LG G Pad 7.0 review: Back at it

Yoanna Prodanova, 04 August 2014.
Pages: 12345678910

Tags: LG, Android

Introduction

LG's last attempt at tablets felt like something they did to just see if they still have it. No, there was nothing wrong with the G Pad 8.3 - except perhaps that an LTE version took quite a while. The LG G Pad 7.0 is obviously the economy package - but clearly showing a lot more intent. It's part of a squad including an 8-incher and a 10.1" tablet, all powered by a lower-midrange Snapdragon 400 and featuring WXGA screens.

Sounds like an affordable tablet and the LG G Pad 7.0 sure looks like one. By no means cheap-looking though - LG never made a Nexus tablet but it may not have looked much different than this. The LG G Pad 7.0 is indeed not the sharpest tool in the shed but it isn't all bad either. For starters LG is bringing its flat new Optimus UI on top of the still fairly recent Android 4.4.2 KitKat, in an attempt to carry the polished experience over from the LG G3 flagship to a bigger form factor.


LG G Pad 7.0

The screen isn't of the highest resolution and does offer sub-Retina ppi levels but it is an IPS unit meaning you'll get solid viewing angles, which is always nice in a tablet. The processor will more than suffice as well - altogether shaping up as a solid compact device.

And when we factor in the tempting price tag LG has hung on this seven-incher, it all starts to look brighter yet. Here's the complete package of the LG G Pad 7.0.

Key features

  • 7.0" 800 x 1280 IPS LCD display, 216ppi
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a modern, flat Optimus UI
  • Qualcomm MSM 8226 Snapdragon 400 chipset, 1GB of RAM, quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7.0 processor, Adreno 305 GPU
  • 3.15MP camera with 720p video recording, 1.3MP front camera
  • 8GB of built-in storage, microSD card slot
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Lightweight
  • Low price

Main disadvantages

  • Only one 'mono' speaker despite the two visible grilles
  • Low resolution front-facing camera
  • 2GB of RAM would have been better

Even manufacturers you've never heard of are giving compact tablets a go and the diversity of Android-powered 7-inchers will make your head spin. LG look like they know what they're doing and the G Pad 7.0 is trying to make it easy for users who shop on a budget but expect quality and at least decent equipment.

The price will help you live with some of the drawbacks but you'd be better off knowing them up front. The chipset isn't the best around with only 1GB of RAM and there's no 3G enabled option being offered, let alone LTE.

But the price is right, placing the LG G Pad 7.0 comfortably below what most current compact slates will ask for - we mean reputable makers of course. If you pay a little extra you might be able to get a 2013 Nexus 7.0, which wins on specs and experience for the most part.

LG G Pad 7.0 LG G Pad 7.0
The LG G Pad 7.0 at HQ

It must be important for LG to show they're taking tablets seriously again and trying to get back at Samsung at least in the lower midrange. That said, the G Pad 7.0 can be the right device to get users interested and spur more serious investment - perhaps a successor to the G Pad 8.3.

So are the IR blaster and the latest Optimus UI enough to make up for the underwhelming hardware? Is the price? The LG G Pad 7.0 is affordable and likeable - but just how capable and efficient? Let's see.

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