LG’s first hybrid tablet laptop in Australia reviewed

If there’s one brand we’ve wanted to see a return from in the computer space, it’s LG. The brand has had some pretty neat tablets and laptops announced overseas for some time, but now we’re finally getting the goods, starting with the Windows 8-based LG Tab-book.

Features

Sitting in the hybrid space, the Tab-book is the first of two models LG plans to bring to Australia this year that we know about.

While the other is an Ultrabook, this model sits firmly in the hybrid tablet space, blending the innards of a thin and light computer with the style and usability of a tablet, and in some ways, this is a design that feels familiar to what we saw in Sony’s VAIO Duo 11.

Both are designed around a tablet screen that sits above a keyboard, and when needed, can be pulled up and used like a regular laptop, albeit one with a touchscreen.

In the Tab-book Z160, LG is using an Intel Core i5 from the third-generation, also known as Ivy Bridge. The chip in this is clocked at 1.8GHz, though there is a lower version of the Tab-book that comes equipped with the hybrid tablet favourite of Intel’s Atom Z2760, though we’re not reviewing that model today.

While 2GB RAM is the general expected requirement for Windows 8, LG is going with 4GB in this model, while sticking you with a slightly unorthodox 120GB solid-state drive, which we’re told still works with the high-speed SATA3 connection, but may not be as fast as the 128GB SSD sitting in LG’s Ultrabook, announced at the same time.

All of this sits underneath an 11.6 inch IPS screen designed to be viewed at any angle, with several points of touch working with it, and showing off the HD capable 1366×768 resolution, which is just slightly higher than high definition (HD).

This hinge has been tested around 20,000 times.

The display can sit flat against the bottom of the computer, but when a button on the side is press, a hinge on the back will push the display up into resting at a forty degree angle against where the keyboard sits. LG tells us the hinge has been tested for roughly 20,000 uses, and still works, so it’s betting this part will last the life of the unit.

Ports and connection options are pretty basic, with one USB 3.0 port, a microSD slot, headset, network plug coming from an accessory, full-size HDMI, and power. A first for us, there’s also a microUSB port, though we’re not quite sure why, or where one goes to get a microUSB to another microUSB cable, if they want to plug into another device.

A volume switch sits on the left side next to the display release button, while power, rotation lock, and the microSD slot sit on the right. All other ports are on the back.

There is a 1.3 megapixel web camera in this model, but only on the front.

Performance

It was almost love at first sight when we saw LG’s range of laptops and tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in the year. We got up close and personal, but our LG representative was keeping mum on if the products would ever see the light of day in Australia.

Finally, he’s opened his lips, and has told us that mid-this year, they will arrive. Even better, we have one to review straight off the back of the announcement, and while that was barely a few days ago, we’ve spent our time and have come to our conclusions.

So let’s get straight into it, shall we?

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