LG G Pad 8.3 hands-on: New UI treats explored

LG let slip its G Pad 8.3 a while back, marking a return to larger Android devices. So getting our hands on the Android tablet has been a long time coming. It didn't disappoint.

The G Pad 8.3, in spite of its large size, doesn't feel any more cumbersome than a 7-inch slate. But it does feel more spacious on the screen without adding any extra weight or girth.

It would be nice to say the back is really grippy, but it's average at best. And with the warmth of IFA, myriad sweaty handmarks can be seen all over its rear. But while you're there it's worth noting the dual stereo speakers that sit at the top of one side for good sound that isn't masked by holding the tablet.

We love being able to double tap to open and close the interface. Holding a finger and sliding to create a round window is also a clever touch for glancing at what's left open without needing to unlock. Useful for re-checking part of an email, a picture or a recipe.

Another UI treat comes in the form of Q Swipe. Just use a three-finger swipe and throw what you're using to the side where it is layered with other apps you've put there. It's like a slightly more intuitive multitasking. But while we like the use of three-finger swiping this is only a minor convenience over multitasking.

Q Memo is a great app that lets you write or draw notes with your digits. Then you can leave that doodle or message transparent so the words appear on whatever is behind - like the home screen. Great potential for "hands off" messages.

Q Paid lets you pair with another LL device like the G2 so you can throw files between the two. We didn't get to try it out at this demo unfortunately but thought it worth an honourable mention.

The quad-core processor and 2GB RAM make short work of most things, although we did experience a little lag when jumping between tasks. Although full HD video loaded and played fast while looking great on that high-res 1900 x 1200 screen. That's 273ppi for those keeping count.

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front. The 4600mAh battery should see you through plenty of hours of browsing or movie watching.

The LG G Pad 8.3 will be available in black or white. There's no word on pricing, but it seems like a great return to tablets for LG.