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March 13, 2014

Is the LG G Pad 8.3 Everything It Panned Out to Be?

LG and Verizon together announced the release of the LG G Pad 8.3 LTE tablet about a week ago. This was in response to a trend by other manufacturers to start introducing 8-inch tablets as opposed to the traditional 7-inch models. For just under $200, subscribers to Verizon can purchase the tablet with a new two-year contract with the company. But does the new tablet stand up to its competitors?

This year, we are seeing strong competition on the 8-inch front, with Samsung releasing its Tab PRO 8.4 and Apple joining the fray with its 7.9-inch iPad Mini with a Retina display. A few years ago, we were always expecting Apple to take home the trophy for the tablet with the most awesome specs and strongest sales. Now, we're not so sure this is the case anymore. Its competitors have produced tablets that have strengths of their own and a very attractive price/quality ratio.

In the design department, LG seems to tie with Apple. Its new 8-inch-ish G Pad has made a bold step towards an aluminum casing that not only cools the hardware more efficiently, but provides a sense of durability that Samsung's plastic cover just doesn't seem to match. When it comes to display quality, however, Samsung's tablet gets the gold medal. Its resolution of 2560x1600 beats both of its competitors. The Mini 2 has a Retina display with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels and LG's G Pad 8.3 sports a meager 1920x1200 pixels.

Although the G Pad suffers in the resolution department, we have to consider that LG was trying to make a mid-range tablet with a more moderate price point. As far as hardware is concerned, it's right up there with the competition, sporting a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU and 2 GB of RAM. That's not bad for a tablet that boasts nearly half the price on Verizon of either the iPad Mini 2 or the Tab PRO 8.4, which are selling at just below $400. If you're buying it without a contract, though, the tablet is nearly as expensive, clocking in at just under $350.

In the end, it seems that LG could get an edge from its cooperation with Verizon for its LTE tablet. However, there's no doubt it will fail in other markets, where its steep price might drive consumers elsewhere.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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