Toshiba whips out a 7-inch Thrive tablet

After failing to dazzle with the full-size version of its Android tablet, Toshiba is coming out with a more grasp-friendly 7-inch model.

The new 7-inch Thrive will feature LED backlighting, a 1280×800 resolution, a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and a front (2 MP) and rear (5 MP) digital camera. MiniUSB, microHDMI, and microSD slots are also included.

Toshiba plans to bring the device to market by the end of the year, in hopes of cashing in on the holiday season rush. The tablet will be stocked at major retailers around the country as well as online stores and at The company has set a vague release target of December.

The 10-inch Thrive model launched in July and despite being a competently sound tablet, it was not able to make a splash. It has suffered the same fate as so many Android tablets before it in that there’s nothing really wrong with it, but there’s nothing amazing either.

There has been a trend away from making an Android replica of the iPad, and instead focusing on different display sizes and other features that make it a wholly different experience than the iPad.

Still, no one has been able to claim the title as THE Android tablet. Amazon will be unveiling its tablet later today and all eyes will be focused there as the online retailer made an amazing impact on the e-reader market with the Kindle. We’ll see if it can do the same with the tablet market.