LG's new G Pad tablets boast smarter keyboard, tap-based security

The new Android tablets are packed with a savvier keyboard to reduce typos and a KnockCode feature to power on and unlock in one step. But will consumers bite?

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LG's new G Pad tablet lineup. LG

LG is launching three new Android tablets with features borrowed from its smartphone lineup.

On Thursday, the company debuted the 7-inch G Pad 7.0, the 8-inch G Pad 8.0, and the 10.1-inch G Pad 10.1. The 7-inch model is set to launch in Europe this week, while its larger siblings will roll out to European users over the next several weeks.

LG faces a competitive tablet market dominated by a select few companies. Apple's iPad still reigns supreme but has lost market share to Android rivals. In the Android world, Samsung has become the No. 1 tablet maker, followed by Asus, Amazon, and Lenovo. Recent reports from IDC and Gartner don't even show LG as one of the contenders, which means the company is stuck in the "others" category. So even with innovative new tablets, LG has its work cut out trying to carve out a bigger slice of the tablet market.

So what makes LG's new trio innovative?

The new tablets will incorporate the KnockCode security feature already found on its smartphones. Through KnockCode, you can power on and unlock your device in one fell swoop through a series of taps. The G Pad tablets will remember up to four sets of knock patterns, which means multiple people can use the same tablet and maintain their own unique security.

The Smart Keyboard feature gracing LG's new G3 phone will also pop up in the three tablets. This feature aims to cut down on keyboard errors by learning from your typing habits to better predict what you intend to type. LG claims that Smart Keyboard can reduce typos by as much as 75 percent.

Finally, the new tablets will borrow the G3's multitasking Dual Window mode, which splits the screen to let you view and use two apps at the same.

As for the specs, all three tablets will come with a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and a 1,280x800 HD display. Buyers will have a choice of five colors -- black, white, red, orange, and blue.

And just when might these tablets travel beyond Europe? LG didn't reveal any plans in its press release. CNET contacted the company for comment and will update the story with any further information.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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