When you first pick the device up, before turning it on, you’ll swear it’s no bigger than any 7 inch tablet you’ve used before. Just know that your mind is playing a trick on you, or you’ll be truly surprised when you turn on the tablet and you’re greeted by the gorgeous 8.3 inch, full HD display.
A slightly taller slate than the 7 inch tablets to which we’re accustomed, this version has the Verizon badge top center on the front balancing the LG symbol at the bottom. The device has a flap on the top under which you can find the SIM card and insert a 64 GB or lower microSD card.
Aside some the Verizon badges, the hardware is basically identical to that of the original G Pad. The software seems to be the same as well. Although it’s still on Android 4.2.2, the device has a lot to offer. My personal favorite feature from the LG G Flex, knock to wake, is present here as well. Only, on a tablet, when carrying it without a case, the screen will almost always pop on due to contact with my palm or fingers. The software is strikingly similar to that of the G Flex, only bigger. The back of the device is cool metal with a Verizon badge top center, their 4G LTE symbol 2 inches below and the LG symbol toward the bottom. The right hand side about 2 inches from the top and bottom you’ll find the stereo speakers, and one inch in from the left side all the way to the top is the 5 megapixel camera, which performs rather well for a tablet.
Key things to note would be, even though there is a navigation bar, they’ve replaced the multi-tasking button with a menu key (long-pressing home summons the recent apps.) There is a very basic alternative app launcher which you can activate in the notification menu called “QSlide” through which you are able to launch movable window versions of the Calender, Video, Email, Richnote, Voice Mate, File Manager, and Calculator apps. At the top of each, you can control the opacity or elect to maximize the app. The bottom left corner allows you to change the window’s size.
Overall, the software is very well done, if it does feel a bit familiar to Samsung users. I really enjoyed how intuitive it is.
Let’s talk about having 4G LTE on your tablet. I admit, up until I reviewed this unit, I was one of those people who preached against tablets with dedicated data lines. “Just use your phone as a hotspot!” I would say. But I have to say, having that data connection all the time has won me over. How best to do this? Numbered list!
Reasons to have a dedicated Verizon data line on your tablet
- No hotspot set-up
- Lower drain on your phone’s data plan (might even be able to save money by switching plans)
- Lower drain on your phone’s battery
- If you don’t have a Verizon phone, your tablet will get data when your phone might not.
- Verizon’s LTE speeds have improved a lot (33 Mbps down 3 Mbps up)
- Only $99 on a 2 year contract ($299 without)
Basically, if you’re a tablet user, and you constantly find yourself switching on your phones hotspot, but don’t use the hotspot for much else, this could be a great alternative for you.
In summary, I would recommend this device to anyone who either knows they want a tablet with its own data plan, or is opened to the idea of switching over. The G Pad 8.3 is a wonderful size, and it my opinion, a size that should have been common before 7 inch displays became popular. The device is plenty quick, with a gorgeous display that makes even complex games look great, and Verizon’s 4G LTE is the icing on the cake. Highly recommend this tablet.