Android tablets are becoming quite widespread – and with plenty to choose from, manufacturers need an angle to make theirs stand out. LG’s angle is 3D. Like its Optimus 3D smartphone, the Optimus Pad can shoot 3D stills. But is that enough to make us like this particular Android tablet?
Tablets tend to fall into two size groupings. Those with 7in screens and those around 10in. The smaller ones fit neatly into a pocket, the larger ones offer a bigger viewing area. Both sizes have their fans.
LG has decided to pitch the Optimus Pad between these two sizes, with an 8.9 inch screen. That affects the hardware size of 243x150x12.7mm and the weight of 621g. The compromise doesn’t work for us. The screen isn’t that much larger than the 7in rivals, and the Optimus Pad is that bit more chunky to pocket than them too. To further irritate, the 1280×760 wide aspect of the screen is annoying. It’s a bit narrow for web browsing in wide screen mode, and rather too tall and thin in portrait mode.
When you look under the hood there are some high-end specifications. A Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor means things speed along nicely, and the supporting 1GB of RAM helps. Android 3.0 is used, of course, and there is 32GB of storage for your data. Rather surprisingly – for a tablet that, after all, costs a serious amount of money – LG has not added a slot for augmenting this with microSD or SD cards.
There’s space for a SIM card if you want to use mobile broadband, and Wi-Fi is built in too as well as GPS.
And so to the 3D…
What will draw you to the LG Optimus Pad is undoubtedly its 3D capability, but it’s unlikely that this feature will keep your attention for very long. The screen doesn’t offer glasses-free 3D. Instead you need to wear red/blue glasses or connect to a 3D TV.
The Optimus doesn’t come with any 3D apps pre-installed, or even a 3D user interface area, as there is on the LG Optimus 3D smartphone. The two 5-megapixel camera lenses on the back of the chassis shoot 3D stills and video, but they’re not exactly easy to enjoy.
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- 3D stills shooting; fast processor.
- Odd, in-between size; 3D is a bit gimmicky.
While the LG Optimus Pad is a solidly made tablet with some good general specifications, its in-between size doesn't appeal, and the 3D capability feels rather gimmicky.