I was quite excited when LG told me they would be sending this device to me, it had been a while since I had a Xoom and I had not yet played with the new update 3.0.1. Needless to say the update did not disappoint but the 3D was a bit of a downer.
From the front this tablet basically looks like a Xoom, they are probably not really easy to differentiate. When turned over and examined and given a proper viewing, you get a bit better of an idea of what it really is. On the rear there are two cameras, the power button is in the top left on the side rather than the rear of the device and there is a unique silver bar in the rear separating the two cameras.
The G-Slate isn't much different from other current android tablets, I would say it is quite similar in fact. You get a Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 running at 1ghz. It is very smooth and fast and I rarely ran into a time where I was stuck or frozen. Speed is definitely there on this one. From what I can tell there is no SD card support, looking around the web and at the device confirms that. My model was a 32 gig which was stored internally. It also carried the 4G network chip.
This devices screen is very nice to use. It is big and capacitive as would be expected these days. The resolution is that of a laptop as it comes in at 1280 x 768 pixels and it is officially 8.90 inches even though it is called a 10 inch tablet, I believe that includes bezel and not screen size. The screens on this and the xoom pick up fingerprints and they are hard to get rid of, but with the screen on they are hardly noticeable, it is when the screen goes off that you really notice and kind of wish you had something to clean it with. I should notice that even though this tablet records video in 3D, you need glasses (which come with the tablet) to view the 3D effect. I mentioned in my video that you probably shouldn't move around too much if you want to record either, it throws the 3D right out of alignment and kind of ruins it.
I am pleased with the battery life on the G-Slate, you get a 6400 mAh battery which is huge. The battery is rated to last 273 hours on standby, and where I can not confirm this, I can confirm that while using it daily I did not have to charge it for a long time. I am not such a power user when it comes to tablets, I prefer to use them like I would a pc or mac. I will take them out with me and browse website and maybe answer a few tweets here and there, but the bulk of social is done from my phone, where it should be. I write things on a tablet, I browse sites, I like YouTube and HD games on a tablet, but why call on it or update it too often with twitter and Facebook. To me tablets are leisurely. It went through websites rather easily and loaded them quickly with out too much battery drain.
The Operating System/Software
Honeycomb 3.0.1 comes with this one, that means you get flash in your websites. It also means you get the latest android experience on a tablet and it is great. You can tell that Honeycomb really is a next version, it has the feel of Gingerbread and new features laid on top. I like the way it manages widgets, and the way it is able to upsize most apps to fit the bigger screen, some just don't work but the well done apps work great. IGN, Engadget and other apps that are not made for tablets stretch nicely (I take IGN back, I think they are working on a tablet version because their latest ruined the tablet sizing.)
The stock keyboard leaves much to be desired, it made me stretch to reach when I was just using my thumbs, if you typed like a real keyboard it worked ok, but without the physical pressing of buttons it gets kind of weird. I found another keyboard that worked better after about a week of use. Swiftkey makes a tablet version of their keyboard and it looks and works great even though it is in beta right now. I really liked the improvements they made and can't wait to see it get even better in the tablet space. I approve and recommend this app.
The Browsing, Camera and Video
Browsing was great on this tablet, it is what I used it for mostly the speed was great and it was able to view any site I needed it to with ease. There is also now flash support for the browser with a recent update and that leaves me happy as well. No longer do I see a blue brick like I did on the Xoom tablet. I found it to be a smooth experience, and sure it could be debugged a little bit and when it does I will surely give it another try. The camera and video, well the camera was great, a 5mp on back and a 2mp on the front, what is to dislike about that. Video recording in 3D is where things got weird! It was a bit weird and broken and if you move at all the 3D breaks. It worked great of course for regular video. In regular mode it records in 1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps), however, in 3D you only get 1280x720 (720p) (30 fps). So not only is 3D a bit broken, but the resolution goes down too!
- A 5mp camera on the back and a 2mp on the front
- A Big screen makes for a great situation
- Video in 1080p
- Video was fun to watch
- Take 3D out
- The 3 speakers weren't enough to make it loud
Conclusions & Final Thoughts
I believe this is a good tablet, it is a first big tablet for T-Mobile and definitely a contender in the tablet world. I had a lot of fun with it and enjoyed using it. I am not so sure I would buy it as the price is still a bit high and the 3D is a bit of a gimmick. However, if you have the money and don't mind the 3D, it is really a great device. It is fast and easy to use. It works well, it has few bugs but I know they will be patched, they could even be fixed in the next few days. Android 3.1 is coming and it is likely to fix a lot of little things. Give it a go. Don't be nervous, Android won't bite!