LG Optimus Pad review

Barry de la Rosa
5 Aug 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

It may be able to shoot 3D video, but for this price we'd expect a 3D display



8.9 in 1,280x768 display, 621g, 1GHz ARM Cortex A9, 1.00GB RAM, 32GB disk, Android 3.0

LG's Optimus Pad is unique in a number of ways, the most obvious being its dual cameras that can capture video in 3D. It's also the only tablet we've seen with an 8.9in screen, but with a resolution of 1,280x768 this actually makes for a crisper image. Strangely for an Android 3.0 device, the Pad doesn't have a microSD memory card slot, which means you have limited space to store your 3D films. It does however have a SIM card slot for 3G data support.

LG Optimus Pad back

The distinguishing features on the rear are those twin cameras

Our review sample was a pre-production model, which we were told didn't have up-to-date software, but it felt well-built and worked fine. We expected it to be heavy, a prejudice based on the hefty Optimus 3D smartphone, but in fact the Pad turns out to be one of the lightest of the larger tablets, and at 621g it's only 20g heavier than the Apple iPad 2.

The plastic case has a dark brown satin finish that's east to grip, while a strip around the edge protects the ports. While the two cameras are mounted horizontally to the landscape orientation, the LG logo is placed to the left of the screen in a portrait orientation, which is a bit confusing. A strip of the case on the back left side detaches, revealing the SIM card slot.

The screen is a standard TFT, unlike some IPS-fitted tablets we've seen, but it's still bright and has excellent viewing angles. Contrast is great, with strong colours thanks to a glossy screen finish. This has the downside of reflecting bright objects and lights, so you'll have to adjust its position carefully to get the best picture.

LG Optimus Pad left

The HDMI and USB ports, which sit on the bottom edge, or left-hand side, depending on how you hold it

Headphone and power sockets are on the left edge along with the power button, with a volume rocker on the top edge. The bottom edge hold mini-HDMI and micro-USB ports, along with metal contacts to connect to a dock, although details of optional accessories are not yet available. There are also grilles for the internal speakers, which are clear but disappointingly quiet.

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