LG Optimus Pad preview: First look
The Optimus Pad comes with two optimized email applications out of the box – one for your Gmail and one that you can use with any POP3/IMAP account.
They both have split-screen interface. Initially, your folders are listed on the left and the emails in the currently selected one appear on the right. Upon clicking on a single email the list of emails moves to the left tab while the body of the selected one pops up on the right.
Bulk actions are supported too, so you will easily manage mailboxes that get tons of messages.
You can setup the automatic email retrieval interval or you can disable that completely and check mail manually.
There’s also a handy setting that makes your client automatically download attachments only when you are connected over Wi-Fi.
It’s basically the treatment you get on Android smartphones with a few optimizations permitted by the large screen and higher resolution.
Writing emails is reasonably comfortable with the virtual QWERTY keyboard occupying about half of the screen. Now this is no match for a hardware keyboard, but you won’t notice any big difference when handling short emails.
There’s auto correction and auto capitalization available and you can enable sounds on keypresses. There’s no haptic feedback so it’s not perfect just yet, but the overall experience is pretty decent.
The Optimus Pad gallery is a pretty standard Android affair in terms of functionality but it has too been tweaked to be more comfortable on the large screen. Naturally, your Picasa web albums are automatically synced with your tablet.
You can sort your images by album, date, location or tag. You can also choose between displaying images, videos or both.
The upper right corner holds shortcuts to the camera, image details preview or extra settings (like make available offline for Picasa albums).
When you are browsing a specific album/date/location/tag the shortcuts change a bit – the extra settings shortcut is replaced by a button that starts a slide show. The icon in the very top left corner becomes active and clicking it brings you back to the full gallery view.
Unfortunately, the Optimus Pad gallery has the same issue as most of its smartphone siblings – it doesn’t show you full size images, but downsized versions instead. This means that you cannot see all the detail on a photo on the tablet itself, which is a pity, given the excellent picture browsing potential.
To end the gallery overview on a positive note we’ll mention a cool accelerometer-based trick. In the default view, albums with more than one photo inside have a cool 3D shadow effect when you tilt the slate.
Good looking music player
The Optimus Pad music player has visually appealing interface and lets you sort your tracks by album, artist, song, genre, playlist or just bring the new and recent additions on top.
Naturally, there’s also a search option, which will be greatly appreciated by those with large music collections. It gets activated by pressing the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner.
When you select a specific album (or a group of tracks based on any filter) you get the familiar split screen interface. Album art, which is naturally supported, appears on the left along with the information about the playlist. The track list goes on the right and the currently playing track (if any) appears at the bottom with quick controls available.
The now playing screen offers shuffle and repeat (including repeat one) functionality, but no equalizers.
Finally, if there is a track playing in background, a dedicated row appears in the notification area showing its name. There are also quick pause or skip controls right there so you don’t need to open the music player every time.