Last week, I got a New Years gift from ASUS, the Taiwan based computer company, known for their motherboards, phones and tablets. They sent me their brand new tablet and asked me to review it. So, I took this device to Shimla and used it for a week. Even made my parents use it. So, presenting my review on the ASUS ZenPad 7.0, the low cost 7.7 inch tablet that runs on android.
This 7.7inch tablet looks pretty neat with a nicely textured plastic back cover. There is a chrome edge on the gorilla glass display. The device comes in three colours and you can also get power and audio covers to increase its functionality. I’ll recommend an audio cover for its audio quality if you don’t mind a little extra bulk. The audio cover also makes it look like a ladies clutch. Also, the cover is a little too shiny for some. It is compact and is just as big as a kindle paper-white. Hence you can easily fit it in your jacket pocket.
The device runs of Android 5.0 Lollipop and is packed with options. It comes preloaded with some apps. Might be useful for some to have a preloaded device right out of the box, but I removed them all. Also, this device can be used as a phone, further increasing its functionality. Specially in remote locations. When you have to navigate using topographic sheets in the mountains or make an emergency phone call.
The device has 16GB of internal memory, that can be increased to 128GB with a Micro SD card. You also get 100GB storage on Google Drive for two years with this device.
Asus ZenPad 7.0 has a resolution of 1280X800. The text looks fine but the pictures lack accurate colours. You can fix it with a separate colour enhancement option that lets you tweak the colours but thats too much work for a person like me. I used it to browse many webpages and the experience was pretty comfortable. Videos look great and plays smoothly and there is no noticeable lag when you play an HD video or use youtube. I think it was meant to be used as a media device.
This is where the device stands out. ZenPad 7.0 has great speakers when you add the audio cover on it. Asus calls it DTS-HD Premium Sound. You can hear the vocals loud and clear while watching a movie or you can enjoy clear music without an extra portable bluetooth speaker. The additional audio cover has four main speakers, one center and one tiny subwoofer, sandwiched in a thin bar on the edge of the cover, that creates crisp sound for the device of its size. It also has a 2300mah battery of its own. Here also, you can customise the audio with the sound wizard. I played some high quality music videos on youtube and I was pretty impressed by the sound. Having said that, the sound is clear but very basic.
All the necessary apps that I use ran smoothly, but I will defnitly not recommend playing heavy games on it. Regular games like angry birds and clash of clans run perfectly on the tablet. I also ran some Geekbench tests and the performance is great for a device priced so low.
It has a 8MP back camera and 2MP front camera with tons of presets and modes to assist you. The f/2.0 aperture lets you shoot in really low light. The camera works in bright areas but adds a lot of noise in low light situations and loses a lot of detail while reducing the noise even in broad daylight. The manual controls in the camera app makes it really easy to take better pictures in tricky lighting situations and the resolution is good enough to print a 12inch wide image.
According to my tests, the battery ran for around 5.5 hours. The audio cover with 2300mah battery increases the life by an hour. You can also purchase an optional power cover to increase its battery life. On regular use, the device it will easily survive for a day.
This is an excellent device for media lovers on a budget, but don’t forget to buy the audio cover with it. For a price of INR 14,999 with audio cover and INR 11,999 without audio cover, ZenPad 7.0 is definitely a value for money media device.