Android tablets coming this year – dual-core Tegra 2 processor, Android 2.2, 10.1 inch capacitive display, etc. However, I got to spend about an hour with the device and a senior Toshiba executive behind close doors at IFA and what I found was a steaming pile of disappointment.

The Toshiba Folio was so bad I decided not to film any hands-on video because I couldn’t think of anything nice to say about it while I sat in a small room with some Toshiba reps. It was obvious the software build loaded on the Folio was not final, but it was so buggy and craptacular that I’m surprised Toshiba was even showing off the device. It made them look bad and I think Toshiba would have been better off either not showing the device turned on or completely scrapping it from their IFA lineup.

You would think if your tablet contained the fastest mobile processor (Tegra 2), that you might want to load some games or benchmarks to show it off. Unfortunately, I did not see anything that demonstrated the power of Tegra 2 and I was unable to download or install any applications (because of software bugs). I still have high hopes for Tegra 2, but the Folio did absolutely nothing to get anyone excited about NVIDIA’s platform.

Arguably the most entertaining part of my hands-on with the Folio was my conversation about the mobile industry with the Toshiba marketing exec (who will remain nameless hah). He ended up asking me way more questions than I had for him and I think I should have charged him a consulting fee. We mainly talked about their competitors’ tablets, Google’s preferential treatment towards certain manufacturers, and alternative app markets (as the Folio is not certified by Google). It was an eye-opening chat as he didn’t seem very enthusiastic about his own company’s tablet and ended the conversation by asking me, “So, we are screwed?”.

Everyone and their mother had an Android tablet on display at IFA and I would place the Toshiba Folio at the bottom of my list ranking which I would like to purchase. Samsung, Archos, and Viewsonic all had quality offerings that I would recommend, but Toshiba has their work cut out for them. Just because your product has the fastest processor, that doesn’t guarantee a win.

Going forward, I think we will see PC vendors continue to struggle with their initial Android efforts. There are a few new companies who get it (see Viewsonic), but for the most part the Android ecosystem is tough to completely understand and the handset makers should rule for the next couple years.

Look for the Folio to debut across Europe over the next couple of months. I was told there are no plans for a U.S. release and I expect it will flop so don’t get your hopes up.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Brandon Henley

    That’s pretty sad when the company reps can’t even get behind their own product. Sucks for the Tegra 2 platform.

  • kleverbear

    WOW!, just WOW!

    I hope the exec that took some of your feedback about the market listens to you and helps get their ship sailing right. I love Toshiba products but if they don’t get a feel for what consumers want they will not be getting my business.

    i hope they listen

  • Dr.Jeckyl

    That’s pretty sad coming from one of THE top laptop manufacturers in the game. Like kleverbear says I hope they take you feedback and improves before launch.

    • http://Website HTTPee

      Which makes you wonder *how in hell* could anyone consider Tosh to be “THE top laptop manufacturers (sic)” in the first place, when they can’t even get their act together to pull off something Apple had done, seemingly effortlessly. It’s even worse when you consider that 1. tablet as a form factor has been in the market all along, so it isn’t a brand new platform, and 2. every month we see a new so-called “iPad killer”, which gets more pathetic each day as the iPad market grows stronger. Which begs me to ask, is there some kind of Tosh’s equivalent of the “50 cent army” running around on the internet, spreading words of Toshiba being the champion of laptops or whatever? Because as far as I’m concerned, Asus and Acer seem to be the ones with any real proven record.

  • http://Website Chuck

    Can you extrapolate more on why it sucked? All I gathered from the article was that it lacked impressive demos and had a buggy/broken app market/installer.

    There must be a little more to it than that to make such a strong impression.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      My point was not so much that the Folio sucked, but that I could find nothing positive to say about it and that fact disappointed me. The Android tablet space is going to get very crowded and if you cant impress the customer then your product will get lost among the wave of others and fail. I think I also had raised my expectations based on the inclusion of the Tegra 2 processor, which I was unable to really benchmark and gauge its performance.

      Some people might actually end up liking the Folio, but I think there are better options already out there from Samsung, Archos, and Viewsonic. You also got to remember we still have HTC, Motorola, and LG who will all be releasing tablets over the coming months.

      • http://Website Chuck

        Thanks for the clarification!

  • http://Website Ryan Kim

    I would buy it if it is less than $150

    • Anthony Domanico

      Tegra 2? It won’t be. Probably will cost more than the unsubsidized Galaxy Tab.

      Looks like Viewsonic or Archos is the way to go.

  • http://Website thepwneddroid

    They did the same with the Toshiba TG01, it was the first Snapdragon phone (1Ghz) but it was running an ugly personalization pack on WinMo 6.1.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Exactly what I was thinking. How many units did that sell? I think Toshiba canned their phones after that and merged smartphone units with Fujitsu for future products.

  • http://Website A-Tablet Price

    I’m very interested in android tablets, but I’m a bit worried about some of the pricing points I’ve seen. I’m not sure an android tablet can compete at the same price points as the iPad initially. I love android (finally got off the BH2 for the Vibrant), but after getting an iPad as a gift recently, i must say it’s really impressive, and I have a hard time imagining an android tablet pulling this off as well (although the flash support would be huge!!).

    Disappointing that you’re looking at a supposed top of the line device and can’t say/find anything good to say about it. I’d love to pick one of these (android tablets) up at the $250-$300 price range, and that might happen based on the number of devices coming out, but at the $500+ range, it’s not going to happen. Maybe I’m just too price sensitive.

  • http://Website Jeff

    You’re on to something with that consulting fee idea. A lot of manufacturers are looking at Android (and the smartphone/tab/app market in general) as a market they can’t afford to ignore, but it’s real confusing. You guys are poised to cash in on this.

  • http://Website john

    Toshiba AS100
    I should not of bought this:
    no ebook reader
    no flask player
    no android compatibility
    yet the promotion says otherwise
    Wish i could get rid of it
    will not recommend to my friends.