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LG revists tablets with G Pad 8.3 (pictures)

With a high-resolution screen, quad-core processor, and microSD support, the G Pad brings the goods to the tablet ring.

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1 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

LG's 8.3-inch G Pad tablet

The LG G Pad 8.3 is a (you guessed it) 8.3-inch tablet with a $349.99 price tag. Though LG has been out of the tablet game for a while, the tablet's specs are comparable to today's competition, like its Snapdragon 600 processor and high-resolution screen.

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Crisp HD touchscreen

The Corning glass HD IPS touchscreen has a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution and 273ppi. The display is responsive, sharp, and its size is great for watching movies and playing games.

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4G LTE variant

Not only is there a Wi-Fi-only model available, but Verizon released a 4G LTE G Pad as well.

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More storage if needed

In addition to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, the device has an expandable microSD card slot that holds up to 64GB of external storage.

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Portable and light

The device measures 8.54-inches tall, 4.98-inches wide, and 0.33-inches thick. Positioned vertically, it's easy to hold with one hand. My CNET UK colleague, Andrew Hoyle, was even able to slide it into his inner blazer pocket, and at 0.74 pounds (or 11.8 ounces), its also relatively lightweight.

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Hand me the remote

On the device's top edge you'll find an infrared blaster, seen here on the left. In conjunction with the QuickRemote app, the IR blaster turns the G Pad into a universal remote for things like TVs, DVD players, and projectors.

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A mix of high and low

Though I like the polished, aluminum backside, the stale plastic trimmings dampen the tablet's overall aesthetic and cheapen its feel.

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Powerful innards to work with

Playing the graphics-intensive game Riptide GP 2 makes full use of device's quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor (Wi-Fi variant) and a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU.

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Slightly different processor

Though all G Pads feature a Snapdragon 600 processor, Verizon's model has a 1.5GHz clock speed instead of 1.7GHz.

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A bite of Jelly Bean

The G Pad runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and comes with your usual lineup of Google apps. LG also threw in QPair, which connects your tablet with any Android 4.1 (or later) smartphone via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can see your phone’s notifications, its incoming calls, and more.

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Ho-hum cameras, as expected

The tablet has a 1.3-megapixel camera, as well as a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera (seen here). Some features for both cameras include a voice-activated shutter, geotagging, and different scene modes. Video capabilities include pausing and taking still photos while recording, and 1080p full-HD shooting for the rear camera.

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Let the battery drain

Anecdotally, the device's 4,600mAh battery lasted adequately long. With medium usage and maximum brightness turned on, the G Pad lasted throughout the workday with about 20 percent of juice left.

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Not alone in the market

Though the G Pad 8.3 is an excellent device, $350 is pricey for a small Wi-Fi only tablet. It also faces stiff competition from the Apple iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and the Nexus 7.

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Bigger value on Verizon

However, if you're a Verizon customer, the G Pad 8.3 is more appealing. Priced at $199.99 on-contract, it's one of the cheapest tablets on the carrier. Furthermore, the Nexus 7 is $50 more expensive than the G Pad on Verizon whether users agree to a two-year contract or not.

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