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For a short time, LG had the distinction of having the rare 8-inch (20-centimeter) tablet with a high-resolution screen. But then Apple came along and stole the spotlight when it unveiled a new iPad Mini with an even better screen.
That doesn't mean you should dismiss LG Electronics Inc.'s new tablet outright, particularly if you have an Android phone. There are a number of features that improve how you work with multiple apps and stay connected without touching your phone features that other tablet makers ought to consider. These additions, though, aren't enough to distinguish this device as the best tablet for the money.
The new LG G Pad 8.3 has a screen that measures surprise 8.3 inches (21 centimeters) diagonally. With a screen resolution of 1,920 pixels by 1,200 pixels, it's enough for high-definition video.
It goes on sale in the U.S. starting Sunday for $350 cheaper than the new iPad Mini, which will start at $399 when it comes out later in November. But while the iPad Mini has a smaller screen, at 7.9 inches (20 centimeters), the resolution on that is better, at 2,048 pixels by 1,536 pixels. Google and Amazon also have tablets with high-resolution screens, but at 7 inches (17.5 centimeters). Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire HDX are also much cheaper, at $229.
Unlike the iPad, the G Pad can pair with an Android smartphone with a Bluetooth wireless connection. All you need is the free QPair app from LG. I got it working with LG's G2 phone as well as Samsung's Galaxy S III. When someone calls your phone, you see who's calling on the tablet. You can choose to reject the call and even text back a reply to say that you're busy.
Texts you get on the phone will appear on your tablet, and you can reply from it. Unfortunately, you're limited to one reply, and you can't initiate a text from the tablet. Another drawback: You can't receive texts with photos or video on the tablet.
Nevertheless, these features are nice to have when you're comfortable on your couch and don't want to bother with answering the phone. You can keep doing what you're doing on the tablet. It's also nice to be able to focus on just one device at a time when multiple gadgets frequently tug at our attention spans. The iPad also lets you send texts using its Messages app, but