T-Mobile G-Slate Review | Specifications and Photos

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T-Mobile G-Slate Review The tablet wars are building, petty disputes that will soon lead to bloodshed. Products will be launched into battle only to be gunned down straight out of their boxes, crying for their fabricators as bigger, faster, better slates step over the stricken chassis of their predecessors, running on to their own brief bits of glory. At a high level it's obviously Android vs. Apple vs. The Rest, but battle lines are forming as we consumers, caught in the middle, try to decide just what the right size is for a tablet.

Right now two camps seem to be getting the most supporters: seven-inchers, like the Streak 7 andBlackBerry PlayBook, and 10-inchers, like the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad. But, sometimes weapon systems need to be a little more specialized. Sometimes the templates don't fit, and the $530 (after rebate, on-contract) T-Mobile G-Slate by LG isn't fitting into those categories, slotting somewhere in between with its 8.9-inch display backed with Tegra 2 graphics, 4G HSPA+ wireless, and all the oomph you want in a modern Android device. It's a little smaller and little lighter than the 10-inchers, bigger and meatier than the sevens and, by cutting down the middle, it hits almost all the right marks.

Out of the box the G-Slate looks like, well, any other Android tablet (especially the LG Optimus Pad). Until we start getting oblong-shaped slabs, it's going to just keep getting more and more difficult to tell these things apart, and with a complete (but tasteful) lack of branding on the front, this machine is completely nondescript when just sitting there. It's only the metal ring around the screen, forming the edge of the chassis with its subtle and silvery hue, that makes this tablet look a little different from the rest.

That ring of metal is, quite naturally, punctuated by numerous holes for ports and things. When holding the tablet in landscape orientation, on the bottom are one each of micro-USB and HDMI, along with six golden contacts that will mate up with a dock. Moving clockwise around the left edge we find an input for the provided AC adapter, though you can charge over micro-USB -- slowly. The 3.5mm headphone jack is here as well, along with a speaker and, on top, a power button that is mostly flush and a little hard to find, but workable. Up top, on the left, is the volume rocker (also something of a challenge to locate), along with a small hole for a central microphone, and around on the right side is the other speaker.

The 8.9-inch, glossy, 1,280 x 768 display is a bit shorter and skinnier than the Xoom's 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 display. This gives it a slightly higher pixel density and, indeed, you can tell the difference. With the Xoom, the pitch on the pixels seemed a bit broad -- jagged edges appear on text and in high-contrast areas. The G-Slate's screen definitely has a sharper, crisper look. However, it's also rather more yellow, added warmth that we didn't notice until putting them side by side.

Pushing the pixels is a dual-core, 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, which continues to be super trendy. It's running at 1GHz here and keeps things moving smoothly. That's backed by 32GB of internal storage that is not user-expandable -- you can keep hating on Motorola all you like for not enabling the microSD slot by default, but at least the Xoom has one.

The G-Slate has three cameras and, unfortunately, none of them is particularly good. The one looking back at you is fine for video calls and the like, but it's grainy enough that you won't need to worry too much about shaving or putting on makeup before calling a loved one.

Meanwhile on the back the dual five megapixel ports disappoint. We expect a decent amount of grain out of a sensor this size when things get a bit dim, but it's here even when there's what would be plenty of light for other shooters. Macro focusing is reasonably good for stills, but flip over to video (up to 1080p) and suddenly you have to take a few steps back if you want anything in focus. Even when in focus, plenty of compression artifacts marred the results.

Then, of course, there's the 3D capture mode. The tablet is advertised as 3D capable, but it's no better at 3D than that old tube TV you finally got rid of a few years back. It ships with a pair of quaint red/blue anaglyph glasses and that's the default presentation mode for video shot on this thing. You can feel good in knowing that this same technology was making people feel queasy way back in the '50s.

Ultimately the 3D cameras (which step down to 720p when filming in stereo) don't add much, but who knows. Maybe in a year or so when 3D home movies will be all that and a bottle of aspirin you'll be glad you have support here. But, right now, we'd trade these two crummy sensors for a single good one.

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sell computer for cash said...

really really cool tablet I wish it will succeed.

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