Walking into LG's huge IFA booth, we frisbeed our 3D specs at the nearest curved OLED TV and made a beeline for the G Pad 8.3 slate.
Why? Because LG's revived tablet line-up packs some serious specs and its LG G2 flagship handset has just shot straight to the top of our list of the ten best smartphones in the world. Can the G Pad 8.3 join it at No.1 in our top ten list of best tablets? Or will it just fall short of the incredible value of the Nexus 7 and apps upperhand still enjoyed by Apple's iPad Mini? We went hands on in Berlin to find out.
Killer Screen + Gorgeous Build = Tablet Maths Win
Call us jaded but we see more below par Android tablets come through our doors than impressive ones but the G Pad 8.3 actually kind of bowled us over. The screen is a big part of that – it's big (for a small, light tablet) with minimal 7.2mm bezels either side, almost as skinny as the iPad Mini's in fact. It's bright, vibrant and sharp too. Sure, at 1920x1200 over 8.3in that's not quite as crisp as the new Nexus 7 but it certainly gives it a run for its money and puts the iPad Mini to shame, for now.
Plus, as just mentioned, the 8.3 is light at just 338g, very slim at 8.2mm thick and as easy to hold one handed as Apple's small iPad. You won't be gripping it in one hand as you would a Nexus, and it might not squeeze into some of the same pockets as Google uber-tab manages to but LG has propelled its tablet line to the scrap for the top that it was once shunned from.
The really solid, mostly aluminium build is the other half of the G Pad 8.3's seemingly winning equation – models come in black and white colours with some plastic but we much prefer the G Pad's styling to the G2, for instance.
Plenty of power, huge battery – now all we need is a price and release date
We took the time out of our busy IFA schedule to test out the G Pad's 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM with Asphalt 8 and we weren't disappointed by the Alec Baldwin-smooth gameplay not to mention quick responses when flitting through apps, webpages and menus. The G Pad's also rocking a 4,600mAh battery, launches on Android 4.2.2 and sports a 5MP rear camera too.
Extras pushed over from the G2 include KnockOn which lets you double-tap the display to wake it up and works very well on the G Pad and its alt-multi-tasking tool Q Swipe which throws open apps to the side of the screen with a three finger swipe action. Q Pair – which we weren't able to try in our hands on – pairs the tab with Android phones like the G2 over Bluetooth for the usual tethering, quick sending of files and even picking up phone calls on the G Pad.
The one thing lacking from the G Pad 8.3? A price and release. If LG can place this at somewhere around the £200-£250 mark, it has a shot at stealing some of the Nexus 7's fans away. Any more and it will be lumped in with legions of Samsung tablets that are just too expensive compared to the budget Android competition. As for a release, LG is keeping quiet for now but we hope review units turn up soon so we can see what the G Pad 8.3 is really made of.