Dallas — AT&T will become the first carrier to offer an LTE-equipped version of an LG G Pad tablet.
Starting Aug. 8, the 7-inch version of the Android-based G Pad will be available for 99 cents in AT&T-owned stores and the carrier’s website when purchased with an LG G2, LG G3 or LG G Flex smartphone. Availability through other channels wasn’t announced.
Without a smartphone purchase, the tablet is priced at $149 with two-year contract or without contract at $12.50/month for 20 months under an installment plan.
The announcement is another indicator of how strongly carriers are pushing sales of LTE-equipped tablets to boost revenues now that net new cellphone subscriber acquisitions are falling because of high cellphone penetration.
The G Pad 7.0 is one of a trio of Android 4.4.2 tablets unveiled in May by LG, which also unveiled 8.0 and 10.1 versions. Last month, LG said the 10.1 version would be available in the U.S. in July, but no follow-up announcement has been made to date.
LG reentered the tablet market in 2013 after leaving the market for about two years. The company’s first foray into tablets came in 2011, when it launched the 8.9-inch 3D Optimus Pad, which became available in the U.S. as T-Mobile’s 3D G-Slate. It captured 3D video in 720p for viewing with 3D glasses on the device’s 8.9-inch 720p display.
All three G Pads offer 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and True IPS 1280 by 800 HD IPS display with Zero Gap technology for wide-angle viewing. The tablet also features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 4,000 mAh battery for 10 hours of use.
All three also come with LG’s proprietary QPair 2.0 and Knock Code UI features. The updated Qpair uses Bluetooth to connect the tablets to an Android smartphone, turning the tablets into an extension of a user’s phone. The tablets receive notifications of a smartphone’s calls and texts and enable users to respond to texts and answer calls from the tablet. A QPair 2.0 SDK enables software developers to create apps that let users stream online media and change settings on the G Pad remotely from any Android smartphone.
Knock Code lets users power on and unlock the tablet by tapping the screen using one of more than 80,000 possible “knock” combinations. A knock pattern using from two to eight taps can be entered on any area of the screen, even if the display is off. Up to four users can register a knock pattern.
The tablets also feature a minimal GUI design consistent with that of the new flagship GF3 smartphone with flat graphics and a circular motif inspired by the LG logo.
Other key features of the tablets include dual window, which splits the screen so that two apps can run simultaneously. The feature also lets users drag and drop content from one window to another. Smart keyboard technology is said to reduce typing errors by up to 75 percent by analyzing typing habits and choosing the word that the user intended to type. The touch-and-shoot feature lets users tap anywhere on the screen to focus and activate the shutter to save time, and gesture shot for selfies lets users clench a fist within the shot to begin a three-second countdown.
A video of the tablet’s features is available here.