The tablet market is filled with great devices and fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung but those aren’t the only manufacturers to create great devices, there are many underdogs who are trying to make a name for them and the most prolific one is undoubtedly ASUS. The Taiwanese based company launched the ZenPad Z8 Android powered tablet in June 2016 and the manufacturer didn’t shy away from equipping the tablet with powerful hardware pieces while pricing the tablet at an affordable price of $250. Today we will go over the tablet’s design, display and performance to see if it’s truly worth its money.
The tablet features a minimalistic design having its back covered in a refined plastic material that comes with round corners. Using plastic alloy allowed ASUS to make the device quite light, weighing at 310 grams and being 7.3mm slim. The gadget features a premium feel because the plastic material is coated with a texture surface that resembles leather. The front side of the device features a 74% body to screen ratio which is accompanied by a speaker grill placed on bottom side which includes dual stereo speakers. On the bottom side users will be able to find a new USB Type-C port and a microphone jack while the classic 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top side.
Keeping in mind the fact that ASUS priced the tablet at $250, the device is equipped with rather impressive hardware pieces for that price. The ZenPad Z8 is powered by Qualcomm’s hexa-core Snapdragon 650 processor that’s paired with 2GB of RAM and the processor is able to provide users with stable performances even under heavy usage. The tablet runs apps without any issue and UI navigations feels smooth. The device features 16GB of internal storage space but this can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. Now onto the battery, the tablet sports a large 4,680 mAh battery that has a huge battery life expectancy, if you are using the tablet casually and not putting it under heavy usage the battery can last up to three days. In fact, the battery uses Verizon’s network (LTE) to draw additional power. On the downside, while the tablet sports a USB Type-C port it doesn’t support fast charging.
Tablets aren’t known for featuring high-end camera lenses, usually manufacturers equip tablets with small cameras just for the sake of it. The ZenPad Z8 sports an 8MP rear camera which surprisingly snaps good pictures but there’s room for improvement. On the front side we can find a smaller 2MP camera but it’s just the right amount to provide users with the ability to make video calls and take selfies. Worth noting is that the camera takes good pictures in good lighting circumstances but in low light situation it doesn’t perform too well.
The 7.9 inch IPS LCD technology display is ASUS’s pride and joy. The display comes with a pixel resolution of 1536 x 2048 and the picture rendering and color representation is rather outstanding because its able to provide vibrant colors. Keeping the brightness level at 60% is just the right amount of for indoor activities but the tablet doesn’t struggle in outdoor sunlight either.
As previously mentioned the tablet is powered by Android and because of that it ships with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS but what sets it apart from other Android tablets is the fact that ASUS’s own ZenUI is included in the operating system and it completely changes the software’s design. The Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system comes with useful features such as double tap to wake and gesture shortcuts, but more importantly it enhances the device’s hardware.