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Christmas Gift Guide

Google's LG G Pad 8.3 tablet

Stock Android on an HD screen

Stately black aesthetic

Expandable memory up to 64GB

Limited photo features

The same, but faster

Nearly identical to the original in hardware, the major difference with Google's LG G Pad 8.3 Play Edition is that it runs the unadorned stock version of Android 4.4 KitKat. It's available online at the Play Store for $349 -- a reasonable price for those dead set on a mid-sized tablet with vanilla Android.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The G Pad still has an 8.3-inch HD display with a 1,920x1,200 pixel resolution and 273ppi. It also has a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and a 4,600mAh battery.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Though it makes the G Pad a bit more slippery, I like the device's smooth, faux-metal back panel. I also like how the tablet feels dense, without it being too heavy. Both characteristics give the G Pad a polished look.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the device's top edge you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot that's expandable up to 64GB. The right houses a sleep/power button and volume rocker. At the bottom is a Micro-USB port for charging and transferring files.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The device sports a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear shooter. Since it doesn't have LG's built-in camera and photo editing software, you won't get features like pausing while recording, or activating the shutter with a voice command. However, you will get HDR shooting, and Photo Sphere.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Additional features include a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, 16GB of internal storage, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. During our tests for processor speeds, the Google variant scored a bit higher than its original LG counterpart.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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