Yesterday's announcement by Samsung of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 might have seemed like something of an echo of the Motorola XOOM. Well, with LG's recent unveiling of the Optimus Pad at MWC, we can still see some resemblance but with a few alterations making it worthy of further attention.
First up, the Optimus Pad refrains from the somewhat popular 10-inch screen diagonal seen on both Motorola and Samsung's tablets. If you have doubts about the handiness of a 10-inch device, it seems that LG shares your sentiments: the Optimus Tab scales the display back to 8.9 inches, while maintaining a similar 1280x760 WXGA resolution. This should make the device relatively more comfortable to use single-handedly, while still providing more screen real-estate than the alternative 7-inch trend.
The Optimus Pad also includes a 3D camera on the back with HDMI connectivity for playback. The device itself does not have a 3D screen, but a passing mention is made to YouTube 3D for uploading your depth-filled videography.
These differences in the Optimus Tab are enough to differentiate it from the majority of the devices we have seen so far, but there are of course several fundamental similarities too. The Optimus Pad includes the increasingly widespread NVIDIA Tegra 2, and runs straight-up vanilla Android 3.0, which is in accord with a rather positive trend amongst the latest Android tablets of leaving well enough alone.
If this all sounds quite tempting to you, there looks be a mercifully short time to wait. We've already seen an announcement of the Optimus Pad under the guise of the T-Mobile G-Slate last month, and LG state in their press release that the Optimus Pad should begin shipping "in local markets" in March, so we should be seeing how the 8.9-inch size works out soon enough.
Update: Here's a video from LG:
SETTING A NEW STANDARD IN TABLETS, LG OPTIMUS PAD DEBUTS AT MWC
Designed for Both Work and Play, LG’s 8.9-inch Tablet is Convenient to Hold with One Hand; Features Android 3.0, Dual Core CPU, 3D Camera
Barcelona, February 14, 2011 – LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled the highly anticipated LG Optimus Pad at a press conference on opening day of Mobile World Congress 2011. With diverse multimedia and productivity features, the LG Optimus Pad features a unique 8.9-inch display for one-handed portability and uncompromising viewability, a departure from the trend toward tablets featuring 7- and 10-inch screens.
The LG Optimus Pad is powered by Google’s Android 3.0 platform and the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor. The world’s first tablet with a 3D camera, the LG Optimus Pad wraps users in an immersive multimedia environment with Full HD 1080p decoding.
“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,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. “We think the LG Optimus Pad achieves the right blend of portability and viewability with no performance compromises.”
The LG Optimus Pad also represents the fruits of a close partnership between LG and visual computing leader NVIDIA. “The world of computing is shifting under our feet,” said Phil Carmack, Senior Vice President of NVIDIA’s mobile business. “Tablets are quickly taking their place as our most personal computer, providing previously unimagined capabilities and full mobility. The new LG Optimus Pad uses NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 to give consumers outstanding levels of power, speed and performance.”
Easy Portability, Ideal Viewability
Sized at 8.9-inch diagonally and 149.4-mm horizontally, the LG Optimus Pad offers a sensible solution to other tablets on the market that are either too large for comfortable portability or too small for ideal viewing. The conveniently-sized LG Optimus Pad fits comfortably in one hand, goes anywhere and slips easily into purses and slim briefcases. With 15:9 aspect ratio, the LG Optimus Pad allows users access to the full range of applications in Android Market and its 1280 x 768 WXGA resolution vividly displays multimedia content in full widescreen format.
Powerful, Fast and Versatile Platform
The LG Optimus Pad is powered by Android 3.0, Google’s latest platform optimized for tablets which supports larger display resolutions and applications specifically designed for tablets, including Google eBooks, Google Maps 5, and Google Talk. Android 3.0 also makes the LG Optimus Pad easy to use with a more intuitive PC-like interface. The LG Optimus Pad fully utilizes the 1 GHz Dual Core CPU of NVIDIA Tegra 2 to deliver lag-free web browsing and quick app start up. The superb graphics and multitasking capabilities of NVIDIA Tegra 2 enables the LG Optimus Pad to run multiple apps simultaneously and handle rich multimedia with ease.
Haven for Multimedia Enthusiasts
As the world’s first tablet equipped with a 3D camera, users can capture vivid images and video with the LG Optimus Pad for viewing on 3D TVs using HDMI or on the web via YouTube 3D. Business users will also appreciate the built-in videoconferencing feature. With 1080p Full HD decoding, movie enthusiasts can transfer high quality content to their TVs without any loss in picture quality. Serious and casual gamers alike will delight in the wide collection of console-quality games available through the Tegra Zone app that runs seamlessly on the LG Optimus Pad.
The LG Optimus Pad will begin shipping in local markets starting in March.