- Russell Holly , Android Central
ASUS once again has partnered with Intel to make something to make you question why we're spending so much money on high end hardware.
- Sharp display with excellent viewing angles and vibrant colors
- Generally smooth performance during basic tasks
- Chic design
- 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…"
Reviews (7.7/10 Avg. rating)
A potent mix of high-res screen and speedy performance
The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is an attractive alternative to better-known models from Samsung and Apple, and packs in an impressive array of bells and whistles which you might expect to find on a more expensive tablet.
It's not as blisteringly fast as the Google Nexus 9, but Intel's quad-core 64-bit processor is snappy enough to avoid any of the lag or slow-down that spoils the user experience with other cheap tablets.
When you consider that the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is cheaper than Google's own slate, and half the price of Amazon's or Apple's closest rival, it really does stand... Full review
One of the best affordable tablets around, but it’s not perfect
An affordable tablet not to be overlooked
The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is special because it crams a good, super-sharp screen into a very slim and handy body for a great price. Samsung's best at this level is the Samsung Tab 4 8.0, which isn't nearly as good by comparison.
The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 piddles all over the hardware some rivals are bringing out at the price. Yes, you need to spend 10 minutes fiddling with the software to get the most out of it, and yes, the speakers are naff. But if £170 is as high as the budget will stretch and you have the patience for some little software tweaks, the ZenPad S 8.0 is a tablet th... Full review
Expensive wine; mid-range price
Elegant and slim tablet, with lots of bloatware
Weak battery life, subpar camera performance, and lack of advanced multi-tasking features
A taste of the high-end for less
The Asus is far from a perfect package. The sheer amount of bloatware is ridiculous – given the choice, stock Android would make a far better choice. The display’s dynamic contrast is incredibly annoying, ruining what otherwise would be a very capable screen. And right now, charging via USB Type-C is more of a hassle than a benefit. Until everyone has a clutch of these new cables lying around, it’s a mildly frustrating novelty.
The ZenPad S 8.0’s biggest problem, however, is the thing Asus can do least about: the strength of the competition. For instance, you... Full review
Provides a sharp 2K display and helpful software
Fast, capable, and has some of the best speakers we've ever heard in a tablet
There's a lot to like with this tablet. It's fast, looks nice, sounds amazing, and USB-C is clearly the way of the future. The software mess that is ZenUI is unfortunate, and the weirdly aggressive thermal regulation is a problem. While neither is a deal breaker on their own, combined it's clear this is not a tablet for power users or heavy gamers.
One of the most important features to this particular tablet is the price tag. At $299 for the 64GB model, it's hard to look at the majority of current generation of Android tablets — especially Google's Nexus 9 — and see... Full review
An impressive high-end tablet, at an affordable price
This tablet offers everything you’d expect from a high-end device in 2015, with its Quad HD resolution display, 4 GB of RAM, and front-facing dual stereo speakers. Additions like the extremely customizable UI make the experience even better, and the device doesn’t need any help from a third-party applications to create a great tablet experience. Thankfully, the only flaws in the ZenPad S 8.0 are software related and can likely be fixed at some point down the road. This tablet manages exceeds all expectations, and with a price point of just $299, is definitely worth picking up.Full review
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
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Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Manual (PDF)
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