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April 29, 2011
 

REVIEW: T-Mobile LG G-Slate

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Written by: mgardega
T-Mobile LG G-Slate

T-Mobile LG G-Slate

The T-Mobile LG G-Slate was T-Mobile’s first official tablet and the second major device to adopt the Google Honeycomb operating system. It will invariably be mentioned in the same breath as its chief rival, the Motorola Xoom, and when placed up against that competition, the G-Slate certainly has the edge in most categories. An uncertain future for its contract provider, however, may be too big a red flag to risk an investment just yet.

T-Mobile’s device features an 8.9-inch IPS screen that is just as wide as the iPad’s but a little shorter vertically and offers a nearly as wide viewing angle. The smaller form factor should in theory make the G-Slate more portable than Apple or Motorola’s tablets, whose displays both clock in around 10 inches, but the G-Slate is somewhat curiously heavier than you’d expect, which could put a damper on its overall portability. One man’s bulk is another man’s sturdiness, however, so whether or not this extra weight has a real impact may just be a matter of personal opinion.

A unique feature of the G-Slate is its 5-megapixel 3D camera, which can record 3D video on the fly. The end product is a retro, blue-and-red 3D effect, which makes the whole feature feel kind of half-baked and gimmicky, with little to no practical use.

A two-year deal with T-Mobile will get your G-Slate access to its 4G network, on which the device traverses the Web rather well. Unfortunately, using 4G is a huge sap on your battery, so users shouldn’t stray too far from an outlet or a Wi-Fi access point during long surfing sessions.

The device also comes preloaded with T-Mobile TV, which will place a number of television shows and movies at your fingertips. This service is a great bonus feature that takes some of the sting out of not having iTunes access on the go, though the selection is fairly limited.

The biggest question mark surrounding the G-Slate may be the future of T-Mobile itself. If the provider is absorbed by AT&T, as many have suggested it will be, that may drastically change the landscape for users. Just how much things will change, and whether or not the G-Slate will be adversely affected, remains to be seen. But with so much uncertainty in the current marketplace, it might be too much of a gamble.

CONCLUSION
There’s no denying the G-Slate packs a big punch in a small package. While a bit cheaper than the Xoom, once accounting for contract discounts and rebates, the G-Slate is still pretty expensive in the grand scheme of things, and there appear to be no plans as of yet for a wi-fi-only model. T-Mobile has Verizon beat in terms of hardware here, but questions about the company’s future should be enough to keep your distance from G-Slate until a few more industry dominoes fall.

PROS

  • Honeycomb Android 3.0
  • 4G HSPA+ Wireless
  • Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core graphics

CONS

  • 3D camera effects are gimmicky
  • T-Mobile may be disappearing into AT&T
  • Heavy for its size

SPECS

2G Network GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHZ
3G Network UMTS 900, 1700/2100, 2100 MHz
Dimensions
L x B x H 243 x 149.4 x 12.8 mm
Weight 630 grams
Form Factor Candybar Touch Tablet
Display
Type HD Capacitive 3D Touch Screen
Size 8.9 inches
Resolution 1280 x 768 Pixels WXGA
Input/ User Interface 3D Display
Gyroscope
Multi Touch
Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
System Properties
Operating System Android 3.0 Honeycomb
CPU Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual-core 1GHz Processor
Storage Capacity
Internal Memory 32 GB built-in memory
Expandable Memory
Browser & Messaging HTML, Flash
MMS, SMS, IM, Email, RSS
Camera
Still – 5 Megapixels
– 2592х1944 pixels
– LED Flash
– Digital Zoom
– Auto focus
Additional rear camera – Yes
– 1080p HD Video recording capability
– 1920×1080 pixels
Secondary(Front-facing) – 2 Megapixels
– 1600 x 1200 pixels
Video Recording – 720p HD video recording capable with still camera
– 1280×720 Pixels
Connectivity
DATA EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR Stereo
USB v2.0 Micro USB
Headset 3.5mm stereo headset jack
Radio
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
DLNA
GPS A-GPS
3G Yes
HSDPA
HSUPA
Up to 21 Mbps
Up to 5.7 Mbps
Video & Audio
Audio Formats MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR
Video Formats MPEG4, H.263, H.264
Battery
Type Li-Ion 6400mAh Standard Battery
Video Playback Time
Other Features 1080p HD video playback
3D Graphics hardware accelerator
Adobe 10.1 Flash compatibility
Android Market, G-mail, Google Maps, G-Talk
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa

 



About the Author

mgardega
Fan of emerging technologies, and their trans-formative relationship with society both good and bad. Some of my heroes are: Nikola Tesla, Gutenberg, Hunter S Thompson, Lawrence Lessig, Marshall McLuhan and a few others. I think the US patent system needs a mass overhaul.



 
 

 
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