With the supercharged, specced-out G2, LG showed that it still knows what's what when it comes to building top-end tech. The G Pad 8.3, as the name suggests, is an 8.3-inch Android tablet, with a similarly impressive lineup of numbers. Its screen packs a Full HD resolution, it has a meaty quad-core processor under the hood and, like its rival the £319 iPad mini, is clad in metal.
Unlike the iPad, however, the G Pad offers no 4G connectivity so you'll rely solely on Wi-Fi for your Internet needs. It comes with 16GB of on-board storage and is available now for £250.
Design and build quality
With its 8-inch display and metal back, the G Pad is clearly placing itself as an Android alternative to Apple's new retina display iPad mini. The G Pad is 8.3mm thick, making it ever so slightly chubbier than Apple's offering, although its 338g weight is almost the same. It's certainly portable enough to carry around all day.
Like the iPad, it's easy to hold up in one hand while watching a video or browsing the Web, but you will need two hands to type. I suspect you'll find this slate too big for your jeans pockets, although I was able to slot it into a blazer breast pocket with a push. Smaller devices like the Nexus 7 can slip inside an accommodating pocket, but you'll probably need a satchel or handbag to handle this hardware, if you don't want it dragging your sharp suit of shape.
The back panel is made from aluminium, with plastic strips at the top and bottom. The use of plastic makes the G Pad look less luxurious than the all-metal iPad mini, but it still has a solid, premium feel.
On the sides you'll find the volume and power buttons, a micro-USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand the 16GB of internal storage. The back panel is home to dual speakers. They're loud enough to enjoy Breaking Bad in your loo (I checked) but their placement means you'll muffle the sound if you lay it flat on a table.
The G Pad's 8.3-inch display boasts a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution. A Full HD display is now the standard I'd expect to see on a tablet of this size, excepting bargain-basement efforts such as Tesco's Hudl. The new Nexus 7 also boasts a Full HD screen and starts at £200, whereas the iPad mini's new retina display meanwhile packs 2,048x1,536 pixels, but costs quite a bit more.
As the mini packs more pixels into the same size screen, its pixel density is higher, which in theory results in a sharper display. While you might be able to tell the difference side-by-side, you'll need to look very carefully in order to do so. For everyday tasks like tweeting and posting inappropriate Facebook updates, the G Pad's Full HD resolution is more than adequate.
Resolution aside, the display is bright and very bold. Colours are rich and vibrant and viewing angles are good, making it a solid option for watching your favourite TV shows on BBC iPlayer.
Software and performance
The tablet is powered by Android 4.2.2. It's a shame not to see the more recent Android 4.3 on board, particularly as Android 4.4 KitKat is starting to make its way to some devices. You might not notice much difference though, as LG has slapped its own skin over the top.
If you've ever used an Android device you won't struggle to get to grips with its multiple screens and apps menu. LG has thrown in a few of its own software tweaks though, chief among which is QPair.
QPair lets you connect your tablet to your Android phone over Bluetooth. Once connected, your tablet will then be able to display incoming calls and texts. You're only able to decline calls, not accept them, but it will at least save you fishing your phone from your pocket every time it vibrates. A memo app will also allow you to instantly sync hand-written notes across both devices.
The Q Slide tool meanwhile allows you to swipe up to three apps to the left, saving their current state. You can pop into your email or check Twitter before swiping the app back into view. It's hardly a game-changer, but I can see it being useful from time to time.
It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor, backed up by 2GB of RAM. It's a powerful chip that easily tackled demanding games like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2 and Riptide GP 2. Swiping around the interface was sometimes a little laggy, however, with icons needing a moment to pop into place when jumping back to the homescreen. It was never enough to cause any frustration though, so I don't see it as a problem.
A 4,600mAh battery provides the juice for the slate. You shouldn't struggle too much to get a couple of days use from it, so long as you're reasonably careful. If you're just watching an episode of Woof! before work, then sofa-surfing once you're home, you won't need to live in fear of the battery conking out on you.
A 5-megapixel camera sits on the back, which achieved an adequate shot in my tests. Exposure was fair, as were the colours, but it wasn't particularly sharp and it suffered from image noise in the darker areas.
It's not likely to put you on the road to photography stardom, but it'll manage some quick snaps, so long as you have plenty of light, which is about what you'd need from a tablet's camera anyway.
The LG G Pad 8.3 combines a slender, attractive design with a bold screen and plenty of power. It isn't too expensive either, making it a good option for those of you keen on the iPad mini but either want to stick to Android or simply to spend a little less.