G Pad won't compete with iPad mini: LG

The G Pad 8.3 is a competitor to Samsung, rather than Apple, says LG

LG says its new G Pad 8.3 Android tablet will not compete directly with Apple's iPad mini, despite having a similar screen size and price tag.

LG's new G Pad 8.3 Android tablet goes on sale next week, through JB Hi-Fi.
LG's new G Pad 8.3 Android tablet goes on sale next week, through JB Hi-Fi.

The company announced the Australian release of its first Android tablet yesterday. The G Pad 8.3 has a 8.3in IPS display and will be sold exclusively through JB Hi-Fi from next week for an outright price of $399.

Despite immediate comparisons to the iPad mini, LG Australia's mobile product manager, Joshua Corin, told Good Gear Guide the G Pad 8.3 is a competitor to Samsung's Android tablets, rather than Apple's popular range of iPad products.

"It's probably not so much competing with the iPad mini, even though they're there. I would imagine iOS users and Android users are starting to seperate in terms of buyers knowing what they want, I don't think they're cross shopping between the two. The nearest competitor is going to be another Korean company, I would imagine."

While not mentioning Samsung specifically, LG appears to believe the G Pad 8.3 will take sales away from other Android tablet vendors, rather than Apple.

Korean rival Samsung currently sells a comparable Galaxy Tab 3 8in tablet for $349 in Australia, which it debuted in July. However, it has a significantly lower resolution screen compared to the G Pad 8.3.

"In terms of the experience for music and videos, the screen itself is a great size for full HD. You have a very small border around it, whereas other devices you do sort of get that letterboxing effect, so the actual content is stuck in the middle of this black screen. Coupling that with the two speaker system gives you a really good experience in terms of viewing movies."

"There are a lot of Android devices on the market, but we look at it, it's a unique screen size, but it's typically around the same size as a seven inch device. It's full HD, which a lot of devices aren't in that space at the moment, so it ticks quite a few of the right boxes for where it's sitting."

The LG G Pad 8.3 is powered by a 1.7GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with 16GB of storage. A microSD card slot is included for users to expand the on-board memory.

The LG G Pad 8.3 runs the 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android operating system, but the company has skinned the interface with a number of its own features.

The most notable is QPair, which links the tablet to any Android smartphone via Bluetooth and an LG app, and allows users to receive call and message notifications on the G Pad 8.3.

LG believes the ability to link the tablet with any Android smartphone, and not just an LG device, will make it appeal to a wider range of consumers.

"What we're trying to do with our products is open them up to more than LG, so we're not trying to make our own ecosystem of 'it only works with LG products'.

"The rationale behind that, and the way in which we've developed these things is that people don't go to buy a new tablet, a new TV, a new smartphone all at the same time so they can work together."

"We know that people will replace things as they get past their use by date, so if we've got a tablet that will work with with somebody else's smartphone, then it enhances our capability. People will value what we offer around that, rather than not being able to use that QPair functionality because it only works with LG devices."

The LG G Pad 8.3 will be sold exclusively through JB Hi-Fi from next week and will stay as a retail exclusive until early 2014, a period of approximately three months.

"It's exclusive with JB Hi-Fi from mid November. We normally do an exclusive for a period of time so that will take us into 2014, and then we can extend into other retailers after that."

The 16GB model of the G Pad 8.3 will sell for $399 outright from next week.

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Ross Catanzariti

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