NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs LG G Pad 8.3: Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs LG G Pad 8.3: Tablet BattleHi guys, welcome back to this site!

As the manufacturer that is more prominent with its smartphones, i think LG has an impressive offering in tablet category.

Of course, i’m NOT talking about LG’s first-gen G Slate tablet. But the one i’m referring is no other than LG G Pad 8.3.

One of the great things i really like from this tablet is actually its design and build quality.

To be perfectly honest, i think it’s still pretty rare to find Android tablets that can rival the premium level of design and build quality found on iPads.

But apparently, through LG G Pad 8.3, this manufacturer shows it to the world that Android tablets can also be as premium as iPads, without copying the design of iPads.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet vs LG G Pad 8.3 benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway, today i’m really interested to keep the momentum going in this new exciting year of 2015 by giving you more of my comparison review.

And as mentioned above, the tablet that i want to put into the ring today is LG G Pad 8.3.

The contender, however, is not going to be from Apple (because i’ve already done that in my previous reviews), but it’s made by NVIDIA.

This one is called NVIDIA Shield Tablet – which you might know already as a pure gaming tablet.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about the comparison between these 2 tablets and see how they fare against each other, including my take on their gaming performance, then here you go, my comparison review between NVIDIA Shield Tablet and LG G Pad 8.3.

Introduction

As 2 entirely different category tablets, both NVIDIA Shield Tablet and LG G Pad 8.3 are actually quite impressive equally, especially in terms of hardware.

Of course, as a tablet released around 2 – 3 years ago, it’s so obvious that LG G Pad 8.3 is less superior than NVIDIA’s tablet on the sector of performance and entire specs.

But that doesn’t straightly mean that LG’s device will be inferior than NVIDIA Shield Tablet. Well, that’s so wrong.

In fact, in the whole aspect, i think both devices are still ‘on the same level’ in hardware specs.

Both have the same full HD display, 2GB of RAM, good quality cameras, great design, good build quality, impressive software and features and of course, great gaming performance.

However, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is definitely much better than LG G Pad 8.3 because it has an amazing stylus (that even matches the writing and drawing experience on S-Pen of Samsung GALAXY Note), bigger microSD card slot support, better more efficient battery life and of course, far more powerful gaming performance.

The good thing is, LG G Pad 8.3 really excels on the sector of design and build quality, especially compared to NVIDIA Shield Tablet.
Thanks to LG’s decision to use full aluminum materials on all over its coating, this really makes this device look and feel more premium than NVIDIA’s tablet.

In fact, the design and build quality of LG G Pad 8.3 is actually on the same page with iPads.

It looks great, it feels really sturdy and premium on hands.

But the questions remain, with all of the strengths and weaknesses found on both devices, which one between NVIDIA Shield Tablet and LG G Pad 8.3 that deserves to take the crown here as the best gaming tablet in this comparison review?

Which one that is a much better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these devices, especially for gaming?

Design

When it comes to design, LG G Pad 8.3 actually looks more promising and attractive than NVIDIA’s tablet.

And it’s not only on its aluminum material and solid build quality, but also in terms of design as well.

So despite using fully aluminum material all over the place, LG G Pad 8.3 surprisingly comes with the design that looks entirely different with the iconic design of iPads.

This LG’s tablet may adopt the same 4:3 aspect ratio just like the iPads – which makes it look and feel wider vertically.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet
NVIDIA Shield Tablet
LG G Pad 8.3 2
LG G Pad 8.3
LG G Pad 8.3
LG G Pad 8.3

However, in its entire design, LG’s tablet actually looks quite nice and has its own characteristic compared to the iPad and even the other regular Android tablets out there on the market.

It has a rectangular design concept all over its body (slightly looks similar with the same rounded looking Nexus 4) and its rear-cover – according to some reviews – feels really sturdy and solid on hands, plus really comfortable to hold.

On the other hand, the entire design of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is actually not too shabby at all compared to LG’s device, although it doesn’t look nearly as nice looking as LG G Pad 8.3.

Unlike LG’s tablet that has the ‘fun’ aspect on its design, NVIDIA Shield Tablet on the other hand is more prominent with its modern looking design.

And the metallic gray color used on most part of this device really supports that concept perfectly.

The entire look of NVIDIA Shield Tablet actually kind of reminds me with the design of HTC’s flagship smartphone, where there are dual-speaker grilles on the front side of this device.

And that’s exactly the same thing found on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

On the front side, there are speaker grilles on the left and right areas (in landscape mode).

According to some reviews on YouTube – including the famous tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee -, the dual-front-speaker grilles on this tablet really produce great sound quality to the device.

Its sound quality is actually not far different than any other tablets out there, including the iPads.

But the placement of this speaker grilles on the front side apparently makes this device produce much louder and clearer sound quality to the users, making the experience of watching movies or playing games more realistic.

Besides that dual-speaker-grilles on the front, the other thing that makes me really impressed with NVIDIA Shield Tablet is definitely its ‘special’ port or hole that is dedicated for its stylus.

So just like Samsung GALAXY Note with its S-Pen, NVIDIA Shield Tablet also comes with the special port for its stylus on its back.

And this is definitely really important for this device because NVIDIA Shield Tablet is intended originally as a note-taking tablet, besides gaming device.

So if user doesn’t currently use or need the stylus, they can simple put it back to the port, which impressively is not protruding when placed on the table or flat surface - unlike iPhone 6 Plus with its protruding camera that really bothers most of its users.

Between these 2 tablets, i think both LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are really good with their own design.

I mean, LG’s tablet may have the premium level and build quality of iPads, but when it comes to placement of speaker, then NVIDIA Shield Tablet is much better because thanks to its dual-front-speaker grilles, its sound quality is much louder and clearer than on LG G Pad 8.3.

But even so, in terms of design, i still think that both devices really excel on that sector perfectly.

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Nvidia Shield LG G Pad 8.3
No SIM
Released 2014, July
390 g (Weight)
DirectStylus 2
8.0 inchCapacitive touchscreen, 1920 x 1200 pixels, 16M colors (~283 ppi pixel density)
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
ULP GeForce Kepler 192-core GPU
2 GB RAM
Dual bass reflex port audio enhancement
microSD card slot for up to 128GB
Internal 16 GB
5 MP rear-facing camera (2592 ? 1944 pixels) autofocus touch focus, HDR
5 MP front-facing camera with HDR
Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
HTML5 Browser
No Radio
GPS
Java MIDP emulator
HDMI port
19.75 Wh Li-Ion battery
No SIM
Released October 2013
338 g (Weight)
8.3 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1200 x 1920 pixels (~273 ppi pixel density) 16M colors
Platform OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat), planned upgrade to v5.0 (Lollipop)
Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 Qualcomm APQ8064 Pro Snapdragon 600 Chipset
Adreno 320 GPU
2 GB RAM
microSD card slot for up to 64 GB
16 GB Internal storage
5 MP rear-facing camera
1.3 MP front-facing camerea (720p video recording)
Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11
Infrared
No Radio
microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
Java MIDP emulator
Non-removable Li-Po 4600 mAh battery
NVIDIA Shield Tablet was released just a couple of months ago in 2014.

On the other hand, LG G Pad 8.3 was launched long time ago probably around 2 or 3 years ago.

So when it comes to hardware specs, it’s obvious that LG G Pad 8.3 is not ‘on the same level’ with NVIDIA Shield Tablet, especially on the performance sector.

And that’s shown perfectly on the Tegra K1 quad-core processor found inside NVIDIA Shield Tablet, which is far far more powerful in terms of graphical performance than the Snapdragon 600 processor found on LG G Pad 8.3.

But even so, the rest of the specs between NVIDIA Shield Tablet and LG G Pad 8.3 are actually not far different in class.

LG G Pad 8.3 comes with a full HD resolution on its 8.3-inch display – so does NVIDIA Shield Tablet -, it goes the same on the sectors of RAM, rear-facing camera, native storage and the standard features.

However, when compared side-by-side against each other, there are some noticeable differences between these 2 devices. NVIDIA Shield Tablet has a larger microSD card slot for up to 128GB, better 5MP front-facing camera, newer build of Android 4.4.2 KitKat (upgradeable to Lollipop) and larger 19.75Wh battery (or if i’m not mistaken, around 5400mAh battery).

This really contradicts with LG G Pad 8.3 that only has microSD card slot for up to 32GB, lower less-sharper 1.3MP front-facing camera, older-gen Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (probably upgradeable to Lollipop) and smaller 4600mAh battery.

Screen

If there’s one part of LG G Pad 8.3 that is not far different in quality with NVIDIA Shield Tablet, then it’s definitely its display. LG G Pad 8.3 comes with full HD resolution (1920x1200 pixels) on its 8.3-inch display.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA Shield Tablet also ships with full HD resolution but on a slightly smaller 8.0-inch display.

On paper, NVIDIA Shield Tablet may look slightly more superior in terms of sharpness given that this device uses a smaller screen size but sporting the same full HD resolution.

But probably the sharpness difference of both tablets are not that noticeable in human eyes.

In terms of quality, LG G Pad 8.3 might have some slight advantages compared to NVIDIA’s tablet especially because LG has years of experience on the display department of its devices, along with its OLED technology.

So if compared side-by-side, the display of LG G Pad 8.3 looks much nicer than the one found on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

It looks more vibrant and the color saturation of this device is also much better and more popping out than the screen of NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

But even so, the screens of both LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are actually still ‘on the same level’, especially in terms of sharpness.

User Interface

LG devices mostly have been known with LG’s own customized UI based on Android platform – similar just like what Samsung does on its GALAXY devices through TouchWiz UI.

This really contradicts with NVIDIA Shield Tablet that still keeps the tradition of its predecessor, which is the stock vanilla Android UI without any significant customizations from the manufacturer.

So in terms of performance, the UI of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is of course much faster and smoother because it doesn’t inundate its system with a lot of stuff just like on LG G Pad 8.3.

However, the overall performance of LG’s tablet is also fast and smooth, especially thanks to its Snapdragon 600 processor that well accommodates its entire performance.

The cool thing found on the UI of LG G Pad 8.3 is definitely its features.

So compared to the stock Android UI of NVIDIA Shield Tablet, the LG’s customized UI on LG G Pad 8.3 has a lot more features here and there on the homescreen and pre-loaded features of this device.

One of them is called ‘3-finger-gesture’ that enables users to keep the existing/running 3 apps in the background.

So if users want to open or access the existing apps that they recently used or opened, they just need to swap the screen from left to right with 3 fingers.

Meanwhile, the stock Android UI of NVIDIA Shield Tablet probably has nothing to write home about compared to LG G Pad 8.3.

So it is the standard stock version that Google releases to all manufacturers without added customizations.

However, there are still some new goodies found on its UI, especially the ones related to the stylus – like lasso feature, note-taking app, paintbrush-alike app, etc.

The good news is, now this tablet can be upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop officially from NVIDIA.

So there will be a complete overhaul on the entire look and design layout based on the one called “Material Design”.

Not to mention, there are also some improvements and tweaks made by Google especially on battery life.

Back to Top
When it comes to graphical and gaming performance, plus gaming experience, i think it’s quite obvious that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is far more superior than LG G Pad 8.3.

This NVIDIA’s tablet ships with a quad-core 32-bit Tegra K1 processor along with a staggering 192-core Kepler GPU, coupled with 2GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, LG G Pad 8.3 looks more humble – or less powerful, if you would -, with a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and Adreno 320 GPU.

The difference of gaming performance on both LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet actually can be seen perfectly when deployed with one of the most graphically demanding games in today’s standards – GTA San Andreas.

On NVIDIA Shield Tablet, of course this game will fly without any lag whatsoever, even in full highest graphics setting.

On the other hand, LG G Pad 8.3 will suffer a lot especially when handling this game in full highest graphics.

I’ve actually already seen the gaming performance of Google Nexus 7 (that uses the same full HD resolution, Adreno 320 and 2GB of RAM, although it uses stock Android UI).

And this game runs extremely laggy and buggy on this Nexus device in full highest graphics, with many framedrops here and there in the gameplay. In simple words, this game is just not playable for human being.

So the same thing probably could happen to LG G Pad 8.3 given that its hardware specs are ‘on the same level’ with Nexus 7 (2013).

There are also some other things that make the gaming experience of NVIDIA Shield Tablet much much better than on LG G Pad 8.3.
  • First of all, it has a dedicated gaming controller that NVIDIA releases officially for this device (but sold separately).
  • Second of all, it has better sound quality, thanks to its dual-speaker grilles on the front side.
  • Third of all, according to some game and Epic Engine developers, Tegra K1 processor is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops/PCs.
  • Fourth of all, NVIDIA is really close with many famous console/PC game developers. So this definitely could help a lot to convince these game makers to port their popular console/PC games to Tegra K1 tablets like NVIDIA Shield Tablet in the future. In fact, that already happened earlier with the releases of Half Life 2, Trine 2 and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath that are ported from consoles and PC.
So with all of these facts presented to you, i think it makes it clearer for us to see that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is far more superior than LG G Pad 8.3, not just in graphical and gaming performance, but also in entire gaming experience and future as well.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of NVIDIA Shield Tablet and LG G Pad 8.3, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

Both LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet come with the same 5MP camera on their rear-side.

But on the front-side, NVIDIA Shield Tablet looks more superior than LG G Pad 8.3 with its 5MP front-facing camera, as opposed to the 1.3MP camera on LG’s device.

In terms of quality, both devices actually are able to take decent quality shots.

However, given that LG has more years of experience on the camera department compared to NVIDIA, then the camera quality of LG G Pad 8.3 probably is better than NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

But even so, if you pick any of these tablets, you can totally count on their cameras to take some great sharp photos and videos as well.

Their quality may not be as great as the iPads or Samsung’s flagship tablets, but at least they get the job done and the overall quality of their camera is still considered as good enough for most of users.

Battery Life

One of the weird things found on both devices is actually their battery capacity. So LG G Pad 8.3, with a much larger 8.3-inch display and full HD resolution, only comes with 4600mAh battery. On the other hand, NVIDIA Shield Tablet with its smaller 8.0-inch display and the same full HD display, ships with a much larger 19.75Wh battery (or equal to 5400mAh battery if i’m not mistaken).

But soon i found out that NVIDIA Shield Tablet comes with a more powerful Tegra K1 quad-core processor and 192-core GPU, which are really power hungry compared to the hardware package of LG G Pad 8.3.

So that’s why this NVIDIA’s tablet requires a lot more juice from its battery in order to stay alive in one day.

But basically, with the battery capacity found on each tablet, either LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet is more than capable to deliver an all-day-long battery life to most of users, of course depends on each user’s use cycle every single day.

So for doing some basic daily tasks in moderate use, both of these tablets could last in full solid day on a full 100% charge.

However, when used to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like for watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, of course their battery life could drop drastically to just around 4 to 6 hours.

As a matter of fact, according to some reviews on YouTube, NVIDIA Shield Tablet apparently could only last just around 2 to 3 hours when used to play some heavy 3D games intensively (my guess is next-gen games with console-quality graphics like Trine 2 or Half Life 2).

The good news is, this issue probably can be tackled with the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes with some huge improvements and tweaks on the battery life department.

So this probably could help a lot to make this tablet last much longer especially for gaming.

My Personal Opinions

So in my final conclusion of this comparison review is, between LG G Pad 8.3 and NVIDIA Shield Tablet, of course i will side on NVIDIA’s tablet.

And it’s not because it is a new-gen tablet compared to LG’s device, but it’s also because this NVIDIA Shield Tablet is equipped with entirely more powerful and higher-grade specs than the ones found on LG G Pad 8.3.

The most prominent difference of these 2 tablets is definitely on their processors and GPUs - LG G Pad 8.3 has a Snapdragon 600 processor, while NVIDIA Shield Tablet looks much shinier with a quad-core Tegra K1 processor.

So as a result, NVIDIA Shield Tablet tablet comes out as the winner here against LG G Pad 8.3 especially because it has far more powerful graphical and gaming performance than LG’s tablet.

That’s shown perfectly when both devices are deployed with one heavy graphics intense game like GTA San Andreas.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet of course has no problem whatsoever to execute this game in buttery smooth performance and even in full highest graphics setting.

On the other hand, LG G Pad 8.3 will suffer a lot when handling this GTA game especially in full highest graphics. But that’s not it.

Besides really powerful to play Android games, NVIDIA Shield Tablet also looks more superior than LG G Pad 8.3 because this device is also capable to execute the next-gen games that have console-quality graphics and visual effects – as shown on Half Life 2, Trine 2 and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath that are ported straightly from consoles and PC.

And this cannot be experienced on LG G Pad 8.3 because its graphical performance is just far less-powerful compared to the 192-core Kepler GPU of NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

So long story short, as a gaming tablet, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is definitely a clear winner here compared to LG’s device.

It has more powerful gaming performance, better sound quality, better graphics power and also huge support from all mobile and even console/PC game developers.

The superiority of NVIDIA Shield Tablet also continues on the sectors of microSD card slot, software, features, battery capacity, front-facing camera, sound quality and of course, the amazing stylus.

For your information, the stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is truly amazing.

Not only is this stylus able for taking simple notes, but you can also draw or create some beautiful professional paintings out of it.

The writing experience of this stylus is also really impressive.

It has a real-time touch response, its thickness can be controlled manually according to your pressure on the screen and it also has the palm-free-rejection tech that prevents your palm from being registered to the screen when using the stylus.

So if you’re looking for a great note-taking tablet that also happens to have powerful gaming performance, then NVIDIA Shield Tablet is absolutely the best option you can buy right now.

LG G Pad 8.3 is actually still a decent quality tablet.
  • It has an attractive unique design,
  • solid premium build quality thanks to full-aluminum materials all over the place,
  • sharp full HD display,
  • good quality cameras,
  • great software experience with many useful features,
  • good battery life,
  • microSD card slot,
  • good gaming performance (if not great)
  • and pretty much everything about this tablet is really great overall, especially as a media-consumption device.
But at the end of the day, the final decision to buy any of these tablets actually will come down to your personal preference and budget.

So if you happen to have big budget in your pocket (around $399) and you’re also looking for a stylus-equipped tablet with powerful gaming performance, then NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a no-brainer choice for you.

Meanwhile, if you only have $300 to spend on a tablet, LG G Pad 8.3 can also be good option for you.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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