LG G Pad 8.3 review: Couch surfer

Couch surfer

GSMArena team, 25 October 2013.

Standard retail package

The slim LG G Pad 8.3 comes in an equally compact box featuring the standard accessories. The charger has an output of 1.8A which makes all the right difference compared to the 1A run-of-the-mill chargers and keeps the charging times of the large battery reasonable.

LG G Pad 83
The LG G Pad 8.3 box

A microUSB cable for charging and connectivity alongside some leaflets round out the set of accessories - there is no QuadBeat headset, which most of LG's latest offerings had.

Design and build quality

LG kept the design minimalistic and understated, which works well with the midsize and compact nature of the device. The screen bezels are impressively small - especially on the sides - and the paintjob includes the front of the device, unlike most other LG devices where the front remains black regardless of what's on the back.

The LG G Pad 8.3 measures 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3mm, which makes it just 6.8mm taller and 0.3mm thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, while trimming the width by almost 10mm and matching its weight exactly.

Thanks to slimming up the bezels, LG was able to really keep the G Pad 8.3 compact and the fact that it's also very light compared to other midsize tablets should help its case further.

LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83
LG G Pad 8.3

The back is made of plastic and metal and on our white version they handled fingerprints impressively well. However the black unit that we encountered back at the IFA was quite easy to turn into a greasy mess. Good news is both versions provide pretty decent grip, so dropping the G Pad 8.3 is not that much of a risk.

The display is obviously a major feature and we'll talk about its image quality in the next chapter. The glass above the display is flat, and the plastic edge that runs around the sides of the phablet meets evenly with the edge of the glass, making the transition from glass front to polycarbonate sides as smooth as possible.

Above the display we find the usual setup - an LG logo, proximity sensor and the secondary 1.3MP front-facing camera right next to it. Obviously, the LG G Pad 8.3 does not support dual-video recording, which means you'll have to choose which camera to capture video with.

LG G Pad 83
The proximity sensor and front-facing camera are above the display

There's no hardware Home button below the display, as all three capacitive buttons are integrated into the screen.

The left side of the G Pad 8.3 is bare, while the right features a power/lock button as well as the volume rocker. Both buttons have an almost vertical orientation compared to the rounded sides, and offer good resistance while being easy to press and locate.

LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83
The bare left side • The Power/Lock key and volume rocker on the right

The top of the G Pad has an IR emitter for the remote control functionality and the 3.5mm audio jack. Here's where you'll also find the microSD card port hidden under a plastic flap. It's easy to open yet locks in place firmly. The mechanism feels like it should last a while without breaking.

At the bottom you'll find the microUSB port next to the microphone pinhole.

LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83
The 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot and IR port on top • MicroUSB and mic pinhole on the bottom

The battery on the Pad 8.3 is non-removable, so you'll have to settle for enjoying the pleasant texture on the back panel without being able to see what's underneath. The 5MP camera is not centered like on most tablets, and is instead placed in the top left corner. There's flash to speak of, and no camera bump either, so the device sits flat when you rest it on its back. There are twin speakers on the right side, top in landscape.

LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83 LG G Pad 83
The back features only the 5MP camera and a pair of speaker grilles

The G Pad 8.3 is a solidly built yet compact midsize tablet which has a lot going for it in terms of both handling and portability. The slim waistline and nicely-textured back panel make holding it a breeze, and the low weight means that you'll have no problems with it in a casual setting.

LG G Pad 83
Handling the LG G Pad 8.3

Reader comments

  • AnonD-142628

People complaing bout poor camera quality? well i don't care about the camera on a tablet. who takes pics with a tablet anyway....thats stupid.

  • AnonD-142628

Great review. Sounds like serious competition for Nexus 7 2013. I was about to buy nexus 7, but i'll wait and try out LG G Pad first.I like the bigger screen..it's much wider. Only thing i don't like is LG UI. Nexus is 32 GB, LG only 16 GB, but LG is...

  • vicky

good