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First Look: LG G-Slate (T-Mobile)

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First Look: LG G-Slate (T-Mobile)

3:48 /

Thanks to its slightly lower price, higher-quality screen, and extra features, the T-Mobile G-Slate with Google is a better value than the Xoom; however, the iPad 2 is still the tablet to beat.

-As only the second tablet to use the Honeycomb OS, the T-Mobile G-Slate with Google by LG will garner a lot of attention. Most would want to know how it compares to the Xoom, so let's get that out of the way right now. First off, the G-Slate is smaller, sporting an 8.9-inch screen compared to the Xoom's 10.1-inch screen. It also supports T-Mobile's 4G network; includes a 3D camera; and features the pre-installed app T-Mobile TV, which offers streaming TV and on-demand movies. The tablet also includes full Flash support out of the box. Those are the major changes. With so many tablets being released this year, we don't recommend singing up for a new data plan, but you should know that the no-contract price for the G-Slate is $750. By singing up for a 2-year plan with T-Mobile, you can get the tablet for $630 plus a $100 mail-in rebate, bringing the price down to $530. At those prices, it's cheaper than the Xoom with the Verizon data plan, but not quite as cheap as the iPad 2. Again, we don't recommend singing up with any carrier until the dust on the tablet landscape has settled; also, no word yet on a Wi-Fi only version of the G-Slate. Weight-wise, the G-Slate is only slightly heavier than the iPad 2, but like the Xoom, feels heftier due to its odd weight distribution. It's also nearly a third thicker than the iPad 2. In landscape mode, its screen measures as wide as the iPad 2's but is about an inch shorter in height. The G-Slate feels comfortable in our hands while typing whether in landscape or portrait mode and, unlike the iPad 2 with its smooth-as-silk metal casing, the G-Slate isn't as likely to slip from our grip. On its bottom side, the tablet includes ports for mini USB and mini HDMI. On the top is a volume rocker and microphone pinhole. Two speakers can be found on the right side with another on the left. Also on the left are the power lock button, a headphone jack, and a power adapter slot input. Accessing the G-Slate's SIM card is a little more involved that we'd like. There's a hidden panel on the back requiring you to push down and slide it up revealing the SIM card as well as the reset button underneath. These days, you can't have a tablet without a built-in camera, usually 2. The G-Slate attempts to one-up the competition by not only including a front-facing 2-megapixel camera but also a 5-megapixel 3D camera on the back. The silver panel here isn't a kickstand, sorry. Sometimes, a silver panel is just a silver panel. Unlike the Xoom, the G-Slate includes an IPS screen with a noticeably wider viewing angle. Surfing speeds under 4G were faster than the Xoom and iPad using 3G especially on busy sites, but using 4G did drain the battery something quick. If you're expecting good-looking 3D on the G-Slate, prepare to be disappointed. First off, it uses anaglyphic red and blue glasses which, while more practical and cheaper than active shutter lenses, results in a lower quality image in the end. The G-Slate's screen outclasses the Xoom and while Motorola spins its thumbs on 4G support, T-Mobile delivers it out of the box. While the 3D is shoddily implemented, some will find some use for it. Also, the content on T-Mobile TV won't suit everyone's taste, but it's still a convenient way to get live TV and on-demand movies on your tablet. All told, thanks to its slightly lower price, higher quality screen and extra features, the T-Mobile G-Slate with Google is a better value than the Xoom with the Verizon data plan. However, the iPad 2 is still the tablet to beat. Check out the full review for more details on the T-Mobile G-Slate.

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