T-Mobile LG G-Slate: Decent tablet, but red & blue 3D is terrible

LG’s G-Slate has a lot going for it, but 3D ain’t one of them. Though it’s tech specs are decent and its 8.9-inch size is interesting, but after spending some time with the new tablet, I don’t see the value in its most talked about feature: the 3D. Unlike its LG Revolution (LG Thrill 3D on AT&T) handset, which has a glasses-free 3D screen and 3D camera, the G-Slate’s implementation of 3D is bewildering. If a 3D tablet came out in the 1950s, this would be it.

Though the G-Slate has two side-by-side cameras capable of recording stereoscopic images, it lacks a screen capable of displaying them back, likely due to the cost of such a display. While I can understand why LG wouldn’t include a glasses-free or passive 3D screen (passive glasses are the kind you use in movie theaters), their insistence on including 3D playback has brought an old friend back: anaglyph 3D. Remember those terrible red and blue glasses? Yeah, this tablet comes with a pair of those. It’s the only way to view 3D content on the device. You can also record using a single camera or both cameras side-by-side, which shows two separate images/recordings to the left and right of one another. Representatives told me that recording in side-by-side is probably the best method if you hope to output to an external device like a TV. I’m told they can turn the image into 3D, but I cannot verify it. Unless you plan on recording your home movies using technology best found inside a cereal box, I don’t recommend the G-Slate for 3D.

Sadly, though the 3D will probably mar the G-Slate’s chances at success, it is a decent Android Honeycomb tablet if you pretend you didn’t just see those red and blue glasses. It runs on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, measures a scant .49” thick, can record 1080p 2-dimensional video, has a 5MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2MP front camera, runs Adobe Flash, and can connect to T-Mobile’s HSPA+ “4G” network. Like the T-Mobile G2s (also by LG), the G-Slate has an HDMI port capable of HDMI Mirroring. It’s demonstrated in the latter half of the video below, but basically, it allows you to instantly stream whatever is on your G-Slate to an external device, like a TV. It’s especially useful for video games, where you can look up and use your tablet like a controller. Throw in 32GB of storage and you have a solid tablet.

The G-Slate doesn’t yet have a price, but it will hit retail stores sometime this Spring. Please forgive the quality of the video below.

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