LG G Pad 8.3 review

LG's back in the tablet game and the G Pad 8.3 is a strong contender

LG G Pad 8.3 review
LG keeping tabs on its rivals with all new device

TechRadar Verdict

With a metal body, full HD display and decent innards the G Pad 8.3 is strongest rival to the iPad mini 2. While battery life could be better LG's tablet doesn't let the side down.


  • +

    Strong design

  • +

    Great full HD display

  • +

    Storage expansion


  • -

    No 3G/4G option

  • -

    Poor camera

  • -

    Average battery life

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LG has been noticeably absent from the tablet scene in the past couple of years, but it's back and the Android powered G Pad 8.3 is the first out the blocks and it's gunning for success.

You've got to head back to early 2011 for LG's last tablet and while the Optimus Pad was the world's first slate with a 3D camera it was some way off the mark of Apple's iPad 2 - garnering 3 out of 5 stars in its full TechRadar review.

Right from the off the LG G Pad 8.3 looks to be a much better offering, with a more sensible 8.3-inch screen size, premium build quality and we're glad the Korean firm has ditched that 3D gimmickry.

One big advantage the G Pad 8.3 has over the previous LG tablet is its price - at £259.99 ($349.99, AU$399) it's substantially cheaper than the frankly ridiculous £750 (around $1215, AU$1265) asking price of the Optimus Pad.

That makes the LG G Pad 8.3 slightly cheaper than it's main two rivals - the new iPad mini 2 with Retina display and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - so far, so good then.

You get a decent amount for your money too, with the G Pad 8.3 sporting an 8.3-inch full HD display, 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD slot and 4600mAh battery.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

It's a little disappointing to find the processor is a Snapdragon 600 offering instead of the newer 800 which has worked its way into the likes of the Galaxy Note 3 and Xperia Z Ultra - but it is still a powerful chip.

The display is an impressive one and it puts the Galaxy Note 8.0 to shame with a 1200 x 1920 resolution and 273ppi pixel density. The iPad mini 2 usurps it though with a 1536 x 2048 resolution.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

Even though the G Pad 8.3 may not carry the best screen in this category it is far from a poor offering, with excellent color reproduction and crisp, clear fonts making it easy on the eye.

Front on the LG G Pad 8.3 looks like a blown up LG G2 smartphone, with rounded corners, relatively narrow bezels and a screen slapped in the middle.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

It's hardly a game changing design, but it is functional and we've seen many worse looking tablets in our time - we're just pleased LG hasn't gone bezel crazy here. There's just enough to hold the G Pad 8.3 without fingers encroaching on the screen, and that's all we ask for.

Unlike the G2 though LG hasn't stuck the physical buttons on the rear of the G Pad 8.3. Instead you'll find the power/lock key and the volume rocker switch on the right hand side of the slate (when held in portrait).

LG G Pad 8.3 review

These are easy to find and responsive to the touch without having to apply too much pressure. The top of the G Pad 8.3 features a headphone jack, IR blaster and microSD slot.

The SD slot itself is covered with an easily removed flap and for once this is a port cover which doesn't feel like it'll snap off at any point. It's easy to use and sturdy enough to last.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

There's nothing going on down the left side of the G Pad 8.3, while on the base of the tablet there's a centralized microUSB port and a microphone hole.

Things begin to get a little more interesting when you flip the LG G Pad 8.3 over, revealing a mainly metal rear to the device which curves round to either side of the tablet.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

There's still a chunk of plastic above and below, and this mix of materials gives the impression that the metal part could be removed. It can't though, so don't waste your time trying.

We've said a lot about the use of premium materials in mobile devices and we were truly impressed with Apple's tablet range, especially the iPad mini which just feels great in the hand.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

The addition of metal on the rear, and to some extent the sides, of the G Pad 8.3 makes it feel like a far superior tablet to the all-plastic Galaxy Note 8.0 - although it still doesn't quite match the iPad mini.

You'll notice there are dual speakers on the back of G Pad 8.3, built into the metal part of chassis, and these are positioned for optimum use when the tablet is held in landscape - which makes sense as you'll be looking to fully utilizing them when watching films or playing games.

LG G Pad 8.3 review

Measuring 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3mm the LG G Pad 8.3 is just small enough to be held in one hand - although it does stretch your palm if you try and get fingers either side of the display.

Thanks to its relatively lightweight design you can hold the G Pad 8.3 in one of the bottom corners as you would an ereader - although at 338g it's more tiresome on the wrist.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.