Customers who want Android tablets on Verizon's admittedly excellent LTE network tend to have only a few options, but there are two more this morning. Flagships from both LG and Samsung, the G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro (or NotePRO) 12.2, are now available as branded Verizon devices. You can pick both of them up on the carrier website, and they should be available at retail stores either today or soon after.
We received a tip last week suggesting that Verizon Wireless planned to release the LG G Pad 8.3 with LTE (or the LGGPLTE for short, differentiating it from the LGGPGPE) on March 6th. Today, that leak's been confirmed. Verizon has announced that the tablet will launch on said day for $99.99 with a new two-year activation, with this price lasting for the first four days of availability. After that, it will go up to $199.99.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is a capable tablet with a great form factor. The bummer when it launched was the price. It has come down a bit since then, and with a new sale at Newegg, you can get it for a solid price – just $224.99 in black or white.
In case you're not familiar, the G Pad 8.3 has a Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and an 8.3-inch 1920x1200 LCD.
Verizon may have taken forever to offer the current Nexus 7, but if this leak is to be believed, the carrier won't take nearly as long to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. According to a leaked internal document, the tablet is scheduled to become available on March 6th. It's not alone, either. The LG G Pad 8.3 is set to launch on the same day.
LG's flagship tablet (and currently the company's only one) is certainly making headlines today. Just this morning we saw an impressive $100 off deal for the WiFi version, and now it looks like there's a carrier variant in the works. The reliable Evleaks posted photos of a G Pad 8.3 with Verizon's telltale branding, indicating that the tablet will be coming to Big Red sometime in the future.
LG G Pad 8.3 for Verizon.
Looking for a good mid-sized tablet? You can't do much better than the LG G Pad 8.3, the company's first tablet in two years, at least in terms of hardware. The price is a bit high at $350 retail, but today you can get some relief from that sticker shock. Newegg has the G Pad 8.3 on sale for just $279.99, plus a $30 discount with a code at checkout, bringing the total price down to a very reasonable $249.99.
In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.
Following the HTC One GPE and Galaxy S4 GPE updates that rolled out over the weekend, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE is now receiving its first OTA. Rumblings about the update started as early as Friday, but we decided to wait until we had the OTA zip link. The new firmware version is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H, which brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.
There is no official changelog with the update, so it's currently unknown what, if any, device-specific bugs may have been fixed.
The LG G Pad 8.3 entered the Play Store nearly a week ago, becoming the first Google Play Edition tablet and the closest thing you can get to an 8-inch Nexus. Unfortunately, this model is no cheaper than the original, and at $349 for 16GB, it's over $100 more expensive than the Nexus 7. But here's the deal - if you don't mind using a G Pad 8.3 with LG's less-than-stellar custom software, or you're up for installing a custom ROM yourself, then you might like to know that you can get the original G Pad 8.3 for $299.99 from eBay and Best Buy.
Earlier this week, Google rather unexpectedly announced two brand-new Google Play Experience devices (for the US only, of course) - the LG G Pad 8.3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The G Pad 8.3 will set you back $350, while the Z Ultra is $650, though both devices rather undeniably fill niches in the Google device ecosystem. The G Pad acts as a mid-size tablet, a la iPad Mini, something a lot of enthusiasts have been asking Google to build for years now.