The LG Optimus Pad, selling in the United States as the G-Slate, was released in February of 2011. While it shares many of its features with most other current-gen tablets available, including Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi, the tablet has some unique 3D-ready features that set it apart from the competition.
The main selling point on the Optimus is its video capture technology. Its rear-facing cameras (yes, that's plural) provide smooth 2D 1080p HD video that is far and away the best quality available on any tablet or smartphone. As if that wasn't enough - and here's where the plural comes in - the dual 5-megapixel cameras capture 720p HD video in 3D at 30 frames per second. A third, front-facing camera is rated at 2 megapixels and allows the user to take full advantage of the video conferencing capabilities introduced in the latest version of Android.
The screen itself isn't 3D-ready like the Nintendo 3DS, so glasses are required for properly viewing 3D video. Despite that, the 8.9-inch screen features a vibrant resolution of 1280 x 768. An integrated 3D graphics accelerator provides smooth video playback in 2D and 3D modes, and the capacitive multi-touch screen is fast and responds well to gestures and input.
Under the hood, the tablet runs a 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor working with a full gig of RAM. The 32 GB of internal storage on the Optimus Pad can be expanded via a microSD slot. Android 3.1 was the operating system of choice, and the operating system is relatively free of the buggy proprietary software that LG included on their Optimus 2X.
If viewing videos on the small screen isn't your thing, the Optimus Pad has an external HDMI port that allows you to output video to a TV or projector. For viewing 3D video, glasses will still be required, even on 3D-ready televisions; however, the inclusion of an external video port is something that many competitors have overlooked on their tablets.
- The video capture capabilities on this tablet are the best available, including 2D 1080p HD and 3D 720p HD video capture modes.
- A standard mini HDMI port allows users to watch captured video on their television without the need for adaptors, disc burning, or video conversion software.
- Its unique size means that many standard accessories designed for 7-inch or 10-inch tablets may not properly fit this tablet.
- Rather than sporting a 3D-ready screen, glasses are needed to get the most out of the phone's 3D experience.
While in many ways the Optimus Pad is just another tablet, the 3D capabilities featured in this model make it stand out just enough from the competition to be noticed. However, for users not interested in such features, its relatively high price may be enough to cause many to shy away.