Home' LAPTOP Magazine : July 2011 Contents tabletS
Here’s something you probably don’t
expect to find in a tablet box: a pair of
glasses. The plastic shades that come
with the T-Mobile G-Slate, LG’s first An-
droid 3.0 tablet, let you watch 3D video
right on its 8.9-inch screen. This device
also promises 4G speeds and comes
with fun apps for watching TV, reading
magazines, and playing games. At $529
with a two-year contract, the G-Slate
costs $200 less than the 3G version
of the iPad 2 with the same amount of
memory (32GB). So is LG’s Honeycomb
tablet as sweet a deal as it sounds?
Measuring 9.6 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches and
weighing 1.3 pounds, the G-Slate is
lighter than the Xoom (1.6 pounds), but
it weighs as much as the iPad 2. Still,
the G-Slate has a solid design with nice
rounded corners, and the “with Google”
engraving on the back silver stripe adds
a touch of geeky elegance.
Yes, the 8.9-inch G-Slate sacrifices a few
pixels compared to the larger 10.1-inch
Xoom (1280 x 768 versus 1280 x 800),
but we’re happy to live with that trade-off.
LG’s tablet has a brighter, crisper screen
with wider viewing angles.
You don’t have to make any sacrifices
when it comes to sound. The G-Slate’s
three speakers produced impressive
volume and power when we streamed
Keane’s “Perfect Symmetry.” Recorded
videos also sounded loud and clear.
Given that the hot-selling Nintendo 3DS
doesn’t require glasses, it’s just odd to see
a tablet paired with 3D specs, especially the
old-school red-and-blue kind. The glasses
did create a stereoscopic 3D effect, but
they felt somewhat chintzy, and they didn’t
create a very immersive experience. Foot-
age of a golden retriever walking toward us
popped a little, but not enough to warrant
schlepping around the glasses.
At least the G-Slate can record video
at 1080p in 2D mode, something the
Motorola Xoom can’t do (720p max).
Video of a rain shower recorded outdoors
showed accurate colors in the grass and
sidewalk, and we could easily make out
drops hitting a puddle.
The G-Slate lets you start making video
calls right out of the box with Google
Talk. On our tests, the other caller said
our picture looked bright and clear.
Powered by a dual-core 1-GHz Tegra 2
processor and packing 1GB of RAM, the
G-Slate has plenty of muscle for handling
Flash websites and intense 3D games such
as Riptide GP. Switching between apps
was also quick. In the CPU portion of the
Benchmark app, the G-Slate scored 3,120,
slightly higher than the Xoom (2,995).
In the graphics portion of the same test,
the G-Slate notched 388.1, compared to
380.7 for the Xoom.
Despite all of this horsepower, the G-
Slate suffered from the same software
bugs that plagued the Xoom. Various
apps crashed during our testing, and at
one point the browser showed the address
bar twice—one on top of the other.
In addition to Google’s own apps, T-
Mobile bundles the G-Slate with a bunch
of apps to help you get more fun out of
this tablet. These include Need for Speed
Shift HD, T-Mobile TV, and Zinio (for read-
Right now, the G-Slate has an edge over
the Xoom in that it taps into T-Mobile’s
4G network. Motorola’s tablet will require
an update to surf Verizon’s faster LTE
network. It’s important to understand,
though, that T-Mobile offers different tiers
of 4G devices. While the Samsung Galaxy
S 4G phone has a theoretical maximum
download speed of 21 Mbps, the G-Slate
is rated for 14.4 Mbps. And we didn’t get
anywhere close to the latter speed.
The G-Slate’s 6,400 mAh battery lasted
a very good 8 hours and 16 minutes in 3G
mode on the LAPTOP Battery Test. That’s
16 minutes longer than the Motorola Xoom
but behind the iPad 2’s 8:59 over Verizon
Wireless’ 3G network.
Between the two Honeycomb tablets
sold by wireless carriers, we prefer the
G-Slate to the Motorola Xoom in some
ways because it has a better display and
it weighs less. To us, the 3D camcorder
and screen is just a bonus, since you
need glasses to enjoy it. The Xoom is
better for those who want faster 4G
speeds, but the upgrade wasn’t avail-
able as of press time. While the app
selection still needs improvement, the
T-Mobile G-Slate is a well-designed and
feature-rich Honeycomb tablet.
— Mark Spoonauer
3D Cherry on Top
the t-Mobile G-Slate offers 3D video recording and sports a crisper screen than the Motorola Xoom.
(with two-year contract)
CPU: 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 Operat-
ing System: Android 3.0 RaM/ROM:
1GB/32GB Display Size/Resolution:
8.9 inches/1280 x 768 Wireless:
802.11b/g/n Ports: microUSB, microHDMI,
headphone, mic Size: 9.6 x 5.9 x 0.5
inches Weight: 1.3 pounds Warranty:
One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone
Sharp and colorful display
Records 1080p and 3D video
Good graphics performance
Pre-loaded with Zinio for magazines
Slower 4G speeds than on other
3D feels gimmicky
Can’t video chat over 4G
Laptop | July 2011
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