The Bottom Line
Tablets you can enjoy without burning a hole in your wallet
- Solid build quality
- Budget-friendly price
- Great battery life
- Low resolution display
- Poor camera
- Occasional lag
There are a slew of great mid-range tablets available, and LG is hoping to make a name for itself in this category with its latest range of tablets. LG followed up the somewhat popular G Pad 8.3 with a series of mid-range offerings in different sizes, and if you’re looking for an option that is wallet-friendly, this may be the way to go. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at two of these tablets, the LG G Pad 7.0 and the G Pad 10.1. Let’s get started!
There’s no denying that the G Pad 7.0 and 10.1 are budget tablets and aren’t going to compete effectively against some of the higher-end options out there. That said, these two tablets offer a solid build quality, and look a lot nicer than their price point would lead you to believe. Both are made entirely of plastic with a matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about fingerprints. The G Pad 10.1 is obviously the larger of the two devices, but both are sturdy and relatively lightweight. The G Pad 7.0 is slightly thicker, but that shouldn’t affect the handling experience because of its smaller footprint overall.
The button and port layouts are a little different to adjust for the variable sizes. On both, the volume rocker and the power button are on the right side, when the device is in the portrait orientation. On the G Pad 7.0, the microUSB port is at the bottom, while the headphone jack, IR blaster, and the microSD card slot, that is covered by a flap, are found on top. In the case of the G Pad 10.1, the IR blaster is on the same side as the volume rocker and the power button, while the headphone jack, microSD card slot, and microUSB port are on the left side, if you’re holding the device in landscape orientation.
The speakers are located on the back on both, but while it looks like there is a dual speaker setup on the G Pad 7.0, it actually just a single speaker, while the G Pad 10.1 does come with dual speakers. The placement on the back is a little unfortunate, especially on the G Pad 10.1, where you might end up covering them with your hands while holding the device, but they actually offer decent sound quality.
As their name suggests, you get a 7-inch display with the G Pad 7.0, and a 10.1-inch screen on the G Pad 10.1. Even with the difference in size, both displays come with a resolution of 1280 x 800, which is fine on a 7-inch screen, but is a little low for the bigger tablet.
That said, you get decent colour reproduction, great viewing angles, and good brightness, so apart from the low resolution, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to these displays.
Apart from the display size, the specifications of both these tablets are mostly identical. In the case of the processing package, both sport a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.2 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 305 GPU, and 1 GB of RAM. This processing package is becoming increasingly common with the current crop of mid-range devices, be it smartphone or tablet, and as we’ve seen from similar devices, the performance is actually quite good.
There have been a few instances of lag and dropped frames, but for the most part, these tablets can handle day to day tasks very well. Apps opened quickly, swiping and scrolling were smooth most of the time, multi-tasking wasn’t as issue, and playing games was fine, even with something a little more graphically intensive. All things considered, performance is one area where you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
Both tablets come with microSD card slots, which will likely prove useful, as the G Pad 7.0 offers just 8 GB of internal storage, while the G Pad 10.1 packs 16 GB of built-in memory. Both feature an IR blaster and Bluetooth 4.0, while the larger tablet also comes with an NFC chip and dual mono speakers.
When it comes to the battery, the G Pad 7.0 packs a 4,000 mAh unit, while the G Pad 10.1 doubles that capacity, with its 8,000 mAh battery. As expected with such large batteries, you can comfortably get more than a couple of days of battery life with moderate use. I managed around 8 hours of screen on time with the G Pad 10.1, while its smaller sibling lasted for 6 hours. If battery life is a concern, and you aren’t partial to a particular display size, the G Pad 10.1 is the better choice in this regard.
Cameras isn’t a priority when it comes to tablets, and that is certainly true in the case of these two tablets. The G Pad 7.0 features a 3 MP rear shooter, while the G Pad 10.1 comes with a 5 MP unit, with neither including a flash. Both tablets also comes with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.
When it comes to the camera software, you get a simplistic interface similar to what you’d see on any other LG device. Its simplicity helps in the fact that you don’t really have to, or get to, play around with the settings much, but the picture quality is nothing to write home about. These cameras are serviceable in a pinch, but they’re certainly not going to be your go-to option when it comes to mobile photography.
You get Android 4.4 Kitkat out of the box, with the latest version of the LG G UI on top. As such, the software experience is largely similar to what you get with the current crop of LG devices, like the LG G3. From the lock screen, the home screen, the app icons, along with features such as Knock Code, Knock On, and Dual Window, everything is the same here, so if you own a smartphone like the LG G3, or its various mini versions, you’ll be right at home with the G Pad tablets as well.
Another advantage, if you do own a LG smartphone, is the feature called QPair, which allows you to connect your smartphone to your tablet, and use the latter to receive calls, text messages, social network notifications, and more, along with the ability to transfer QMemos across both devices. It’s not a requirement of course, but having another LG device will certainly help you get the most out of the software features of these tablets.
LG G Pad 7.0
LG G Pad 10.1
The LG G Pad 7.0 is available for $150, while the bigger G Pad 10.1 will set you back $250. These tablets are Wi-Fi only, and available colour options include black, red, and white.
So there you have it – a closer look at the LG G Pad 7.0 and G Pad 10.1! Both tablets are quite impressive, with their solid build quality, decent specifications that allow for good performance, and great battery life, all for a great price. If you’re in the market for a tablet that is solid, yet budget-friendly, the G Pad tablet series should definitely be under consideration.