LG makes its 8.3" G Pad Android tablet official, hoping to capture some momentum ahead of a new Apple iPad Mini.
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LG announced the G Pad 8.3 Android tablet over the weekend, a device that it hopes to position as the ideal size between smaller and larger devices. It will be, as the story goes, Goldilocks' choice as far as tablets go, i.e., "just right."
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the device is that it offers a similar set of features to the LG's recently announced G2 smartphone. Much of the user interface and applications are shared between the two, which means that together they'll offer users a seamless experience. Some of these include Slide Aside, which lets users multitask with a new three-finger sliding gesture; QSlide, which launches mini apps that can be used at the same time; and KnockON, which wakes the device with a tap of the finger. Further, LG says the G Pad improves connectivity between the tablet and G2 smartphone. With the QPair app, every call and message received on a smartphone will appear on the G Pad for seamless notifications.
The G Pad 8.3 brings a 1920 x 1200 pixel WUXGA (widescreen ultra extended graphics array) display to the table, which is more pixels than most tablets that size. The screen uses LG's high-quality in-plane switching technology. According to LG, it has a pixel density of 273 ppi. The device is powered by a 1.7-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with a full 2 GB of RAM. The processor offers more than enough oomph to push all the pixels on the display with plenty of power to spare. The tablet has a 4600-mAh power cell under the hood. The battery is embedded and cannot be replaced or swapped by the user.
Despite the large battery and screen, LG claims the device is highly portable. It weighs about 0.75 pounds (338 g) and measures 8.55 x 4.98 x 0.33 inches. By way of comparison, the iPad Mini, which has a slightly smaller 7.9-inch display, weighs 0.68 pounds and measures 7.87 x 5.3 x 0.28 inches.
Other hardware features include dual cameras, one on the front (5 megapixels) and one on the back (1.3 megapixels). The device supports dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, as well as GPS/GLONASS for location-based services.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the LG G Pad 8.3 is certainly well positioned. It has good specs and the right set of features to compete with similar tablets. It will have to contend with an updated iPad Mini, which is expected to arrive later this year. The big question is whether or not Apple will improve the iPad Mini with a Retina Display. Rumors conflict on that point, and Apple hasn't provided any hints. If Apple fails to improve the Mini's screen, it won't be surprising to see budget tablet shoppers opt for devices with better screens. The Nexus 7, for example, offers a full HD screen in a smaller, seven-inch form factor. The N7 costs a competitive $229 (16 GB with Wi-Fi).
LG says the G Pad 8.3 will reach the market during the fourth quarter of the year, but didn't say for how much, nor in which markets.
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