LG exec says its Optimus tablet "will be better than the iPad." How will it do that?

Summary:You gotta give LG's vice president of marketing Chang Ma points for hubris. Not only did he tell the Wall Street Journal that "The race hasn't started yet" in regards to smartphones (um, you're sure about that?

You gotta give LG's vice president of marketing Chang Ma points for hubris. Not only did he tell the Wall Street Journal that "The race hasn't started yet" in regards to smartphones (um, you're sure about that?), but he also touted LG's forthcoming Optimus tablet thusly: "Our tablet will be better than the iPad."

Having owned an iPad since launch, I can definitely say that the device isn't perfect, and could be made better. But is LG the company to make the so-called "iPad killer"? As you might expect, it's relying on Google's Android OS, as most competitors outside of HP will be. In addition, Ma says the Optimus tablet will be focusing on productivity -- from document creation to video editing. We should expect "high-end features and new benefits," though none of those have been disclosed.

Does that mean we should be expecting a stylus to be included with LG's slate? Some kind of alternative (slide-out?) keyboard that's superior to the touchscreen? We already can guess that it will come with some of the features the iPad lacks -- support for Adobe Flash, front and rear-facing cameras, maybe a memory-card slot. But what else will LG's "secret sauce" for tablet superiority include?

There's no doubt that you can build a better tablet spec list than the iPad possesses, yet that doesn't necessarily make it a more attractive buy. (Just think of all of the features the competition lumped into its portable MP3 players, only to succumb to the iPod's dominance.) Will those high-end features and new benefits include a processor that is as responsive as the Apple tablet's and battery life better than what's expected from Android devices using other CPUs (roughly half that of the iPad)? LG will be using Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor for its Optimus phones, so maybe it's basing its tablet around a Tegra core that could outdo an Atom or ARM-based CPU.

Still, it seems like Ma set the bar way too high considering LG's fighting companies (like HP and Samsung) that have a lot more experience with the American market, which is ultimately where the Optimus has to compete if it's as superior as promised. A little bravado can get you some headlines, but if it cannot deliver on the great expectations, then LG is setting itself up to come up short -- once again -- in North America.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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