Imaging, Benchmark Performance and Conclusion
The G Tablet 8.3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz processor and 2GB RAM. While we're sure you're wondering why hadn't they equipped with the newer Snapdragon 800 processor, a likely reason for this choice is that LG wants to lower the overall cost of the tablet to make it affordable to the masses. Nonetheless, the Snapdragon 600 is still quite a capable processor and the G Tablet 8.3 is much better equipped than most of LG's Android counterparts which run on older, less advanced processors at the sub S$500 price point. Let's see how the G Tablet 8.3 fares against the current crop of devices in its class:
Quadrant evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performances.
The Snapdragon 600 processor in the G Tablet 8.3 proved its worth by propelling the LG tablet to the top on the Quadrant benchmark with a score of 11,941. The Tegra 4-powered Slate 7 Extreme is not far behind while the other Android tablets are clearly lagging behind.
Originally developed as a PC benchmarking tool, 3DMark is now expanded to support multiple platforms, including iOS. Its Ice Storm benchmark is based off the OpenGL ES 2.0 API and is designed for smartphones, mobile devices and ARM architecture compute devices. It includes two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU performance of your device and a physics test to stress its CPU performance.
3DMark now consists of three test sections: Ice Storm, Ice Storm Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited. Most recent flagship devices easily maxed out the score on Ice Storm and Ice Storm Extreme; as such, we will focus on Ice Storm Unlimited.
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited uses off-screen rendering resolution at 1080p, higher quality textures and post-processing effects to create a more demanding load for the latest smartphones and tablets. It also disables vertical sync, display resolution scaling and other operating system factors that can affect the result, thus making it ideal for chip-to-chip comparisons of different chipsets.
Despite coming with a superior processor, the G Tablet 8.3 ranked fourth behind the Nexus 7 (2013). Apple's PowerVR G6430 GPU and HP Slate 7 Extreme's 72 stream processor core ULP GeForce GPU currently rank at the top of the chart.
The G Tablet 8.3 ranked on-par with the Nexus 7 (2013), but it was bested by Apple's iPad Mini with Retina Display and HP's recent Slate 7 Extreme running NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor. For added information, LG's performance is in line with most Snapdragon 600-powered devices that we're reviewed such as the HTC One Max, which scored 1157.2ms in the same benchmark.
Despite the result, for day-to-day usage, user navigation was smooth and lag-free. Overall, we found no issues with web browsing or multitasking between apps.
The G Pad Tablet 8.3 comes with a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. The camera interface is carried over from the G2 and the G Flex, which comes with a range of shooting modes and options such as panorama, time catch shot, ISO settings and color effect. The volume key can be customized to capture or zoom during photo-taking.
Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:
• Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
• Constant data streaming through email and Twitter
The G Tablet 8.3 lasted just over five hours in our battery test, which is rather decent compared to its 8-inch competitors. The Yoga Tablet 8 and Galaxy Tab 3 (8.0) could last longer as they have slightly smaller and lower resolution (1,280 x 800 pixels) displays. In addition, the Yoga Tablet 8 has a higher battery capacity of 6,000mAh.
As a result, the G Tablet 8.3 registered the second highest power consumption behind the iPad Mini with Retina Display. The main power draw is of course its 8.3-inch Full-HD display. Given these consideration, the power draw is acceptable.
We measure the portability of a device by calculating its battery life to (weight x volume) ratio and the G Tablet 8.3 ranked last among the competition. Having the shortest battery mileage and one of the bulkiest form factors put the G Tablet 8.3 at a disadvantage in terms of being mobile and away from a charging point or needing an extra battery pack for all-day usage.
The LG G Tablet 8.3 retailing at just S$438 is a great alternative if you find the display of the Nexus 7 (2013) a tad small and the iPad Mini with Retina display too expensive. We find its design and build quality to be as good, or even better than the Nexus 7, and is clearly miles ahead of the other 7 or 8-inch tablets with plastic chassis. Its 8.3-inch Full-HD display is a treat for the eyes as it is one of the best screens we've seen so far.
While most consumers may not use the additional software features introduced by LG, there are three practical ones that we want to highlight: KnockON, QSlide and the on screen button customization. KnockON eliminates the process of pressing the power button to turn on the display while QSlide lets you multitask more efficiently on a larger display. The on screen button customization makes the tablet more usable by left and right-hand consumers.
Its battery mileage may not be as good as its peers, but that's expected of a tablet with a bigger Full-HD display. The other point to take note of is LG's track record of delivering Android updates for its mobile devices. Unlike ASUS, HTC, Samsung and Sony, LG hasn't been very consistent in ensuring its mobile devices are updated to the latest Android versions in a timely fashion. If you want the latest Android updates, you can consider the Google Play Edition which retails for US$349.99 (~S$$444 based on USD to SGD conversion rates at press time.) The price difference isn't much, but you have to take note of the shipping costs and the lack of local warranty coverage.
Apart from that, the LG G Tablet 8.3 is an excellent take of a handy modern tablet and we are keen to find out what else LG might have in store for the tablet market in the near future.