After nearly a two-year break, LG is back on the tablet market with a device called the G Pad 8.3. This offers more than pleasing performance and a highly comfortable feel. It seems like a well-envisioned and optimally-designed tablet, both hardware and software-wise. Still, there's room for improvement.
It sports a WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS screen, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 4600 mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with LG's user interface modifications.
Build and Design
With its 8.3-inch display, the LG G Pad 8.3 is not so big that the user has to use both hands, while still offering a noticably larger screen than what is offered by 'single-handed' 7-inch tablets. Exceptionally elegant dimensions of 8.6 x 5.0 x 0.3 inches (219 x 126 x 8.3 mm) and pleasant mass of 12 ozs. (338 grams) do not tire the hand, and it's possible to use this device for longer periods without a subconscious need to put it away.
Optimal material choice is also part of this feeling. The back of LG's latest tablet is made of a combination of plastic and metal, leaving the impression of a premium device, as well as a solid and convincing body. This tablet doesn't have a particularly recognizable or modern design; however, it is a long way from unlikeable or unseemly.
The IPS display with the resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels and a 16:10 ratio offers one of the highest pixel densities on tablets of such size: 273 ppi. In practice, this is evident from the word go -- it is clear from first glance that the display is one of the best selling points this tablet has to offer, and it leaves the same impression after several days of use. Lke the new iPad mini with Retina display, individual pixels cannot be seen even when straight sloped lines are being animated.
The screen not only provides very sharp imaging due to great pixel density, but it also has one of the best contrasts ever seen on a tablet. Very dark black tones and very bright white tones do not lose their staying power, irrelevant of the lighting conditions or the viewing angle, which makes this tablet very usable, and leaves the impression that it's a premium device.
Finally, color interpretation is also praiseworthy, as the colors are realistic and not overly saturated at the same time. My only objection is insufficient screen brightness, which can be compensated to some extent by selecting a more vivid desktop background.
Given that this is not a high-end device, but rather is priced in the upper mid-class, it has a superior screen which will surely make purchasers of the LG G Pad 8.3 very happy.
Buttons and Ports
Apart from the logo, the proximity sensor, and a frontal 1.3-megapixel camera are situated above the display (the front camera cannot be simultaneously used with the back-facing camera, just like on LG's flagship smartphone G2). There is nothing under the screen -- there is no hardware Home key, but three control keys (Home, Menu, and Back) appear at the bottom of the display. Because they are virtual, the order of these three keys can be selected during the initial start-up.
The tablet's left edge does not include any buttons, while the Power button is located on the right edge, along with the volume control. The upper edge holds an IR transmitter (enabling the G Pad 8.3 to be used as a universal remote control) plus there's a 3.5-mm audio jack and a microSD card slot with a protective cover. The lower edge includes a micro-USB port and a headphone jack. The back holds a 5-megapixel camera and speakers, while the tablet's battery is not interchangeable.
There's plenty more: Page 2 covers the performance of the LG G Pad 8.3.
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