Toshiba will start shipping its Excite LE tablet next week, which the company claims will be the thinnest tablet yet.

It has a 10.1-inch display, is 7.7mm thick and weighs 535g. By comparison, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2, which also has a 10.1-inch display, is 9.7mm thick and weighs 590g. Apple's iPad 2, which has a 9.7-inch screen, is 8.6mm thick and weighs 603g.

The Excite LE will be priced at $529.99 (£335) for a 16GB model and $599.99 (£380) for a 32GB model, and will initially ship only in the US. That's a bit pricier than the iPad 2, which is around £320 for the 16GB model. Apple is expected to announce the iPad 3 next week.

A Toshiba spokeswoman couldn't confirm any plans to sell the Excite LE outside of the US, but said variants of the device could show up in other countries.

The tablet runs the Android 3.2 OS and will be upgraded to Android 4.0 in the spring. It gives up to eight hours of battery life, according to Toshiba, and runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor from Texas Instruments. Features include front and rear-facing cameras, and micro-USB and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) ports.

Toshiba already offers Android tablets with 7-inch and 10-inch screens.