1. wynand32's Avatar
    I've had the Excite for a full day now, and thought I'd post some thoughts. I've owned a number of tablets prior to the Excite, including:

    - the original ASUS Transformer (excellent device),
    - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (also excellent, and happily used by my wife),
    - the Transformer Prime (an excellent tablet with horrible radio performance and numerous quality control issues), and
    - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" (a nice tablet for $249, but too slow and low resolution to be useful to me).
    - the iPad 3 (utterly luscious screen, great performance, but mind-numbingly simple iOS)

    So, I have enough experience to have a sense of what makes for a good or bad tablet. Here are some quick thoughts on the Excite:

    1. Performance: Excellent. By far the best performer, I think because it's almost completely stock Ice Cream Sandwich and I think Toshiba has done a good job tuning it. The closest Android competitor is the Prime, but that suffered from too many glitches. It's hard to compare performance with the iPad, because although everything is silky smooth on the iPad, iOS just does so much less than Android.

    2. Screen: I'm terribly sensitive to screen quality, in particular text and white balance, and the Excite's screen is a real mix. It has decent colors and whites are more white than some, but I think the Toshiba Autobrite brightness and contrast auto-adjust is too aggressive. Sometimes colors are washed out, and I think it's because of the adjustments that are being made. The "power balance" mode, or whatever it's caused, sometimes makes colors look better and sometimes worse, which tells me there's something funky going on. I'm also wondering if the Tegra 3 power-saving contrast features are at play, or maybe that's the foundation of Autobrite.

    Whatever, the screen is sometimes very nice, and sometimes not so much. Text isn't very good either, really, although I have to be careful in this particular comparison. The iPad 3's screen has spoiled me, and text on pretty much ANY other screen doesn't compare. Text on my wife's Samsung GT 10.1 is better than on the Excite, but the Samsung is running Honeycomb and I think ICS introduced lower-quality text.

    Overall, I'd rate the Excite's screen as the second worst of the tablets I've had so far. Only the Samsung GT 2 7" had a worse screen. However, that doesn't mean it's a terrible screen--it's perfectly serviceable, just not the best. I think some tweaking by Toshiba could make it much better.

    Regarding light bleed, I'm returning my first unit because of it and hopefully will receive a better unit tomorrow. If that one's bad as well, I'm not sure what I'll do.

    3. Build quality and form factor: The Excite is very thin and light, much more comfortable to hold than the iPad or any other tablet I've owned (except the 7" GT 2). It has no rough edges and in general feels like a quality device.

    4. Sound: I'd rate sound as excellent, especially with all of the enhancements turned on. It's nice and loud, and I've heard effects in games that I'd never noticed before with other tablets. Toshiba did a great job here.

    5. Wifi and GPS: The Excite is the polar opposite of the Prime, which suffered from terrible Wifi performance and pretty much non-functional GPS. In my home office, which is in the garage and separated from the router by four walls and about 30', the Prime would get about 1Mb/s download, the iPad about 10Mb/s, and the Excite over 20Mb/s. It's incredible how well it performs with an aluminum case. And, I get locks with 13 satellites and 24' accuracy INDOORS, including in the office at work. Very impressive performance from both Wifi and GPS.

    6. Extras: I find the haptic feedback options fascinating, even if they do slow things down a bit. I'd turn them off for this reason alone, but they add a nice flair to using the tablet. I'll consider how close to stock ICS the Excite is as an extra, and give some kudos to Toshiba. Hopefully this also means we'll be quick to get updates.

    7. Battery life: Forgot to mention battery life, so I'm amending the post. So far, I'm finding battery life to be less than spectacular.The Excite seems to burn battery life faster than other Android tablets, particularly during gaming, and it's definitely not as good as the iPad. It seems to be about the same as the Samsung GT 2 7", which has a smaller battery. I'll have to keep using it for a few more days to get a better sense of how long it will last, but so far it's not looking like a particular strength.

    Standby battery life isn't as good as the iPad, but then again that's true for all Android tablets. The Excite uses about 1%/hour on standby, compared to the iPad's less than 1% per half a day. So, the Excite was at 93% when I stopped using it at midnight, and then it was at 86% this morning at 7:00 am. The iPad, on the other hand, was at 91% at midnight, and still at 91% this morning. I've seen Android tablets do better than the Excite on standby, and I've seen them do worse.

    Overall, I like the Excite. The light bleed issue is a problem, but hopefully I'll get a better unit. I think that overall it's worth the extra $70 over the ASUS Transformer TF300, because although I give ASUS high marks for trying hard, they just seem unable to duplicate their great performance with the original Transformer. And, the build quality is better, in my opinion. I haven't handled the Acer A510, so I can't compare those two. The Excite is far better than the Prime, for a number of reasons. No current Samsung compares, but the Galaxy Note 10" will probably be an interesting tablet.

    Comparing to the iPad, although I much prefer Android over iOS, the iPad's screen is just to die for, and the apps are so, so much better and more plentiful. Because 80% of what I do with a tablet involves reading lots of text, if I had to choose between the Excite and the iPad, I'd choose the latter simply because text on the iPad is like a quality printed magazine. I like to own both, though, because there's quite a bit I like doing on an Android tablet instead.

    My rating of the Excite: 7.5/10. Fix the light bleed and tweak the display for more consistent color performance, and I'd move that to 8/10. The iPad would also be at 8/10, because iOS is so limited in terms of overall functionality.
    dalex7777 and skatergirl like this.
    05-23-2012 09:40 PM
  2. eskanday's Avatar
    great review, agree with what you said. beside what you said. it is very stable and smooth tablet.
    let us know what happen with your replacement unit.
    05-23-2012 10:28 PM
  3. wynand32's Avatar
    Update: As I mentioned in the light bleed thread, the replacement I ordered to see if I could get a unit without light bleed came in today, and it's DOA. Won't power on after sitting connected to the charger for two hours so far. If it doesn't power on, it'll be going back to Costco and I'll order one last unit. If that one's bad, I'll likely keep hunting for a different tablet.

    It's becoming quite the quest, trying to get a serviceable Android tablet.
    05-24-2012 11:34 PM
  4. wynand32's Avatar
    As a final update, I'm definitely moving on from the Excite. The screen is just a problem for me--colors are off, white balance is way too green, text is very pixellated. I might have a bad unit, so don't let my experience sour you on the tablet. Other than the screen, I think it's an excellent device. I'm just not inclined to give another one a try after the last one was DOA.
    05-30-2012 03:40 PM
  5. rushmore's Avatar
    I have had the A510 since launch and the Excite for several days and also have an iPad 3, so appreciate the spoil factor.

    I generally agree with the review, but some personal observations:

    Excite is the fastest Android device I have used

    Doesn't get hot like the A510, which gets a lot hotter than the iPad 3, in the bottom right corner.

    All 1280 x 800 tablets will look grainy after using the iPad 3.

    Touch response is iPad 3 level good on the Excite, but A510 is second tier (not too good) in this regard.

    If you set the Excite to "balanced performance", you get about an hour more battery life and see no practical performance change. I get 7 with it off and 8 with it on, with medium use. A510 is about 2.5 hours better.

    Light bleed is the main issue on the Excite, I have had two (one was beyond acceptable).

    Compared to the A510, the Excite has warmer color and no lcd array lines visible like the A510 does.

    Did I mention the A510 gets HOT on the right?

    I am using a 128gb sd card in the Excite formatted to exFAT. Works fantastic.

    The Excite's big proprietary charging connector is nuts. Who thought this up and thought it made sense?

    If you turn off the auto brightness, the Excites display looks very good for a 1280 x 800 display and no more funky contrast or color issues (I set to 35% and it is STILL plenty bright). Turning the auto brightness off turns a weak rated display to a very good one.
    06-04-2012 10:15 PM
  6. wynand32's Avatar
    If you turn off the auto brightness, the Excites display looks very good for a 1280 x 800 display and no more funky contrast or color issues (I set to 35% and it is STILL plenty bright). Turning the auto brightness off turns a weak rated display to a very good one.
    Just checking back in, getting ready try out the Excite 7.7. Really liked the 10, and wish I'd read this about turning off auto brightness before returning mine. Would be interesting to see if that would have resolved my problems with the screen.

    Anyways, hopefully the 7.7's screen will be as food as it sounds, with better text, colors, and contrast. Funny enough, one of the things I miss the most about the Excite is the silly haptic feedback, which is on the 7.7 as well.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    06-14-2012 01:16 AM