Its LG’s turn now to hog the limelight with the Optimus Pad, after their domestic competitor Samsung has announced the Galaxy Tab 2. The long wait has come to an end, as we finally get to have the official details of what can be termed as the world’s first 3D capable tablet PC at the ongoing Mobile World Congress. Also, with this, the Optimus Pad becomes the second tablet to have been accorded official status after the Galaxy Tab 2 to come loaded with the most advanced version of Android till date – Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Now a good thing with the Optimus Pad is its build quality that is quite good if not absolutely the best. Also, it comes in as a slim package with a matte black at the back that is nice to touch and hold. Interestingly, the tablet is being touted as a a one-handed device, something that is unique and more befits a smartphone than a proper tablet device. The display too suffers from glare issues.
The rest of the spec story is pretty much the same as we have known till now. Like its 8.9 inch screen 1280 x 768 pixel display upfront with a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor on the other side of it. The tablet has an aspect ratio of 15:9 and comes with other usual tablet features such as 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. Also, one aspect about the Optimus Pad worth noting is that LG is one among a very few players out there that have left the Android Honeycomb UI untouched with no custom built layer added on top of what the Honeycomb already has on offer.
However, these apart, the Optimus Tab’s real claim to fame is the tablet’s built in 3D feature in that the tablet comes with a built-in 3D camera that is capable of recording 3D videos. One will have the option to play back the 3D videos on 3D HDTVs via the tablet’s HDMI port or on the tablet’s own display, though one will have to wear special 3D glassed for the optimum 3D effect. The 3D videos thus captured can also be uploaded to YouTube 3D. In fact, it is the Optimus Tab’s ability to also include the third dimension that sets it apart from the rest, something that is evident in the words of Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company who had this to say of their first tablet device: “With a flood of tablets hitting the market, we felt strongly that the LG Optimus Pad needed to set a new standard for what a tablet should be.” “We think the LG Optimus Pad achieves the right blend of portability and viewability with no performance compromises.”
However, in spite of all the gizmos or the dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor inside, initial impressions of the tablet seriously lacked that ‘wow’ factor. While its just initial impressions that is being talked of here as well as the fact that the tablet is yet to reach store shelves, what seems apparent is that the extra dimension is perhaps making life a bit difficult for the NVIDIA Tegra unit. But then, there is still some time for LG to sort things out considering the tablet is expected to launch in March.
Meanwhile, there is also some pricing information available of the LG tablet. Unfortunately, here too its not something that will make one jump for joy. For its €999 that one will have to have in his pockets to be the owner of the first 3D tablet. In dollar terms, it’s about $1,350, more than even the XOOM’s $1,200 price which we thought was a mistake in the first place.