Review: The T-Mobile G-Slate



  • 3D Camera
  • Android Honeycomb
  • Flash Support
  • 4G Cellular Networking
  • MSRP: $529 with 2 year contract and rebate


  • Wild 3D video mode
  • Excellent cellular connectivity
  • Multi-format video/audio support


  • Some compatibly issues with Android software
  • Expensive (with contract)
  • Heavy


Old Two Eyes

The Honeycomb slate market is getting crowded. With new devices launching every day and current models getting incremental updates that put them on parity with just about anything else out there, manufacturers gotta have a gimmick.

Like Power Rangers or Reservoir Dogs, Honeycomb tablet manufacturers must depend on one or two defining characteristics to convince a restless consumer base to pick up their devices. Samsung has the thin one, Motorola has the first one, and LG, with its unique and clever G-Slate, has the 3D one. All we need now is the slate for stoners and the pretty one and you’ve got an episode of Scooby Doo. Add in a waterproof one for Gilligan’s Island.

3D aside, the G-Slate is a good, standard Honeycomb tablet. It is thin, portable, and sufficiently light. I was able to get about eight hours of continuous use out of this device. I maxed out at 648 kbsp down/1183kbps up using T-Mobile’s 4G network although your results may vary.

Thankfully, the G-Slate seems to avoid many of the problems that plagued the Xoom. At the very least, the 8.9-inch T-Mobile G-Slate has Flash out of the box and I was able to browse and use many Flash widgets. The Tegra 2 1GHz Dual-Core processor seems to handle everything you could throw at it on that front. However, with the glut of devices still expected in the next few month, how can something like the G-Slate stand out?

What Is This Thing?

The G-Slate is a standard Honeycomb tablet with 8.9-inch 1280 x 800 pixel screen with Wi-Fi and T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ support. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi radio and 32GB of storage. It is 9.6 inches long and .5 inches thick and weighs a surprisingly hefty (for its size) 22 ounces. It is a squat, swart piece of machinery with a glossy black screen and a bit of brushed aluminum styling to add a bit of pizazz to what would otherwise be a fairly staid trade dress.

The gimmicky cameras are dual 5-megapixel shooters (plus LED flash) that are spaced beside the metal strip, making the device look like it has a big, long nose. There is a small access cover that pops off the top to reveal the SIM card slot. There is no MicroSD slot.

The external speakers are loud and bold although there is a headphone jack on the top next to a ridiculous pin-shaped charging port. The device did not charge via USB although there is a USB and HDMI port on the bottom.

There is a front camera. None of the cameras are particularly good but they are, at the very least, fun.

I tested a few Honeycomb and mobile Android apps and found most of them to work correctly. However, a few older Android games and apps failed to run under Honeycomb. And they say there’s no OS fracturing!

The Good

Generally, I like the G-Slate. It’s small, runs Honeycomb, and has built-in 4G networking. The best way I can explain the impression I get from this device is that it’s very much like a big phone. It is very streamlined and the OS/chip combination makes things work quickly and without much lag. When there is a problem, the apps close as opposed to bog down and a task manager would be a boon to fans of multi-tasking on this device.

The Cute

The 3D gimmick is the hardest thing to wrap my head around. The G-Slate actually comes with red and blue glasses to watch 3D video and view 3D images. I think people will use the 3D feature once or twice and then forget about it. You could potentially take the actual 3D video and view it with active shutter glasses on a large screen TV, but this is not an option in the player right now.

Clearly we’re not talking Avatar quality here, but it’s fun.

The Bad

Performance-wise I think the G-Slate is slightly lacking. As many have said before, Honeycomb on a Tegra processor lacks the snap and polish of iOS on its best days and this is partially the hardware manufacturer’s fault and partially Google’s. However, I was impressed that this device did perform as well as it did and although Honeycomb isn’t all there just yet, we can expect updates and improvements over the next year. Devices like the Xoom and G-Slate are, in a sense, future proof for as long as Google maintains the Android 3.X platform.

Again, you’re going to find a bit of lag here but not much and it seems like most of the major issues I found in the Xoom have been ironed out.

Bottom Line

If you’re an Android tablet fan tethered to T-Mobile then this is the device for you. It has a bit more fit and finish than the Xoom and is smaller than the latest Honeycomb entrant, the Acer Iconia A500. At $529 with two year contract and $100 rebate I find this a bit too expensive and, as was just announced, the device sells for a whopping $750 without service.

If you don’t need your Honeycomb fix immediately, however, I suspect we’ll see better-priced and less “gimmicky” devices down the line. The G-Slate is clever and cute but the caveats we mentioned above – especially the lack of SD slot, reduces its usability. However, I can recommend it to folks who are definitely tied to T-Mo and don’t want to spend the cash on a Wi-Fi only model.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

11 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

13 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android