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T-Mobile G-Slate Review

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PROS / It features a beautiful display, Android 3.0 and 4G speeds; it also includes dual 5MP cameras so you can shoot video in 3D.

CONS / To access the 4G network, you'll need a pricey T-Mobile contract, and 4G tends to drain the battery faster; the 3D quality isn't great.

 VERDICT / The T-Mobile G-Slate is a fast 4G Android 3.0 tablet with many standout features.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

T-Mobile G-Slate

The T-Mobile G-Slate is a 4G Android 3.0 tablet packed with features and pre-loaded with several quality Android apps. It has a thin body, dual rear-facing 5MP (megapixel) cameras that can shoot in 3D and a beautiful display. It does have a smaller screen than similar tablets, and the price is expensive whether you have a contract for 4G or not, as we'll explain below.

Performance

The T-Mobile G-Slate has many features, including access to T-Mobile's 4G network and a very nice web browsing experience, complete with tabs and the latest version of Flash. It also features quality HD video support, the on-demand T-Mobile TV service, video chat and more.

It comes loaded with some nice apps, such as Zinio for digital magazines, and games, including "Need for Speed SHIFT HD," so out of the gate, you're set with enough apps to keep you busy. Plus, you can access the Android Market for more apps.

T-Mobile touts a lower price than the iPad, but only if you sign up for a standard two-year contract plus rebates, so the actual cost is currently $399. You'll have access to T-Mobile's fast 4G network, which is the only way to get 4G. However, you'll be stuck paying monthly fees that add up and make the tablet more expensive. If you buy without the contract, you'll pay closer to $700, so no matter what, you're going to be paying a lot for the T-Mobile G-Slate.

Portability

The G-Slate from T-Mobile has a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, with 32GB of flash memory and 1GB of RAM. It's a speedy little device, and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) runs well on it. The battery has a long life – around 10 to 12 hours – although using the 4G network will drain the battery faster.

This tablet is a little bit smaller than several other tablets with dimensions of are 9.56 inches tall, 5.88 inches wide and 0.49 inches thick. It weighs just less than 1.5 pounds. It doesn't feel heavy or awkward, and there is no problem holding it for long periods of time while watching movies, reading, surfing the web and so on.

I/O ports include a SIM card, mic, headphones, a place for the power adapter, mini USB and mini HDMI; in addition, there is volume control, a power and lock button and three speakers – two on the right and one on the left. The sound quality is good but not great, which is surprising with the three built-in speakers. The G-Slate ships with 4G support, which you'll need a two-year T-Mobile contract to use, along with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.

This tablet gains an advantage over most others with its front-facing 2MP camera and dual rear-facing 5MP cameras that can shoot video in 3D. You read that right, 3D. Unfortunately, the quality isn't great, with crummy video that ghosts, and it's basically old school 3D because you need to wear red-and-cyan glasses, which are included. For now, it feels like a gimmick to make the T-Mobile G-Slate stand out from similar Android 3.0 tablets. You can take regular 2D images with the rear cameras, which is a plus.

Cameras

The display is a smallish 8.9 inches, but images, HD and SD video, photos and browsing the web look fantastic. When flipped on its side, horizontally, its width is fine (at 8.9 inches), but the height is shorter than similar tablets (at a little less than 6 inches), so movies appear smaller on this unit compared to bigger tablets.

 

Help & Support

The T-Mobile G-Slate is easy to use, and Android 3.0 Honeycomb does a great job of integrating desktop features into what is essentially a mobile operating system. However, Android seems to work better on smaller mobile devices than on tablets, and it feels like Google is trying to throw as many features into the OS as possible, approaching overkill.

Summary

Overall, the T-Mobile G-Slate is a nice tablet, if a little bit on the small side. The 3D video shooting feature helps it stand out from similar units, but the 3D video quality is weak and gimmicky. Whether you buy it with a 4G contract or not, it's an expensive tablet.

T-Mobile G-Slate