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Published April 19, 2011
The G-Slate features a slightly smaller display than the Apple's iPad and Motorola's Xoom, which makes it lighter and thereby easier to hold to a certain extent. It also sports a great industrial design and can record 3D 720p HD videos with its dual-5 megapixel cameras. All of this is powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor that hums along at 1GHz, making sure that even 3D games run smoothly on its high-res touchscreen display.
Apart from the continuing lack of tablet-aware Android applications, and a pretty high total price of ownership (on contract, at least), there's very little to dislike about this device. In addition to a full write-up on the tablet, you'll find two videos of the T-Mobile G-Slate in action below, courtesy of MobileBurn's Michael Oryl.
Like most tablets on the market today, the LG-built T-Mobile G-Slate looks like a big black slab when viewed from the front. The design is dominated by the 8.9-inch, 1280 x 768 pixel resolution touchscreen display, which offers a widescreen 15:9 aspect ratio and rests next to the forward-facing 2 megapixel camera. The G-Slate's display is pretty bright and sharp, but could use a bit more color oomph in my opinion. Still, it seems to respond accurately to touches, so there's little to complain about.
Unlike the Motorola Xoom for Verizon, with its hard edges and metal seams, the T-Mobile G-Slate is soft to the touch and very comfortable to hold. The corners and edges are rounded, and the back cover has a dark bronze soft-touch coating on it that offers both grip and comfort. The top portion of the cover is removable to provide access to the SIM card slot that allows the device to function on T-Mobile's 3G network.
The edge of the G-Slate is made up of a gray metal like material that accents the device well, as does the metal "with Google" strip that is found on the rear cover, between the 3D capable 5 megapixel cameras. The edge of the G-Slate is also home to various controls and ports.
The volume control sits in a somewhat inconvenient spot on the top of the device, when held in landscape mode, next to a small microphone hole. The left edge is home to the smallish power button, a speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the proprietary charging port. A number of small metal contacts flank the micro-USB and mini-HDMI ports that sit on the bottom of the tablet, and nothing but a pair of speakers are to be found on the right edge.
People have been debating which display size is best for tablets. For my money, the 8.9-inch display on the T-Mobile G-Slate is sitting in the sweet spot. I appreciate the slightly more holdable size it offers while still being big enough. I do wish that the left and right hand bezel that surrounds the display (in landscape mode) were narrower, though, since that would have made dual-thumb text input much easier when holding the tablet. Either way, it's still easier to hold than a Motorola Xoom or an Apple iPad.
The T-Mobile G-Slate weighs 630g (22.2oz), which is 100g lighter than the Motorola Xoom and about the same as an Apple iPad 2, and measures 242.8mm x 149.4mm x 12.4mm (9.56in x 5.88in x .49in) in size. LG did an all around great job on the hardware.
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