T-Mobile’s 4G network will vary where you live, but I found it to be mighty impressive here in the Boston area. I got around four megabits-per-second download speeds and around two megabits-per-second upload speeds.
In one instance, I’d forgotten to reconnect the tablet to my home Wi-Fi network (Comcast) and didn’t notice that it’d been using T-Mobile’s connection for almost an entire day. And the data plans come with free hotspot capabilities so you can share the tablet’s 4G connection with up to five different devices, which is a huge plus.
The backside of the tablet houses two cameras for shooting high-definition 3D video. You’ll need to use the included pair of blue and red glasses to get the effect, but everything works pretty well. I wouldn’t buy the tablet just for the 3D, though—it’s more gimmicky than practical unless you’re a 3D nut. If you’ve got a 3D TV, too, you can use the tablet’s built-in HDMI connection to watch your recorded videos on the big screen.
There are 32 gigabytes of storage on board, but the G-Slate is curiously missing an expansion slot—that’s been a selling point over other tablets that rhyme with “my dad” if you catch my drift, so it’s an odd omission.
Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) software is relatively slick given that it hasn’t been on the market for too long. Everything runs pretty smoothly on the G-Slate despite the Android Market having fewer than 100 tablet-specific apps at the moment and most of the older phone-centric Android apps I tried worked just fine, too.
I’ve experienced occasional pokiness and one instance where the tablet just reset itself for no reason but I’ve been pleasantly surprised for the most part. The overall experience feels a bit complicated at first but it doesn’t take long to catch on. I was initially worried that Google’s insistence on using software-based Home, Back and Menu buttons instead of physical buttons would make for a bumpy ride but it hasn’t been an issue for me at all.
T-Mobile includes a TV and movie streaming app that has a few live TV streams by Fox, the Weather Channel, and a handful of no-namers plus a smattering of on-demand movies and TV shows from the likes of A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel. There’s a free 30-day trial, after which it costs $10 per month plus extra for movies.