Covers all the basics you’d need for an everyday tablet device at a price you can’t really complain about.
ASUS ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL)
For a tablet that costs just $299, you wouldn’t expect the ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL) to be constructed out of high quality materials. While the entire tablet is plastic, it feels solid and well made. A decorative metallic frame surrounds the body adds a touch of class. The back of the tablet (as well as the optional Audio Cover) has an embossed faux leather finish that has a nice feel and gives the 8-inch tablet a comfortable grip. Slots are well-hidden yet accessible; the microSD card slot accepts up to 128GB capacity cards, and a SIM card slot can be found tucked beneath the rear cover.
The display is an 8-inch WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels resolution) IPS LED screen, giving us a pixel density of 189ppi. That’s not as good as the 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution display (326ppi) found on the Xiaomi Mi Pad.However, the display’s images, videos, and objects are still very presentable when you’re not scrutinizing the details.
Audio quality felt pretty standard on the ASUS ZenPad 8.0. It’s not geared towards any sound signature or audio profile – it’s not loud at all, and its quality will tell you very clearly that it’s meant to support audio as a means to an end. The Audio Cover (sold separately at $129) enhances the audio of the ZenPad 8.0 considerably, bringing the volume up to par with the likes of portable tennis ball-sized speakers. Audio Cover consists of four satellite speakers, one center-channel speaker and one subwoofer. It will help make the audio quality richer, though not necessarily more impactful.
The ZenPad 8.0 runs on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) out of the box, with a ZenUI skin. Familiar features that are available include gesture shortcuts called ZenMotion, where painting alphabets on a screen that’s turned off can quickly take you to certain core apps on the tablet. Everything else on the ZenUI is close to vanilla Android OS. Besides the add-on Audio Cover we’ve RATEDSINGAPORE seen, the tablet itself is quite free from gimmicks, or additional-use features. This makes the affordable tablet viable for people who want a simple Android tablet with minimal changes to its core functionalities.
The ZenPad 8.0 is quite affordable like its predecessor. Despite the price point, it doesn’t intend to compromise on performance and design. The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 uses a quad-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. It has a 1.2GHz Quad ARM Cortex A53 CPU, and Adreno 306 GPU. It is fast and responsive at waking up from sleep and multi-tasking between apps, while loading image-heavy pages was a breeze. The tablet didn’t struggle with prolonged web surfing. It’s great considering its price and class even if it’s not quite up to par with flagship tablets.
This tablet uses an8-megapixel rear camerawith auto focus. Cameraperformance was underwhelming like most tablets - even with pretty low expectations for tablet cameras, the ZenPad 8.0 failed to impress and you probably won’t rely on it even if you’re in a hurry or for the occasional shot. Like most tablets, it doesn’t come with flash, but it has adjustable ISO between 50 to 800, adjustable exposure value, and anti-shake enhancements. It doesn’t come with many other features, besides an Owl mode for low-light shooting.
Our battery tests rate it at a good 485 minutes of continuous use. It’s not surprising given its 4,000mAh battery capacity, outperforming more popular peers from the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi.
ASUS has mostly adhered to the cheap-and-good (enough) formula, with a cutthroat price tag paired with premium-looking finish and competitive hardware performance. The details show that it loses out in terms of audio quality (the Audio Cover makes it more acceptable though that will make it overshoot the comfort zone price point) and camera performance, but it makes up for it with good battery life and decent all-round performance where the core functions of a tablet are concerned. The ASUS Zenpad 8.0 is the obvious value choice for 8-inch tablets when purchasing from offi cial channels, but you could easily get a Xiaomi Mi Pad from other resellers and online stores if you want more gaming power, instead of expandable storage and 4G LTE connectivity - both of which are equally important selling points for the ZenPad 8.0.
The optional Audio Cover adds literal volume to the ASUS ZenPad 8.0, improving audio playback.
While it’s not the sexiest, the ZenUI interface on the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 is one without gimmicky apps or features.