- Some creaks and give on case
- Middling battery life
- Dim display
Asus isn't necessarily a household name when it comes to tablets despite the role they played with the original Nexus 7. The company hopes to change this with the release of the ZenPad S 8.0. For the price, experts were impressed with the overall style of the tablet. It is light at 298 grams and quite compact measuring 8 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches. The majority of the back is composed of plastic with a smooth brushed metal finish, but a strip on the bottom of the tablet sports a faux-leather texture. This provided experts with both a premium looking device and excellent grip. While it might look premium, experts discovered build quality was far from it. They noticed some creaks and give on the casing.
The most noticeable aspect of the ZenPad S 8.0 is, of course, the display. At 7.9 inches and a resolution of 2048 x 1536, it provides a very high pixel density of 324 ppi. Combined with IPS LCD technology and zero air gap between the glass and screen, experts describe it as beautiful and sharp with excellent viewing angles. They were also impressed with the overall color range though it tended to skew towards the cooler side. The biggest let down for critics was its overall brightness. Not only was it difficult to read outdoors, they also had to manually adjust the setting as auto-brightness tended to be too low in every situation.
The ZenPad S 8.0 rocks a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. For the most part, experts had no problems when performing basic tasks like reading email, browsing the web or even playing a casual game. They only ran into a few hiccups when playing more graphic-intensive games or doing some heavy multi-tasking. With that said, they found it fast enough for daily use. It also comes with up to 64GB of internal storage, though they found much of this was taken up with unnecessary Asus software. Luckily, many of these apps are removable and Asus does include a microSD slot for additional storage. They were left unimpressed with the battery life as they barely eked out a full day's worth of use even with moderate use. Tablet PC Review adds, "…those expecting to use this device heavily for long periods should never be far from a charger."
While the 8MP main shooter of the ZenPad S 8.0 can't compete with the one on the iPhone 6S, experts were happy to report it held its own against other tablets. They were able to capture bright, sharp and vibrant pictures in good lighting situations. Unsurprisingly, their low light images were often grainy and noisy due to the smaller lens. The front 5MP camera was not as good as they noticed oversaturation of some colors and green/blue tinges on white backgrounds. Still, they found it good enough for video calls.
For the most part, reviewers believe the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is a good deal. Android Authority states, "This tablet manages to exceed all expectations…[it] is definitely worth picking up." Android Police adds, "It's a very good tablet, and dangerously close to being great." Other experts are not quite as optimistic with their verdict. The Verge notes, "…if you're looking for one compelling reason you need this in your life, well, it probably doesn't exist. And that's pretty disappointing…"