I like Buying old technology which is still usable today and available at a fraction of the cost. The LG G Pad 8.3 is a perfect example of a tablet that is still a functional workhorse in 2019, yet I was able to buy one off of eBay for $45.
A modern tablet in the same price range would be something like the Amazon Fire 7, Which I also have. The Amazon Fire 7 performs terrible compared to the LG G Pad 8.3, in fact that is why I “Upgraded” the Fire 7 with an older and cheaper tablet. The G Pad is at least twice as capable in nearly every way.
Brand new in 2013, The G Pad was sold for $350, which was pricey at the time, but there are a few advantages that justify that higher price. First, it has a beautiful full HD IPS panel in 8.3 inches. It looks really good, even compared to displays today. The pixel density is high enough to look very sharp, especially compared to the blurry and washed out Amazon Fire 7.
The G Pad also has a headphone jack, microSD expansion slot (16GB internal), Infrared blaster (TV control), and some models include LTE modems that you can use to get wireless data (most of the ones I saw on eBay were this variety). There’s also two speakers in the back that give you pretty decent stereo sound when holding the tablet in landscape orientation.
The only real negative to the tablet is that it is 5 years old. You should expect 1/2 as much battery life as it originally might have held at this age. Unfortunately I was not able to figure out a way to replace the internal battery. There are instruction guides on the internet but they are all for the non-LTE versions. I was able to pop off the screen on my tablet and look inside and it looked NOTHING like what is shown on all the replacement guides. I could see the battery but it looked like it was held on the other side of plastic guards and circuits. There were no screws and I didn’t see a way to get to the battery without breaking things. So for now the tablet could probably last for about 4 hours of continuous use, but not much longer.
If I were to buy this tablet again I would get one without any cell reception as those looked like you can replace the battery with more ease. (but it still wouldn’t be easy)
Performance wise the LG G Pad 8.3 holds up pretty well. Internally it has the same chips that were in the Nexus 4, which was a pretty nice little phone I used back in the day. The highest official version of Android you can get on it is Lollipop, but there are unofficial ones you can get if you’re interested in a more complicated installation. I stuck with Lollipop since it seems to work just fine! Apps work, web browsing works, I can read eBooks and watch 720p h.264 encoded videos just fine. The Audio quality with headphones is also very good, almost as good as my LG V20.
There are some stutters you might see here and there, especially when scrolling through a complicated website. But those stutters are barely perceptible and probably just a missed frame here and there. It really can handle just about anything you’d want to use today.
If you’re looking for a cheap tablet, but don’t want to compromise on quality, I definitely recommend the LG G Pad 8.3. Only get the one without LTE so that you can more easily replace the battery. You’ll get a nifty little tablet that should serve you well for still years to come.