LG G Pad 8.3 Review – Google Play Edition

LG G Pad 8.3 Review – Google Play Edition

LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition review: Dependable tablet gets pure Android facelift

lg g pad 8.3 reviewThe good: The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition features pure Android with a deeper Google Now integration, and receives the latest updates. It also has a sharp display, expandable memory, and runs a tad faster than its original LG counterpart.

The bad: The G Pad doesn’t have the same elegant build-quality as Google’s Nexus tablets, and this stock model lacks a few useful apps compared to the LG-skinned original.

The bottom line: Android purists will find Google’s mid-sized LG G Pad 8.3 more compelling, but it’s pricier than the model that’s overlaid with LG’s skin.

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If you’re an Android purist, you’re going to love this Google Play edition of the LG G Pad 8.3. Nearly identical to the original in hardware, the major difference you’ll find between the two versions comes down to the operating system and skin that you interact with.

While LG’s first version runs the company’s Optimus 3.0 user interface, this G Pad runs the unadorned stock version of Android 4.4 KitKat. You do lose a lot of LG’s built-in software features in the transition, which is a shame for the more useful features among them. However, the pure Android G Pad has other benefits. The device itself is already as reliable, and at times faster, than LG’s original, but it will also receive OS updates as they roll in.

Available online at Google’s Play Store for $349, Google’s model costs just as much as the original when it first launched (though now, the latter costs $50 less at Best Buy). Though it’s price isn’t exactly inexpensive, it’s reasonable — especially for those dead set on a mid-sized tablet with vanilla Android.

Design
The device measures 8.54 inches tall, 4.98 inches wide, and 0.33 inches thick. Positioned vertically, it’s easy to hold with one hand, which surprised me given how small my grip is. It also weighs 0.74 pound (or 11.8 ounces), so its relatively lightweight. You can easily throw it in a small shoulder bag and it wouldn’t feel like a huge drag on your shoulders. In addition, with its 8.3-inch touch screen, it’s the ideal solution for those who think the Nexus 7 is too small and the 10 is too large.

Though it makes the G Pad a bit more slippery, I like the device’s smooth, faux-metal back panel. In fact, I prefer it over the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3‘s glossy backside, which traps fingerprints easily. I also like how the tablet feels dense, without being too heavy. Both characteristics give the G Pad a polished look. Read more: LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition Review – Watch CNET’s Video Review

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