LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Interface and functionality
The iPad mini 2 with Retina Display runs the latest iOS 7 version, which introduced the biggest interface overhaul since the beginning of iDevices. It sports flat, colorful icons, a rich-content notification bar, and Control Center which flaunts connectivity toggles and other commands, and comes on when you flick up from the bottom of the display.
The G Pad 8.3 runs Android 4.2.2 with LG's own interface overlay that puts swipeable connectivity toggles and the so-called Qslide apps in the notification bar. Those apps can run in windows on top of whatever else you are doing underneath, aiding your multitasking needs, as you can open two windows at once, and resize them as your heart desires. The tablet is also available as the first Google Play Edition slate, meaning you can find it stripped of all manufacturer overlays, and running Android 4.4 KitKat, though this version runs for $350, $50 more than you can find a regular G Pad 8.3 at.
The default keyboard on the G Pad 8.3 flaunts finger-tracing functionality, similar to Swype, where you simply slide your fingertip from one letter to another until the word gets recognized. If you master this mode, it can be much faster than tapping away with your thumbs. Otherwise the tablets' size allows pretty comfortable two-thumb typing from both sides, with the ergonomics prize going to the iPad mini 2's keyboard, which sports large, well-spaced letters.
The Android tablet interface is tailored fine for a larger screen real estate, splitting the screen with navigational menus on the left and content on the right, just like on the iPad mini 2. Apple's slate, however, can take full advantage of more than 400,000 iOS apps written exclusively for tablets. Most decent Android apps scale well up to a larger screen size, plus on 8-inchers the difference is not that visible as it would be on a 10” tablet, but if the layout is drawn from the get-go for tablets, it really shows and feels in usability and comfort, not to mention the superior graphics quality of iPad-only apps.
Processor and memory
The iPad mini 2 carries the first mobile 64-bit processor, Apple's dual-core A7, coupled with 1 GB of RAM and a raging PowerVR G6430 GPU, while the LG G Pad 8.3 is powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 with Adreno 320 graphics, and has 2 GB of RAM. Both tablets feel mighty fast while scouring the interface and loading apps, but the iPad mini 2 is just in another league with that processor, hitched to a 64-bit-optimized iOS 7 software. Finger flicks and swipes feel instantaneous, apps load seamlessly, and overall performance just feels quite a bit smoother than on the G Pad, despite the higher screen resolution.
The iPad mini 2 can be had in 16 GB - 128 GB internal memory configurations, whereas the G Pad comes with 16 GB and 32 GB versions, but, unlike Apple's tablet, you have a microSD slot for adding up to 64 GB more storage, if needed.
Internet and connectivity
The same stellar performance fluidity mentioned for the iPad mini 2 interface goes to the stock Safari browser on the tablet, which renders pages crazy fast, while scrolling, panning or zooming are a joy to use. Not that the stock Android browser or mobile Chrome on the G Pad don't perform well, but, say, zooming follows your fingers with a fraction of a second delay, whereas on the iPad mini 2 it feels like the screen zooms simultaneously with the spread of your fingers, as if attached with magnets to your fingertips.
Unlike the G Pad, Apple offers its iPad mini 2 with cellular connectivity, too, and with a record 14 band support at that. The rest of the wireless radios are pretty much common for both tablets – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and A-GPS – while the G Pad adds one infrared port at the top to control your TV and other home electronics from across the room with the respective QRemote app.
As for wired connectivity, Apple's Lightning port allows the iPad mini to be hooked up to the HDMI port on your TV with the respective adapter cable, while with the LG G Pad 8.3 you can also use a Slimport converter, if you want to connect it to the largest screen in the house.