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Telstra 4G Tablet review: Telstra 4G Tablet

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The Good Solid build and comfortable to hold. 4G. Great processor. Decent screen for the price.

The Bad A little heavy. Screen is quite reflective. Tablet warms up with use.

The Bottom Line Telstra hits the middle ground between performance and price, delivering a solid 4G tablet with good components for its comparably low price tag.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

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Before reading on, we strongly suggest that you clear your mind of any memories and preconceptions that you may have about Telstra tablets. Yes, there have been some doozies in the past. The terrible T-Touch Tab and T-Hub, for example. These were woeful products, where Telstra clearly put price before any other consideration, and it showed. But the new 4G Tablet is a different beast entirely. For once, it feels well made, with a strong soft-touch plastic underside scored with a dimpled texture that gives the tablet a little grip. If you're familiar with the Motorola Xoom, you will see the similarities here.

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 10.1-inch
  • Processor: dual-core 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Platform: Android Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Connectivity: 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth

The tablet's mechanical controls are all where we'd expect to find them, with the headphone socket along the left-hand side and the power and volume on the top. Under a plastic flap on top, you'll find space for a SIM card and a microSD memory card.

Most importantly, and perhaps surprisingly, the screen on the Telstra 4G Tablet isn't terrible. We're not going to wax lyrical about it being in the same league as the iPad's Retina display — it's not — but for the price, this is a very usable tablet touchscreen. Colours are good, and the brightness is fine, and although some of the text and graphics can be a bit rough around the edges, everything is mostly crisp.

We did notice that the ambient light sensor was a bit inconsistent, and that the screen can sometimes struggle to settle on an auto-brightness setting, but the easy fix for this is to set a brightness level manually and forget about it. The LCD panel is also deeply set below the glass, compared with better models. This can make the screen seem a little washed out a times, and it accentuates reflections on the screen when viewed under bright light sources.

The weight of the unit is one of our only major concerns, design wise. At 670 grams, this tablet weighs nearly as much as the first-generation iPad, and is about 100 grams heavier than most tablets of this size this year. For some people, this might make for an uncomfortable tablet to hold for long sessions, especially in situations where you don't have something to rest it on.

Compared to

Telstra 4G Tablet iPad 3G 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Asus Transformer Pad (3G)
Retina LCD
Dual-core 1.5GHz
Quad-core 1.4GHz
Quad-core 1.2GHz
16GB storage
16GB storage 32GB storage
32GB storage
Android ICS iOS 6 Android ICS Android ICS
AU$480 AU$679 AU$692 AU$647

User experience and performance

To say that Telstra, or its manufacturing partner ZTE, has customised the user interface from its Android Ice Cream Sandwich base would be stretching the truth a little. This is essentially a stock Android experience, coloured by a few original wallpapers and a couple of pre-installed apps.

One of the significant changes is to the lock screen, where an app called Mi-EasyAccess controls the front door. This gives the user two options: either hold down to unlock the tablet, or swipe to reveal six customisable app shortcuts. These, obviously, unlock the tablet directly into the associated app when pressed.

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