LG G Pad 8.3 review: Gorgeous Android tablet and handy smartphone companion

LG G Pad 8.3 review: Gorgeous Android tablet and handy smartphone companion

Summary: LG continues to roll out excellent products and the G Pad 8.3 is an excellent Android tablet. The hardware if fantastic, the software is very capable, and the price is reasonable.

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  • LG G Pad 8.3 retail package

    LG continues to release some fantastic products and the new LG G Pad 8.3 follows the exciting LG G2 while also serving as a smartphone companion.

    The eight inch tablet market is growing and LG's latest offering is priced competitively while offering up some unique functions and features. If I did not already have a new 2013 Nexus 7, then this is probably the tablet I would be purchasing.

    Hardware

    LG announced the US availability of the G Pad 8.3 in mid-October and I have been using one for the last couple of weeks. THe first thing I thought when I took it out of the box was that the tablet is a more modern version of my HTC Flyer with the silver metal back and white plastic ends.

    The LG G Pad 8.3 is an attractive tablet with a gorgeous 8.3 inch 1920 x 1200 pixels (273 ppi) display. LG took a similar approach to what they did on the G2 and have minimal side bezels on the G Pad 8.3.

    The G Pad 8.3 is pretty large for a smaller tablet, I am comparing it to my Nexus 7, and the width (126.5 mm) is at just about the maximum span I have to hold it in one hand. There is nothing on the left side, the power and volume are on the right, the microUSB is on the bottom, and the headphone jack and microSD card slot are on the top.

    Dual stereo speakers are positioned on the back and they sound great. I enjoyed watching movies and video content on the LG G Pad 8.3.

    The rear camera is found in the top left of the back while the front facing camera is just to the right of center on the front above the display.

    The G Pad 8.3 is quite thin at 8.3 mm and I enjoy holding it. Most of the back is metal and this material gives it a sense of high quality.

    Software

    The software is really where the LG G Pad 8.3 stands out from other eight inch tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is unique because of its S Pen functionality. The LG G Pad 8.3 doesn't include stylus support, but just about everything you can do with a G2 you can do with a LG G Pad 8.3

    Knock On, QRemote, Qslide, Slide Aside, and Quick Memo are all present on the LG G Pad 8.3.

    The major new functionality we haven't seen until now is Q Pair. With this utility on your G Pad 8.3 and compatible Android smartphone you can view call notification on the tablet, get text messages and respond from the phone, receive social networking notifications, transfer QuickMemos, and more. It was handy to use the G Pad 8.3 while using various Android smartphone.

    I am a big fan of the IR remotes found in some Android smartphones and am pleased to see it on the G Pad 8.3, along with the QuickRemote application.

    Apps work in landscape and portrait while the device handled everything I threw at it with ease.

    Usage and experiences

    It feels like I have a $500+ tablet in my hand every time I pick up the G Pad 8.3. LG did a fantastic job with this tablet and it offers you everything you want in an Android device, along with a way to keep it in touch with your phone.

    I was able to easily go a couple of days with pretty heavy use, including watching a couple of movies. Using all of the software on the G Pad 8.3 actually has me considering a G2 as a smartphone for myself.

    Pros and Cons

    To summarize my experiences and the specifications, here are my pros and cons.

    Pros

    • Solid construction that feels much more expensive than the price
    • Beautiful display
    • Long battery life
    • Super fast performance
    • Many software enhancements, including phone connectivity

    Cons

    • Bit overloaded with apps and utilities
    • Camera isn't great, but who needs one on a tablet anyway?

    Pricing and availability

    You can pick up the LG G Pad 8.3 now for $350. This actually is a decent price considering it is an eight inch tablet and priced $150 less than a comparable WiFi iPad Mini with retina display.

    The competition

    There are a few competitors in the growing eight inch tablet market, including Apple with two iPad mini versions and Samsung with their Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. The LG G Pad 8.3 has a better display than both of the Samsung models and the original iPad mini. It's tough to beat the iPad Mini with retina display, but a 32GB WiFi model is priced at $$499 so that is a major factor in your decision.

    Specifications

    • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS
    • 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
    • 2GB RAM and 16GB flash storage memory
    • microSD expansion capability
    • 8.3 inch 1920x1200 HD IPS display
    • 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
    • 4,600 mAh battery
    • Sensors include proximity, barometer, temperature & humidity, accelerometer, gyroscope
    • Dimensions of 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3 mm and 338 grams

    Conclusion

    The LG G Pad 8.3 has a lot going for it, including solid hardware and functional software. If I could return my Nexus 7 or sell it for a good price, then I would buy the LG G Pad 8.3 for myself. I am not a fan of the name though.

    I had a tough time coming up with any cons for the tablet. Rather, it does just what a tablet should do and serves as a great companion for your smartphone. I love that LG allows other Android smartphones the ability to download and use Q Pair with the LG G Pad 8.3 and think this will help them sell this tablet to more consumers.

    Contributor's rating: 9.5 out of 10

    Further reading

  • Just a couple things in the box; cable and charger

  • Here's the LG G Pad 8.3

Topics: Reviews, Android, Google, Mobility, Tablets

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30 comments
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  • the specifications of the Moto X?

    Copy Paste :)
    deep@...
    • lg topic

      hi all
      its amazing web , i follow tech info like this ,and welcome to my blog http://goo.gl/O77Bsu
      thechaste
  • yeah really, can we just agree to drop the rear camera on tablets

    Eliminate the weight, circuitry space, cost, design and casing complications. All of these cameras are subpar anyway. They are just included to fill a bullet point on the feature list.
    greywolf7
    • The rear camera is useful

      Not for videoing things (holding up a dinner tray at the kid's concert...), but the rear-camera on a tablet can be quite useful.

      Barcode scanning, pictures to insert into forms, etc. It certainly doesn't replace the phone or a good point-and-shoot for day-to-day photographing but it's definitely useful in business apps.
      Robert Crocker
      • Well stated.

        Those observations were spot on.
        kenosha77a
      • Augmented reality...

        Imagine holding up your tablet and the rear camera is showing you the mountain range in front of you, but the tablet has labeled all the peaks with their names and height and also dream or the climbing and hiking trails. These sorts of augmented reality scenarios are painless with a rear camera. No there aren't too many such adios out there yet, which is why I don't really miss having a rear camera on my Nexus 7, but I can definitely see the day where it becomes useful.
        dsf3g
        • autocorrect...

          That should read: "drawn out the climbing and hiking trails"
          dsf3g
        • mountain hiking with a tablet...

          either you are very strong, or your mountains are very small for you to carry and extra pound of weight in your backpack.
          ForeverSPb
          • gimmick

            Ultralight hiking is a gimmick. All US lower 48 mountain hiking/backpacking routes are doable with very heavy loads, I've gone with as much as 70 pounds. The real killer of the tablet as hiking companion is cold+battery life. Carrying it is no biggy. But by the time it'd be useful, its also likely to be off and juiceless. Paper map, compass, and a traditional gps with lithium batteries to get an occasional true fix, gonna be a while before tech beats that combination.
            rwwff
          • Try 0.64lbs

            Nexus 7 2013, although for his suggestion - I'd go with something like a Nexus 5 at 4.6oz (0.29lbs).

            Nonetheless, his point was less about a tablet and more about the usefulness of a rear camera for AR and HUD work.
            The Werewolf!
  • Needs a TOP NOTCH camera

    8+ meg High-Res rear camera needs to be there for those who do on the spot editing of...
    ..landscape photos,
    ..edit vacation pix before sending,
    ..and to PhotoShop OUT those nay-sayers dressed in grey wolf clothing.
    .
    You see kiddies, there's more to these tablets and Pads than playing games all day & night.
    .
    fm-usa
    • Not to forget device compatibility

      A tablet running Full Windows 8.1 support millions of devices out of the box, apart from running legacy applications (if required), Store applications, etc.

      It is just great to see a 7.8mm tablet capable of running full Windows, and the price is actually cheaper than some competing Android tablets. 2014 is going to be quite interesting with more of these coming to the market
      soulxfer@...
  • Does it bridge the mem app gap?

    16gb is too small. Has LG modded this to allow you to push apps to the sd card?
    rhonin
  • Could be a contender

    Agree that I'd like to see a 32GB option as well (if not 64GB) at a reasonable price bump, but the inclusion of a microSD slot helps make up for this. My experience has with pushing apps to the SD card has been mixed. As a result I'd prefer to reserve that for media and so I want to make sure there's plenty of main storage for apps/data.

    It's worth observing that, although this review doesn't mention it, you can also get the G Pad 8.3 in a black finish.
    weslymoore
  • Not enough homework !

    Matt, the competition is just not Apple or Samsung .. at $350 this device is more expensive than Lenovo Miix @ $299 which is 8.1 inches and runs full version of Windows 8.1 (Intel) and has more memory.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F2ENTYI/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=wpcentralb-20&m1k=d_wp
    soulxfer@...
    • look, I like windows just fine. I use it all day at work.

      But I don't want it on a cheapo 8" tablet, certainly. Actually, if its not on a full size PC with keyboard and mouse and I'm not at work, I don't want it, period.

      You and ballmer just don't get it. You will go to your graves not understanding how consumers can't want full windows and office on a tablet.
      drwong
      • Well said

        Why so many numpties on here insist upon banging on about "real work" uses and "full fact pc/OS" is just plain baffling.
        I like windows (8.1), but I don't want/need it on a tablet. I use it for work/gaming/and occasional hobby dev.
        Otherwise android and ChromeOS (or ubuntu) fit the bill just fine for my home use.
        As this tablet does, going to give it a serious good look over.
        Boothy_p
      • I do not understand

        Have you seen window 8? Do you know it supports touch? It looks as if you are working whole day on XP and then just think about XP on 8 inch tablet. That would really suck BTW
        paul2011
    • I actually forgot that existed

      The specs seem fine on paper, the price is right and the resolution will work (1440x900 or higher would have been preferred). Still, I think I'd prefer this G Pad over it. Android seems to approach being mobile better than Windows 8 along with being more touch friendly. There are legacy programs that I'd like to run on the go but I can arguably get better or comparable experiences on Android. Heck, I can even run my favorite dos games on Android now, the only thing I'm really passing up on are a few obscure Windows programs I use and Steam.

      I'm really more of a linux user now. I could probably find a way to install it on the Lenovo but I probably wouldn't have a good experience with it (I go back and forth between OpenSuse and whatever random distro has caught my attention).
      srkelley5
    • Mixx2

      I checked out the Lenovo website, and this item isn't listed (at least in the US). Nevertheless, I just bought this one from Amazon and will report back. It looks good on paper, anyway! Thanks for the tip.
      Ira Seigel