Toshiba introduces ‘world’s thinnest tablet’

Toshiba will begin shipping its newest tablet, the Excite LE, next week.

And in a market where every tablet absolutely has to be differentiated or it simply will not stand out, Toshiba claims this one is the thinnest model in the world.

With a 10.1-inch display, it is only 0.3 inches thick. The iPad 2, by comparison, measures in with a thickness of 0.34 inches, so the Excite LE is more than 10% thinner. The question is whether or not that will be enough to attract consumers en masse.

The Excite LE can’t compete against the iPad on price. The 16 GB version is set to retail at around $530 while the 32 GB model will go for $600. That means to get the Toshiba tablet, users will need to spend more than an iPad – that is, until the iPad 3 starts putting pressure on retailers to discount the iPad 2. It’s expected the iPad 3 could be more expensive than its predecessors.

Toshiba’s new tablet comes loaded with the latest version of Android Honeycomb, version 3.2, and offers up to eight hours of battery life. The device comes packed with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor, and includes both front and rear cameras.

The 10.1-inch tablet market has been the hardest for anyone to break into, solely because that’s the exact same size as the iPad. In the 7-inch world, Amazon has managed to find success with its Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire has also proven that when it comes to Android tablets, at least right now, price matters. The average consumer who has enough money to buy an iPad will, frankly, buy an iPad, regardless of how powerful the comparable Android tablets are.

So the Excite LE has a tough battle, especially since Toshiba’s previous tablets haven’t really been able to break through the competition.