Hands-on Review: LG G-Slate Android Tablet
ORLANDO, Fla. — T-Mobile's upcoming LG Android tablet was on hand here at the CTIA Wireless conference, and TechNewsDaily got a good look at what it can do.
The G-Slate is an 8.9-inch tablet — similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which was announced at the event yesterday (March 22) — so it's a bit more manageable than the 10-inch tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom or Apple iPad.
It's also remarkably thin. However, this is less surprising as more manufacturers continue to make devices ultraslim. Overall, the device feels sturdy and not overly heavy.
The powerful Tegra 2 processor allows media and menu transitions occur smoothly. Meanwhile, high-resolution games look and play seamlessly on the full screen.
Although we didn't get a chance to play with the cameras, images taken earlier on the device with its rear 5-megapixel cameras looked sharp. The G-Slate is capable of full 1080p video playback as well.
With the help of two rear cameras, the T-Mobile G-Slate can shoot and display 3-D content. Unlike the LG Optimus 3D phone, however, the G-Slate still requires 3-D glasses.
It's still unclear what kind of glasses can be used with the device; the demo used older anaglyph technology that required red-and-blue glasses. Although the 3-D worked well, carrying around 3-D glasses for a tablet device doesn’t sound too appealing to us.
The Android experience is fairly standard, with the Honeycomb interface left mostly untouched.
There's no word yet on whether T-Mobile will use a custom skin for the interface, but in the past T-Mobile has been content to leave the mobile OS untouched.
So far, there is no Wi-Fi-only version of the G-Slate planned, but LG was coy about the possibility of it happening in the near future. The G-Slate can indeed handle a 4G connection, which would mean faster downloads. Unfortunately, most T-mobile customers only have access to HSPA+ networks, which would be similar to 3.5G.
The real attraction of the LG G-Slate may end up being the price. T-Mobile plans to offer a 32GB 4G G-Slate for $529, which is just $30 more than a 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad.
Even though the price will be attractive to many T-Mobile customers (there are some rebates), the device will be available only with a 2-year data contract, so it's not a decision to take lightly.