We've just gotten back from playing around with LG's 8.9-inch, 3D-friendly Optimus Pad (known as the G-Slate in the US). This Android Honeycomb tablets sports a dual-core CPU inside and a dual-camera array outside, giving you both the optical and processing capabilities to produce 3D video. Its screen cannot actually play back glasses-free 3D, but if you really have to have that third dimension on the move, you'll be able to buy a set of glasses to recreate the effect. The Optimus Pad is slim, though we couldn't get a great feel for its ergonomics with all the wiring attached to it, has nicely curved corners, a matte black back cover that's pleasant to the touch and seemingly durable, and an extremely glossy screen up front.

We likened the Pad to the Optimus 2X in an earlier post and it carries over a lot of industrial design elements from its smartphone sibling, including the metallic strip down the middle of its rear branded with a "with Google" logo. That's actually meaningful this time -- the Optimus 2X wasn't a stock Android installation, it was subjected to LG's (not entirely successful tweaks), however the Pad looks to be a straight Google Experience Device, in much the same vein as the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, its nearest and most direct competitors. That being said, the code on the device we handled still wasn't up to scratch on the software front, as evidenced by us managing to crash both the browser and Google Maps within a few minutes of putting down our first fingerprints on the tablet. The 3D camcorder also seems like a memory hog, we weren't able to get it started up initially because of the number of apps that were already open (which at the time was no more than four). Let's remain optimistic, though, this wasn't exactly a slate we snatched off a retail shelf and LG has time to optimize and spruce things up before shipping this thing out. We've got pictures for you below and a press release after the break. Video is incoming at the very fastest speed our wireless connection can carry it.

Update: Video is now in, get to the ogling!

LG Optimus Pad first hands-on!

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SETTING A NEW STANDARD IN TABLETS,LG OPTIMUS PAD DEBUTS AT MWC

Designed for Both Work and Play, LG's 8.9-inch Tablet is Convenient to
Hold with One Hand; Features Android 3.0, Dual Core CPU, 3D Camera

Barcelona, February 14, 2011 – LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled the highly anticipated LG Optimus Pad at a press conference on opening day of Mobile World Congress 2011. With diverse multimedia and productivity features, the LG Optimus Pad features a unique 8.9-inch display for one-handed portability and uncompromising viewability, a departure from the trend toward tablets featuring 7- and 10-inch screens.

The LG Optimus Pad is powered by Google's Android 3.0 platform and the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor. The world's first tablet with a 3D camera, the LG Optimus Pad wraps users in an immersive multimedia environment with Full HD 1080p decoding.

"With a flood of tablets hitting the market, we felt strongly that the LG Optimus Pad needed to set a new standard for what a tablet should be," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. "We think the LG Optimus Pad achieves the right blend of portability and viewability with no performance compromises."

The LG Optimus Pad also represents the fruits of a close partnership between LG and visual computing leader NVIDIA. "The world of computing is shifting under our feet," said Phil Carmack, Senior Vice President of NVIDIA's mobile business. "Tablets are quickly taking their place as our most personal computer, providing previously unimagined capabilities and full mobility. The new LG Optimus Pad uses NVIDIA's Tegra 2 to give consumers outstanding levels of power, speed and performance."

Easy Portability, Ideal Viewability
Sized at 8.9-inch diagonally and 149.4-mm horizontally, the LG Optimus Pad offers a sensible solution to other tablets on the market that are either too large for comfortable portability or too small for ideal viewing. The conveniently-sized LG Optimus Pad fits comfortably in one hand, goes anywhere and slips easily into purses and slim briefcases. With 15:9 aspect ratio, the LG Optimus Pad allows users access to the full range of applications in Android Market and its 1280 x 768 WXGA resolution vividly displays multimedia content in full widescreen format.

Powerful, Fast and Versatile Platform
The LG Optimus Pad is powered by Android 3.0, Google's latest platform optimized for tablets which supports larger display resolutions and applications specifically designed for tablets, including Google eBooks, Google Maps 5, and Google Talk. Android 3.0 also makes the LG Optimus Pad easy to use with a more intuitive PC-like interface. The LG Optimus Pad fully utilizes the 1 GHz Dual Core CPU of NVIDIA Tegra 2 to deliver lag-free web browsing and quick app start up. The superb graphics and multitasking capabilities of NVIDIA Tegra 2 enables the LG Optimus Pad to run multiple apps simultaneously and handle rich multimedia with ease.

Haven for Multimedia Enthusiasts
As the world's first tablet equipped with a 3D camera, users can capture vivid images and video with the LG Optimus Pad for viewing on 3D TVs using HDMI or on the web via YouTube 3D. Business users will also appreciate the built-in videoconferencing feature. With 1080p Full HD decoding, movie enthusiasts can transfer high quality content to their TVs without any loss in picture quality. Serious and casual gamers alike will delight in the wide collection of console-quality games available through the Tegra Zone app that runs seamlessly on the LG Optimus Pad.

The LG Optimus Pad will begin shipping in local markets starting in March.

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