The LG Optimus Pad runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb with the dual 1GHz brains provided by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 platform. You'd think that's enough for a smooth performance, but after playing with the super fast iPad 2 our spoiled minds couldn't help but notice a slight lag in the transitions. It's not something that will annoy you on a regular basis, but it is perceptible. Apart from that you're treated with the cold neon cells of the futuristic vanilla Honeycomb. You should know all about it – it's tailor-made for tablets, but it takes some time to get used to with the weirdly (dis)placed navigation buttons, comes with apps, but nearly no tablet-specific ones, and it feels a bit “Google beta,” but people will still use it.

Unlike the U.S. version, the Optimus Pad comes with no preinstalled apps except for Polaris Office with document viewing and editing support, and the 3DCamcorder and 3DPlayer apps. Everything else is well documented in our thorough Android Honeycomb walkthrough, so feel free to check it out for more details.

Contacts and Organizer:

With Google standing behind Honeycomb it's no wonder that getting the traditionally rich in details cloud-stored contacts from your Google account is a breeze. The added value of a bigger screen has prompted the company to use a dual-pane layout allowing you to quickly browse through contact information which includes their social networking identities as well.

The Calendar won't surprise you in the Optimus Pad either - and that's a good thing. Here you have three standard views by month, week or day, once again enriched to show more information in a dual-pane setup.

Other applications like the clock are somewhat shockingly missing basic functions like a world clock, stopwatch and timer. In addition, it looks like the Calculator has been overly simplified with way too large buttons inconsistent with what's found in other apps. Finally, Honeycomb has one key advantage over iOS and that's voice commands which are integrated system-wide. The LG Optimus Pad is no exception and you can use voice input for your searches and even navigation in Google Maps.


The 8.9-inch screen occupies a middle ground in tablets – smaller than the spacious 10 inchers  and larger than the 7-inch tablets, 8.9 inches on the diagonal should be a perfect size for two handed typing according to LG. We hear those arguments, but we find it at least strange to see that despite LG's focus on the better typing experience on the Optimus Pad, the tablet comes with no notes application whatsoever. Sure, you can go to the Android Market and fix that right away, but such an omission looks strange. Except for that we actually loved the portrait QWERTY keyboard which was a perfect fit for our thumbs reaching right at the middle so every key was within easy reach.

When it comes to the messaging applications you have the traditionally rich Gmail app, which comes with even more options to capitalize on the extra screen space on a tablet, and the Email app. The Gmail application displays two panes simultaneously so you can quickly access your emails, but then when composing a message it switches into a single pane so you can concentrate on that single task and  have more space for the on screen keyboard.

Just like Gmail, the Email app allows you to quickly switch between accounts so you can manage all your inboxes easily. The advantage of the latter app however is that you can get a combined view of all your accounts giving you a bird's-eye look at the number of unread messages in different mailboxes. You can also add your corporate email account but unlike popular messaging services, you'll need some more details like the server name to get it working properly.

Internet and Connectivity:

If you have a tablet, chances are the web is your dwelling place for a large portion of the day, so seamless browsing is of utmost importance. The stock Honeycomb browser supports tabs and with the power of a dual-core processor browsing is truly a breeze. After downloading the latest 10.3 version of Adobe Flash, which didn't come pre-installed on our tablet, we got to enjoy the web at its fullest. Pinch-to-zoom, double taps and text reflow – all works well as it should. We still find puzzling the fact that Honeycomb tablets identify as phones on most websites resulting in you getting the simplified mobile version of pages, while at the same time we're certain that the Optimus Pad could well handle the full load of even graphically intensive websites.

In terms of connectivity, the Optimus Pad comes equipped with Wi-Fi b/g/n radio, an aGPS unit for precise location and Bluetooth 2.1.

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