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LG Optimus Pad Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Camera:

The camera interface doesn't differ from the standard Honeycomb one, but there's nothing wrong with that as it has plenty of options. Leaving the question of the plausibility of including a camera in a tablet aside, we have to admit that numerous settings like white balance (incandescent, daylight, fluorescent), color effects and time lapse are all welcome in the camcorder mode, while in camera mode you also get eight scene selections, exposure and focus mode tweaks. When shooting standard 2D pictures or video, the tablet uses its left camera unit.

The camera interface - LG Optimus Pad Review

The camera interface


Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review

Outdoor samples made with the LG Optimus Pad


Strong - Indoor samples - LG Optimus Pad Review
Medium - Indoor samples - LG Optimus Pad Review
Low light - Indoor samples - LG Optimus Pad Review
Darkness - Indoor samples - LG Optimus Pad Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness

Indoor samples



Unfortunately the quality of the images we took was rather average with slightly washed out colors and lack of much detail. The shots from the five megapixel camera were often noisy, especially when it got darker, and lacked sharpness. But – disappointed with the camera performance – we hoped that Tegra 2's ability to process 1080p full HD videos at 30 frames per second would compensate. It's true that the Optimus Pad sports some neat tweaks to the camcorder like time lapse footage and things are really looking better when it comes to video recording, but still some dropped frames and poor automatic exposure adjustments when you switch between well-lit and dim scenes spoil the good impression. We also wish there was some kind of video editing application, but alas we couldn't even find a way to trim videos.

The video camera interface - LG Optimus Pad Review

The video camera interface



LG Optimus Pad Sample Video:



LG Optimus Pad Indoor Sample Video:



LG takes pride in making the first 3D-enabled Honeycomb tablet and to achieve that effect it has included a dual-camera setup on the back. In concert, the two 5 megapixel cameras on the back can record 3D videos in HD 720p resolution. To access that feature, you have the standalone 3DCamcorder application by LG, which is a rather basic app giving you the opportunity to change only the white balance and depth of the 3D effect. Increasing the standard 3D effect however might lead to eye fatigue and even losing the feeling of depth, so we're not surprised to see LG recommend that children under 5 or pregnant women should not watch 3D and “immediately, stop using it.” You might also find useful the tip warning you not to record objects closer than 1.5 meters.

The 3D video camera interface - LG Optimus Pad Review
The 3D video camera interface - LG Optimus Pad Review

The 3D video camera interface



LG Optimus Pad 3D Sample Video:



So after getting acquainted with all the peculiarities of 3D, you can already record your first video. What's next? The 3DPlayer app allows you to quickly upload it to YouTube in all of its anaglyph glory. And anaglyph stands for a type of stereoscopic 3D effect using two different colors like red and cyan. That's the exact reason why you get a pair of red-cyan anaglyph glasses with the Optimus Pad in some markets. And yes, that's the exact same 3D people got fuzzy about 50 years ago, so you can watch it on pretty much every display given that you have the glasses. And yes, you lose plenty of color information, so don't expect stellar quality. It's funny for a while, but carrying shades everywhere is just impractical and we see 3D more as an interesting addition to toy with in a tablet rather than a central feature.

Watching 3D videos with the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review

Watching 3D videos with the LG Optimus Pad



Multimedia:

Multimedia is in the core of a good tablet experience and that's why the screen quality is of such paramount importance when we speak about tablets. The one on the Optimus Pad comes with a detailed resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, but don't expect to be able to make good use of it in direct sunlight. Except for that it handles media smoothly – we threw 1080p full HD videos at it and it didn't even stutter, the picture quality is top notch with vibrant bright colors. We managed to play 1080p MPEG-4 files on the tablet, but DivX/Xvid encoded movies could also be played after a simple download of the free RockPlayer on the Android Market. The tablet doesn't come with a microSD slot, so you're limited to the 32 gigs of local storage.

The audio quality on the tablet is also above average, but it falls short of the outstanding loud speakers on, say, the Motorola XOOM. Nevertheless, music playback is reasonably loud on LG's slate and even at max volume you can't hear much of a distortion. When it comes to managing music, you have the standard Honeycomb application with impressive huge album art carousel. You just flip through the covers to get to the album of your choice. While that might please the eye, function-wise the player lacks some features like an equalizer, so it's a mixed bag.

The music player - LG Optimus Pad Review
The music player - LG Optimus Pad Review

The music player

 

Finally, pictures are displayed in the Gallery application, which tilts around with your tablet, but except for that you get a very simple interface. Overly simplified, we'd say, as editing options in the image gallery are limited to just rotating images and cropping them. On the flipside of things, sharing is well covered with the possibility to upload images to Picasaweb, as well as share them via email, Facebook/Twitter and Bluetooth.

The Gallery of the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
The Gallery of the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review
The Gallery of the LG Optimus Pad - LG Optimus Pad Review

The Gallery of the LG Optimus Pad



Software:

The LG Optimus Pad is all about vanilla Honeycomb, so that means you get Google's amazing suite of apps including Gmail, YouTube and Maps. The latter has been recoded to fit the full screen of a tablet but except for that you have all familiar features like Street View, 3D view for larger cities, along with navigation.

Google Maps - LG Optimus Pad Review
Google Maps - LG Optimus Pad Review

Google Maps



The YouTube app however has been completely overhauled. Now, you have a huge 3D-esque wall with all the popular videos displayed on it. After picking a video, the screen splits in two panes with your video showing on the left while on the right you can see either related videos or comments.

Oh, and are you looking for any other Honeycomb-optimized apps? No, sirs and madams, there are virtually none of them. Okay, there are tens of applications optimized for tablets, and by tens we mean that we haven't seen more than 50. Heck, even Facebook and Twitter applications for Honeycomb are hard to find. We can't go over the fact that trying to open a couple of apps on the market pushed us into “force close” zone, so some instabilities and a raw aftertaste are definitely noticeable.

2 Comments
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posted on 29 Jun 2011, 22:07

1. ghost_uwi (Posts: 47; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


Ipad 2 for the win :D

posted on 20 Aug 2011, 08:17

2. antonio (unregistered)


I am from panama I bought the tab in USA but then I realiz that it does not support UMTS1900 , is there any way to enable that frequency like samsung did with their phones?

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Display8.9 inches, 1280 x 768 pixels (168 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual core, 1000 MHz
Size9.57 x 5.87 x 0.47 inches
(243 x 149 x 12 mm)
21.87 oz  (620 g)

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