LG G Pad 8.3: Hands-on pictures with the Nexus 7 challenger
LG's G Pad 8.3 is a smart idea for a tablet. We think this is about the right sort of size for a tablet, not as clunky as a 10-or-more-inch model, but a bit more screen real estate than a 7-inch tablet.
From our, so far, limited time with the G Pad - a review sample will be with us soon - we noticed a lot of similarities to the Nexus 7. The screen resolution is the same, for one, but the larger size means you get a fewer pixels per inch (PPI). In practice, we couldn't really tell this was the case though, and the G Pad screen looks really great.
LG told us there's no LTE or 3G versions yet, although Amazon did accidentally reveal that a model might exist. Even so, that doesn't matter because LG has a really elegant solution to get online when you're out and about. It uses a pairing app, that reminds us in some ways of the BlackBerry Bridge for the Playbook. It's a free app, available on the Google Play store for all handsets, that allows you to share out your internet connection to the tablet.
But there's more too it than that, because it also adds near phone-like abilities to the tablet too. For example, when your phone rings the tablet will show who is calling and you reject the call with a message, if you're too busy. Also, text messages are shown and can be replied too on the G Pad. There are also some sharing options that sync your handwritten notes made on the G Pad back to your phone.
While pairing a tablet with a phone is nothing new, the LG app, called QPair just makes it very simple to do, and gives you some nice features you wouldn't get normally. We're a big fan of the fact that it doesn't require an LG Android phone to work, and it really broadens access for those who don't have a G2 or similar.
Other fun stuff includes much of the same gesture-based stuff found on the G2. You can multitask with a gesture that keeps three apps running at the same time, and allows you to access them more quickly. There's the "tap" to unlock feature that we loved on the G2 too, so we're very pleased about that.
In our time with the tablet, we found that it felt nice and solid, looks nice and wowed us with the screen. The interface was snappy too, and LG has gone with a Snapdragon 600 processor here too, rather than the 800, which helps to keep the cost down a bit lower than packing in all the most high-end toys would allow. That said, the battery is a 4,600 mAh pack, so you should get a really decent amount of use out of each charge, even with that big and high resolution screen.
Perhaps most interesting of all though, the G Pad is currently selling for about £230 at Asda, with a discount code. That puts it very close indeed to the Nexus 7, but gives you some really nice extra functionality and that larger screen.