By McKinley Noble | 01-02-2013 | 1:30AM

Although Toshiba's Excite 7 and Excite 10 tablets originally launched with Ice Cream Sandwich earlier last year, both tablet lines are thankfully getting a critical upgrade.

Talk about a good way to start the new year on the right foot.

Both devices are getting a bump up to Android 4.1.1—not the newest version of Jelly Bean, sure, but it's still useful.

Aside from the performance boost and new features, they're also getting a bit of a refit with the "Hybrid UI" that you might have seen on the Google Nexus 7.

If it's ready to download on your device, you can check your tablet's status by going to "Settings" and selecting the "About Tablet" option for the Jelly Bean updates (and if you don't see it there, you can also try Toshiba's Service Station).

Powered with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset, the Excite slate-style tablets are actually some of the better performing Android gadgets on store shelves now, so the newer OS is a welcome sight. Moreover, both the 10-inch and 7.7-inch models are good choices for audiophiles, as the built-in speakers in each are a notable cut above most of the competition.