The first true Google Play edition tablet from LG and Google

We've been using the LG G Pad 8.3 for a while now, and we've been excited to get a look at this one since Google announced it yesterday afternoon. LG makes one heck of a tablet, and their display technology is legendary, so what happens when you pair Google's Android with it should be really interesting.

So far, it has been. LG strays pretty far from the vanilla Android experience, so these two stop feeling the same the minute you turn them both on. The Google Play edition feels "darker", and pretty sparse. Designed to be fortified with applications from Google Play's app store, out-of-the-box Google Play devices seem bare-boned. That's a good thing for many, and an easy to overcome issue for everyone.

G Pad 8.3 Google Play edition

What we see though, we like. The great hardware of the G Pad runs the Google experience rather nicely. Everything seems snappy and smooth, and the great display makes it all look outstanding. The black version with its brushed aluminum back is sure to have a good many admirers. It's thin and light, with the perfect-sized bezels to keep hold of everything. 

The Nexus 7 has some serious competition, and we think plenty of folks will think the price difference is worth it. On the specifications side, the G Pad has an 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 display, a Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage with an SD card slot. The Google Play edition carries the exact same specs as the original.

At $349 for the Wifi version, you're spending about $120 more than you would on a equally spec'd Nexus 7. That's not pocket change, so you have a decision to make. We're going to help, as we look at the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play edition over the coming weeks.