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Tablets

LG Optimus Pad

LG began its official press announcement of the Optimus Pad with a slide referring to a "Tablet War" and its opening salvo in this battle is one of a unique size.

First impressions

Industry analysts are predicting 50 million tablets to be sold globally in 2011, and if what we've seen so far is any indication, those 50 million shoppers will have a tough time choosing between the best of them. Optimus Pad is the third Android Honeycomb tablet announced thus far, and one of the key selling points is a screen that is bigger than the Galaxy Tab but smaller than the iPad.

LG professes to have conducted a slew of research before deciding that the perfect tablet size included a screen that is 8.9 inches diagonally. At this size, LG suggests you should be able to pick it up with one hand but type comfortably on it with two.

This screen also sports a very crisp-looking WXGA (1280x768-pixel) resolution with a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor weighing a total of 654 grams, or about 100 grams lighter than the iPad. It has two stereoscopic 5-megapixel cameras for shooting in 720p 3D, but you'll need a snazzy pair of blue-and-red glasses to watch the playback.

Outlook

It's a little heavier than the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a little smaller than the Motorola Xoom and there's nothing in the software, it seems, that differentiates this trio of Honeycomb computers. The Pad does have 3D recording though, and maybe LG is right about hitting the sweet spot in size, though surely that's up to the size of one's hands. The Optimus Pad will be released in Europe in March with other regions to follow.

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