Android Honeycomb Tablet:
The G-Slate is T-Mobile's Android tablet
, made by LG. It's meant to compete with the Motorola Xoom and similar Android tablets from Asus and Toshiba. And all the Android tablets, are of course, ultimately competing with the Apple iPad.
The G-Slate is one of many Android tablets running Android 3.0, better known as Honeycomb. Honeycomb was written specifically with tablets in mind and has many interface tweaks and features specifically for larger screens.
The G-Slate Screen:
The G-Slate has an 8.9-inch multi-touch screen, which is capable of displaying HD and even 3-D video. You will need glasses to view 3-D content. HD video playback is limited to 720p, but you can connect it to an HDTV using an HDMI cable for 1080p playback.
The G-Slate has cameras on both the front and back of the tablet for photos, video, 3-D video, and video chat. Still camera pictures on the rear-facing camera are up to 5 megapixels with an LED flash, and the rear also features a stereoscopic video camera for 3-D video and photos.
Great software and cameras will only get you so far without a processor to back it up. The G-Slate has a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, which has built-in Flash acceleration. This is the same processor that will power the Motorola Xoom and many other competing Android Honeycomb tablets.
The G-Slate comes with both Wi-Fi and what T-Mobile refers to as"the largest 4G network," but T-Mobile's version is not always considered 4G. T-Mobile's next generation wireless technology is HDSPA+, which is slower than Verizon's LTE network or Sprint's Wi-Max offering. It's still faster than 3G on any network. Check T-Mobile's coverage map to see if you're within their HDSPA+ signal area.
4G wireless also means you'll likely need to sign a contract and have a data plan, although they may also offer a contract-free version for a larger price. As of this writing, pricing and contracts have yet to be announced.
The G-Slate is scheduled to appear sometime in spring 2011. The exact date will depend on when Android Honeycomb is released and how soon LG's engineers can modify it for the G-Slate hardware.
Memory and Additional Hardware:
The G-Slate has 32 Gigs of memory, an accelerometer, and light sensors for optimizing the screen brightness.
Details Left to the Imagination:
As of February 2011, this product still has a lot of unannounced details. Will it run a fairly unmodified version of Android
, or will LG feel the need to add their UI on top of Googles? Will it take SIM cards? Does it expand? Will it ship with bonus software? We don't even know the price at this point.
However, this device looks to be equal or superior to similar Android tablet offerings, and if T-Mobile prices it competitively, it could be a winner.