Those from ASUS are among the leading manufacturers of tablets globally. Although they have not brought so many models on the market as in previous years, this does not mean that the Taiwanese giant slept. ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 is the flagship of this year, and we've started writing a review.
This year, ASUS has managed to stand out in the smartphone market thanks to Zenfone range. The winning philosophy for those devices is a mix between decent price and excellent amenities. The ASUS calls it "affordable luxury".
ZenPad S 8.0 Tablet comes with similar features to the Zenfone 2 smartphone. Specifically, the first tablet with 4GB RAM and uses an Intel Atom processor at 64-bit on 2.3 GHz frequency. Storage is 64GB (but there are versions with 16 and 32GB, with only 2GB RAM).
With a 8-inch display, surrounded by thin edges, has a 2048x1536 resolution and an aspect ratio of 4:3. The stereo speakers are positioned at the front in the top of the screen and the tablet is equipped with two cameras, one for 5:01 8MP who are decent if you want to catch something, but you do not have your phone at handy.
On the connectivity part is the USB 3.1 Type-C port, which has never appeared on any tablet so far.
ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 Pro Points
Performance is the main asset of this tablet. The combination of Intel processor clocked at a high frequency and 4GB RAM is a winner, as we saw on ASUS Zenfone 2. The powerful hardware copes with any game, browsing or multimedia applications, and the experience was a pleasant guide on throughout the test. The tablet simply goes exactly as it should and that is good.
The design is still something appealing to ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. To make it look as premium but at the same time, to keep the price at an accesible level Taiwanese have used plastic and synthetic leather. Although it seems to be aluminum, the back cover (surrounded by a metal ring) is made of a plastic worked in such a way as to create the impression of metal. That is a good thing, because plastic absorbs shocks better and does not weigh much. Speaking of that, the tablet is very thin and light, weighing 298 grams and with a thickness of only 6.6 mm. It is an absolute pleasure to hold this device in hand, especially when you grab the synthetic leather strip at the base, which contrasts pleasantly.
Autonomy beats somewhere to eight hours, which is more than decent for a tablet so thin with a powerful processor. Unlike phones that are permanently connected to the Internet, used all the time to socialize and to call, the tablet is a gadget that you touch when you want to play, to read something or when you want to watch a movie. In short, you will not use, most likely, a tablet for eight hours, meaning there's not a gadget to use it daily.
ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 Against Points
The display should be brighter. The resolution is perfect for a 8.0 inch display, slightly oversaturated colors and contrast is strong, meaning that movies and games can be seen very well, but the brightness is not to use outdoors or in enclosed and very bright spaces. The screen reflects every ray, and the brightness is not big enough to give you a pleasant experience in any environment.
The bloatware has always been and will remain one of the huge issues when we talk about ASUS products (tablets and smartphones). Zen UI interface looks good, although we prefer Android's "vanilla", but pre-installed applications - incredibly much - besides being unnecessary, there are stressful. Luckily the hardware is very good, and the performance of the tablet is not affected, but probably would go better with a stock version of Android.
It's hard to find good tablets at prices that give you top performance and enviable design. ZenPad S 8.0 does just that and, of all eight inch tablets launched this year, this one is the best competitor for the iPad mini. Strengths have enough - some very important bearing its weight and thickness. In addition, if you want a "future proof" gadget should note the USB Type C port which will be standard in a year or two, but also 4GB of RAM, which will deal with any applications that may be launched in the future.