February 14, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Does the world really need 3D mobile devices? No, but companies are going to keep putting them out. That’s why the LG Optimus Pad, announced at MWC 2011, garnered so much attention today. My elbows are still sore from dealing with all the press members crowding around LG’s booth, but I finally managed to take a break and get some solid hands-on time with the device. Here’s my impression of the LG Optimus Pad (ps the T-Mobile G-Slate is the same thing, just under a different name).
The Optimus Pad is the ideal size for a tablet. It has a larger screen than the Galaxy Tab but is smaller and lighter than the iPad. At 8.9-inches, the touchscreen is beautiful but the device is still light enough for me to hold with one during a brief period of time. That means the pad will be among the more portable devices, and the 15:9 aspect ratio and 1280 x 768 resolution will make for a good video viewing experience.
But the video-making experiencing is three-dimensional thanks to dual 5 megapixel cameras mounted on the back of the device. LG featured a live monitor that allowed me to record a video on the Pad and then see it played back on a connected large television. I found that the quality was passable, but I still question how much people actually want to be able to record 3D video. While watching the resulting video, I didn’t feel anything was really added to the experience since there’s really just a thin layer separating the background from foreground. You’re not exactly recreating Avatar here, folks. But if you want to put on your glasses and see Junior score the game-winning goal in 3D, or feel like Melissa is jumping right at you during her dance recital, this will be good enough.
The Optimus Pad 3D capabilities are another way for LG to distinguish the product from similar models. It runs Android 3.0, so users can rely on strong software that we’ve already covered. Here’s a hands-on video.