My first thought after hearing about the Slate was that I would feel comfortable giving it to my mom or a friend's ten-year-old kid for texting and talking. But characterizing the Slate in that way is misleading. This phone deserves a fair shake. I don't want to put off the tech junkies, or give the impression that it's like a firefly.
The Slate is a damn cool phone. It felt kind of big at first (I'm not used to the form factor), but it's so thin that I can't even feel it in my jeans. Because of the dimensions, I assumed it would end up in my back pocket and get crunched. That isn't the case. I walked around all day today with the phone in my front pocket. And after really putting it through its paces, I've gone from thinking it's a pretty cool idea for someone else, to totally falling in love with the thing. Calls are great with the handset and bluetooth.
As Noah pointed out in his mini-review and full video review, the Slate has pretty basic functionality. But if you know what you're in for, and texting and talking are your priorities, the Slate is definitely worth a look. It's extremely comfortable to type on--one of the best texters I've used. It's so thin and light and perfectly shaped that it's difficult to put down. It's even a bit addictive. Considering that can't-put-it-down quality, it would be nice if some better gaming were available. Then again, I just took a break from writing this to play Ms. Pac-Man for 10 minutes. So, it depends what kinds of games you like.
The camera is really fast. You aren't going to be winning awards with the snaps you grab, but sometimes speed is more important than quality. Like when you're catching one of those "just the right moment" shots, or you just want to shoot off a silly MMS. Slow cameras really annoy me, so this was a pleasant surprise.
The phone is $129.99, without a contract. If a contract was required for this price, I'd say no way. But $129.99 straight up is a good deal. Oh, wait... that's after a $50 mail-in rebate? Bummer. That part isn't cool. Still, you've got to take a test run to really appreciate the Slate.