LG Optimus Pad review: Glasses on
The LG Optimus Pad is well equipped in terms of connectivity. You get standard microUSB complete with USB host functionality. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use it before the expected Android 3.1 Honeycomb update.
LG chose not to enable charging off USB either, so you will need to keep the proprietary charger at hand at all times.
Naturally, you get Wi-Fi and GPS radios plus 3G speeds of up to 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA.
There is no microSD card slot. The 32GB of internal storage is plentiful and Mass Storage is enabled.
The last connectivity options worth mentioning are Bluetooth (with file transfer support) and the microHDMI port that allows high definition TV-out without an adapter. Luckily, LG has supplied an HDMI cable within the box.
The 3.0 Honeycomb's browser is great, but for better Flash performance you need 3.1
The web browser is another key app as far as tablets are concerned. With full Flash support, the Optimus Pad gets an edge over the iPad.
The tabs are kept in a bar on top, much like on a desktop browser. The address bar and search bar are incorporated in a single field - typical Android - which scores another point for the Optimus Pad.
Bookmarks have their own screen and history uses a split-screen interface letting you check the pages browsed today, yesterday or over the past week. There’s also a most visited tab.
Synchronizing the browser with your desktop Google Chrome doesn’t need any extra software – you check a box in the settings menu and you are done.
There’s also auto-complete for forms and passwords and you can pick the default zoom level for the browser. Not that altering the zoom is that hard with pinch-zoom, naturally, being supported.
A neat feature allows you to access quick page controls (back, forward, refresh, bookmark etc.) by a swiping gesture performed near the right edge of the screen. You cannot have that and the classical interface though so you have to pick your priorities.
Now, for the Flash performance – the Optimus Pad does okay at 360p videos right in the browser and 480p are watchable too (even if they do get slightly choppy at times). 720p Flash videos on the other hand are completely out of the question, though early reports suggest that the Android 3.1 update upgrades them to only mildly choppy.
And this might have sounded good if it wasn’t for the fact that some Android smartphones are already doing 720p Flash and the Galaxy S II even manages 1080p. Obviously LG (or NVIDIA, we are not quite sure here) still has some catching up to do.
And by the way, if you find Flash content to slow down your page load times or cause stutter when panning, you can switch it to on-demand in the settings menu (or even turn it off all together).
A good set of organizer apps are available on the Optimus Pad, including the Polaris Office that can both view and edit documents.
When you think of organizer features on a smartphone (or tablet) the first app that comes to mind is the calendar. It has five different types of view: daily, weekly and monthly.
Adding a new event is quite straightforward and you can also set an alarm to serve as a reminder.
The calculator app is nicely touch optimized with huge, easy to hit buttons.
The clock app on the Optimus Pad features an alarm clock. It is optimized for big-screen use and is pretty intuitive.
You can naturally set as many alarms as you like.