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LG G Pad 8.3 review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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LG G Pad 8.3
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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Decent screen quality
  • Plenty of power available
  • Metal back feels good

Cons

  • Basic camera
  • Software needs some tweaking

Key Features

  • 8.3-inch 1,920 x 1,200 pixel IPS display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor
  • 4,600mAh battery
  • Manufacturer: LG
  • Review Price: £199.99

What is the LG G Pad 8.3?

The LG G Pad 8.3 is a small, fairly low-cost tablet. It offers a pretty compelling alternative option to the iPad mini Retina, while costing around £120 less.

There are some signs that this is not a top-tier tablet, but not enough to stop it from being a real bargain.

Note: Tesco is currently selling the LG G Pad 8.3 for £120 as part of its Easter Deals campaign. Details here.

LG G Pad 8.3 – Design

The LG G Pad 8.3 is a fairly affordable tablet, but its build quality is good. The top layer is toughened glass and the rear is a mix of aluminium and plastic. As virtually the whole area your hands come into contact with is metal, it has a similar cool and hard feel as an iPad mini.

Styling-wise, the LG G Pad isn’t quite on the same level. The dual speakers on the rear spoil the simplicity of the look a bit, and the mix of white and silver on the version we tested does look a little bit cheap. We think the black version looks better.

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The power and volume buttons on the side are plastic rather than metal too. But once you consider the iPad mini and Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 cost a good 60 per cent more, you can’t really complain.

The LG G Pad 8.3’s size also strikes a good balance between portability and screen size. It’s small enough to grasp comfortably side-to-side in one (adult-size) hand – which the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 isn’t really – and weighs just 338g. That is light enough for one-handed use, although this is clearly a device that works best when you get both hands involved.

Its hardware versatility is also remarkably good considering the £200 price. There’s a covered microSD memory card slot on the top edge of the LG G Pad 8.3 and, next to it, a little IR blaster. This lets the tablet function as a universal remote control. It’s pretty rare to find one of these in a sub-£200 tablet – the Nexus 7 doesn’t have one, for example.

The LG Pad 8.3 also has a much higher screen-to-tablet-size ratio than most current sub 10-inch devices. This is helped by the lack of soft keys, and it provides a more modern look than older tablets. At 8.3mm thick, it’s slim too. Aside from the white version looking a little cheap, there’s little to criticise here.

LG G Pad 8.3 – Screen

Its screen feels up-to-date too. As the LG G Pad 8.3 name suggests, it’s an 8.3-inch display.

This is a 16:10 widescreen panel, 1,920 x 1,200 in resolution. Although lower-res than the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and less pixel-dense than the Nexus 7, it’s fairly sharp. Look close and you can discern single pixels, but it’s not a major issue in a low-cost tablet.

Basic image quality is fairly good thanks to the use of an IPS panel, which provides solid viewing angles. However, there are a few minor image quality issues.LG G Pad 8.3

Top brightness is just ok, and the contrast in bright areas of an image is not great, leading to pictures that don’t look as vibrant and as defined as they would do on a higher-grade screen. Colour reproduction is decent, but this lack of backlight control leads to images looking a tad washed out. Black levels are good enough, though.

LG G Pad 8.3 – Speakers

The tablet makes for a handy little personal video player, and this is also helped along by the stereo speakers. As they're mounted on the back, you don't get a clear stereo image, but the audio doesn't clearly come from one end, as with some tablets.

Its sound experience is not great, though. The output is a little thin-sounding and at mid-to-high volumes, the back of the tablet vibrates. It feels a little odd.

Neil Old

September 8, 2013, 11:12 am

ALL Android devices should have the ability to run/install stock Android without "hacking" the devices.

random guy

September 17, 2013, 4:36 am

The g2 has a snapdragon 800 not 600 so the tab isn't clocked lower it's just simply a less powerful CPU

Steven

March 11, 2014, 10:58 pm

Just bought this from Co-op electrical and using the offer code, I only paid £180. Asda does the same deal (iuse voucher code to get £20 off). It's a brilliant tab for the price. It's a brilliant pad full stop. I bought the iPad mini for my missus and this looks better. The size is pefect and aspect ration of he screen works better than 4:3. Samsun have just realeased the 8.4 pro with a faux leather backing....I can't think of anything worse...and they are selling it for £350. This is half the price and probably looks better. Only down side at the moment is that it hasn't got kitkat on it, but understand that this will be in the pipeline. This is how much tablets should cost; sub £200 for this size and a bit more for the larger size. I am surpised that it only 8/10 from Trusted Review. This is the ebst tablet you can get for under £200.

Matthew Bunton

March 22, 2014, 1:48 am

I have just purchased one of these for £179 from Amazon and it is the best tablet that I have owned thus far. I found the Nexus 7 2013 screen a tad too small but the LG is perfect for web browsing. The build quality is a lot better than the Nexus.

Richard Lloyd

April 6, 2014, 11:18 am

I really like my LG G Pad 8.3, but it has its pros and cons like any other device. Things that are great are the display (8.3" is the ideal size and the resolution makes the display super sharp), SD card slot (I added a fast 32GB card for about 13 quid) and official support for CyanogenMod 11 (so, yes, it can run KitKat...that's what mine does anyway).

Things that are bad are the screen brightness (I have to ramp up the setting much higher than my other tablets and auto-brightness is way too dark), dodgy colour calibration resulting in a yellow "tinge" that you may only spot by putting another tablet next to it like I did (calibration is easy to fix on CM11 - it's now an option in the Settings) and the battery life is only fairly average (not helped by having to increase the screen brightness).

As a tablet for use on the move, this is probably the best one - once you put CM11 on it - available full stop (yes, I include any Samsung, Apple or Nexus tablets). I personally think Google made a mistake not going to 8" (or 8.3") with their 2013 Nexus 7 - I now definitely consider 7" displays too small after using the LG for a while. This LG is available at the same price as the Nexus 7 2013 with very similar specs, but with an SD card slot and 1.3" bigger display, which should really make it your tablet of choice.

BTW, with 10m or so CyanogenMod users, why do *no* reviews of Android devices ever mention whether the device is officially supported by CM? This is a big bonus point for an Android device - the option to run the latest/greatest Android release in a non-bloaty manner like the Nexuses - and yet gets ignored by all reviewers! Sure, they'll happily review the "Google Play Edition" of some devices, which are stupidly charged more for and still offer a worse experience than the free CM11 does!

Stephen Sharpe

April 10, 2014, 11:03 am

I was given my G Pad at Xmas (to replace a Nexus 7 that had died) and so far have been really pleased with no flaws or concerns. The extra 1.3 inches from the 7 inch tablet format, while not sounding like a lot, makes a massive difference and the screen is so much more user friendly to look at while still being one-handable. The picture quality is excellent and I have not suffered the yellow tinge issue reported by the previous reviewer. The system runs smoothly but there was some very occasional stuttering when scrolling between screens with some apps; however, the OTA KitKat update (Android 4.4.2) released on 8 April 14 has resolved that minor issue and everything now runs without any lag whatsoever. I have added a 32gb micro SD so have all then memory for flims etc I need. Battery life is OK (I get between 7 and 8 hrs depending on what apps are running. One set of extras that are very useful are the LG UI Apps - Q-Pair which links the tablet to the phone so you can intercept texts and calls is brilliant, slideaside and the Q remote are also very useful additions. I have used Nexus (7 and 10), I-pad mini and samsung and the LG equals or beats all of them for performance and at its current price (£179) is better value especially given you can add extra memory (up to 64 Gb) for the cost of a micro SD. An excellent tablet and an experience that I would not hesitate to repeat.

Annoyed

December 10, 2015, 11:54 pm

I purchased an LG G PAD 8.3 tablet a year ago and it has recently crapped out. It has been having charging issues for a few months now but finally hit the point of not charging at all. I travel a lot for work and just made it home for the Holiday month and attempted to warranty the product. It turns out that the warranty expired just 10 days before i submitted a claim. Even though the issue started about 2 months ago, they refuse to warranty the product. LG has terrible customer service, outsourced just like all of the other big companies, with employees that are programmed to just repeat their answers and never actually provide customer service. I still wanted to send in the item for repairs, which would be at my own cost, so i could retain some of the things i had on the tablet. They then told me that they completely delete everything and factory reset no matter what the repair happens to be, so i would lose everything anyway. I need a tablet, but it seems that i am stuck paying an extra $10 a month to verizon for the next year, for this junk, even though it is unusable... Trust me, after this experience i will NEVER buy another LG product again. This seems to be a common issue and they will not take care of their customers... as the old saying says, "if you don't take care of your customers, someone else will." And that is exactly what is happening here... i am going to buy a new tablet, and it definitely won't be an LG. I will never buy an LG TV, or LG appliance, or LG phone, or anything else from this company. I recommend the same. The performance overall was mediocre anyway, so to go through this headache to repair a low quality tablet and still lose all of my data is absolutely not worth it. Do not buy LG products.

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