LG’s first hybrid tablet laptop in Australia reviewed

There’s also no mouse, which you’d think isn’t a big deal on a tablet because, well, it’s a tablet.

But it’s when you look at the fact that yes, this is still a Windows machine, that you realise you need one. Windows 8 includes a desktop mode, and while Windows 8 native apps are designed with touch in mind, apps made for Windows 7 and below which run on the desktop usually need one.

Sony worked that out in the VAIO Duo 11 and included both a stylus and a tiny optical trackpad in the same form-factor as the Tab-book, but both of these features are missing here.

LG does have a solution, though, with a virtual on-screen trackpad that can be switched on and off in the desktop mode. Run this and the bottom centre square becomes a trackpad, allowing you to run your finger inside of it and emulate a mouse.

Overall, it’s a neat idea, though flawed because it’s not insanely accurate, and it stays running when Windows 8 touch apps are running too, apps that aren’t designed with the mouse in mind.

At least you can switch it on and off, and ultimately, it might have been a good idea for LG to include a small Intellipoint nib or a stylus, as sadly, Windows 8 isn’t the be-all-end-all touch experience, at least not yet.

See the faint outline of a trackpad on the screen? That's the virtual touchpad.

Battery is another area we’d like to see an improvement, with a runtime of roughly four to five hours max. That’s not bad, outperforming the similarly designed Sony Duo 11, but it could also be a little better.

If you only use the tablet  to and from work, and then at home, you’ll be able to leave the brick at home. Otherwise, keeping it with you might be an idea, though it would have been nice to see a redesign of the bare basic power brick here.

We’re also probably not supposed to notice the soldered SIM card slot on the left side of the unit, which we’re told provides an option for 4G LTE in Korea, but not in Australia, where the area isn’t being used.

But our main issue with the Tab-book isn’t any of this, but rather the build, which can be a little shaky.

Press that nifty button on the side and the screen will come up from its hinge and rest at a forty degree angle. That’s cool, and we like that, but it won’t hold if you’re in a moving vehicle.

Too many times during a bus ride, we found the inertia would cause the screen to jerk forward, away from the clips that should be keeping the screen steady and not moving at all.

In fact, it’s only if you go beyond what the tablet is supposed to do and push the screen behind the clips that the screen stays steady.

We found that if you force the screen behind the metal clips, it will hold it in place, though it's probably not good for the health of the unit.

We’re not sure if this is good for the health of the unit, but this was the only way to keep the tablet’s touchscreen section steady.

Closing the screen can show a different problem altogether, with a very firm close required.

As such, we found the best way to do it was to lay your hand flat on the screen and push it closed, leaving fingerprint marks all over it. Closing it from the side, however, didn’t guarantee it would lock into place, and occasionally meant accidentally clamping your fingers in the middle.

You usually won’t, but we do need to stress that a good firm push on the screen is needed to latch it closed, otherwise it will spring back up again.

Pushing your hand down on the screen is one of the easier ways to collapse the Tab-book.


LG’s first local entrant in the tablet and notebook game is an interesting one.

A little late to a market about to be inundated with devices sporting the new fourth-generation Intel processors, LG still has a machine that’s not without its qualities. The screen is one of the nicest we’ve seen on a hybrid, with great colours and performance, even if it’s not Full HD. The form factor is easily packed in a backpack and taken out whenever you need it, and you can use it in small spaces.

We just wish the keyboard hadn’t been redesigned from what most people use (a similar PC example is in the gallery) and the screen could hold its position a little better. Regardless, if you fancy the angle hybrid design, the LG Tab-book is worth a look.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Nice screen; Better battery life than competing hybrid machines in the same class; Supports wired networking;
Cramped keyboard with off spacing; No physical mouse options included outside of the touchscreen; Unstable in moving environments;