Pros: Newegg sent me this ASUS ZenPad S8.0 to review. Turns out that this thing is very fast. It's the fastest notepad that I have ever used. It puts many laptops to shame. The Wi-Fi is the fastest I've ever had the pleasure of using. The screen is absolutely amazing. Switching to this from my iPhone makes using facebook a pleasure again. The screens are updated almost instantly when on Facebook. Downloading updates is fast and easy , most of the programs needed updating since this is a new device. Installing apps from Google Play store is also super fast , it's like it reads my mind. Tap on the button and the app is installed almost instantly. The unit has an SD slot that can take up to 128gigabyte I installed a 64 gigabyte SD card. Since I'm a mechanic I was really looking forward to using it with my obd2 doggles. I could never get them to work very well with my iPad. Is as able to pair with the Bluetooth and connect with the Wi-Fi dongle with no troubles. I downloaded some obd2 apps and they worked. I was so happy! Development is on going as many of the ASUS apps were updated the first day and a system update a few days later. The sound is also great with speakers on both ends. Watching movies on this is nice when a tv is not an option. <br>Unlike ios the voice recognition works very well for me on this device.
Cons: Although this is a great tablet it could be improved. The touchscreen is worthless right after you wash your hands. I think it uses the oil in your skin and it just don't like clean hands. Also I found the need to reboot in order to get the touchscreen to work correctly as spots would stop working. I think these problems will be improved with future updates as it only happened on the main screens and not with apps.<br>ASUS packs this with a lot of software that I think many people will never use. <br>The camera's have no flash? Come on ASUS, why not add a flash?<br>On the keypad the space bar is to close to the home button and it is very easy to end up on the home screen. I found it easier to type on my iphone 4 then this. This is probably an Android common problem. Then the power button is way too sensitive and is easy to turn off unit by mistake. I think moving the power and volume buttons higher would be great.
Overall Review: After owning this for 5 months now I still think its a great tablet but the battery life is getting shorter. When I originally wrote this review the battery life was great, lasting me most of the day from 9am to 10 pm now its from 9 to about 5. several updates later and it still has the touch screen problem.
Pros: IPS display
Intel 64bit quad core cpu
4gb DDR3 ram
Micro SD Card
Thin and light
Asus Visual Master software
Asus Zen Ui
100Gb Free Google Drive storage 2 years
Optional Asus Stylus
Stereo front speakers
Cons: Underwhelming camera
Too much unnecessary software installed
Issues with AC network connectivity (one star removed)
1 year warranty only
All plastic construction
Average battery life.
Overall Review: Even though there are a few cons, I really like this tablet. In order to get the best out of it understanding what it does well is important.
It is an all plastic design and I was initially disappointed, however after spending just over a week with it, it has not been much of an issue. The tablet is light and easy to hold and the Gorilla Glass is pretty much bomb proof, no scratches or damage so far.
The Zenpad feels snappy and responsive due to the quad core 64bit Intel cpu and 4gb of DDR3 ram. 64gb of memory is extremely generous at this price point and it is ideal for the larger applications that are being released. My old tablet has 16gb and I am forever uninstalling applications to make room for new ones!
The gpu is a G6430, nice and fast, however this tablet has a 2K screen so playing games is possible but it is not quite as smooth an experience as it would be with a smaller resolution screen.
I went on a road trip this weekend and the tablet came with. Watching movies was great once the screen was adjusted to my liking. The front speakers were loud and did not vibrate or buzz. Asus provides a few applications to tweak the default screen color and in my opinion it is necessary, as out of the box display settings are not great. With a 2048x1536 resolution screen surfing the net and reading books on Kindle is perfect.
Battery life was not bad, I managed to chew through 85% of a full charge on my 6 hour road trip listening to music, watching movies and surfing the net.
The camera is nothing special, but it works. I'd rather take photos with a dedicated camera or my Samsung smartphone.
1 egg off for wifi implementation; Try as I might I was unable to successfully connect to my AC router at 5.0ghz. 2.4ghz was fine though. This is touted as an AC compliant tablet, so perhaps there is a software bug! Let’s hope for a software update to resolve the issue soon.
I would not buy this tablet to game with, even though it comes with a decent gpu. The screen resolution is too high to provide playable framerates in 3d games (2d platform style games are fine though). It is ideal for watching movies, listening to music and surfing the net. Once tweaked using the Asus Splendid software, the screen is bright enough to look at in sunlight and the color reproduction is actually pretty good.
A speedy cpu, 4gb of ram and 64gb of storage seals the deal.
Pros: I am amazed at the value proposition of this ASUS flagship tablet. It has all the premium features at an incredible price point. I’m guessing it will sell out quickly. In this case, price does not equal quality.
For the record, I have three ipads in the family, two iphones, and three current-gen androids: a big tablet, a small tablet, and a phone.
Yes, I know you can read the specs but I made a few comments:
Size and Shape: 8 inches - seems to be the tablet sweet spot these days. Quite thin at 6.6 mm - one of the reasons it has to have USB-C. 4:3 display aspect ratio. It feels very light (.66 lb).
Overall Looks: Very high quality feel. Brushed metallic-look back, shiny edge, soft rubbery border with a leathery material along the landscape bottom edge.
Buttons, Ports, and Peripherals: In portrait position with leathery material on the left: power button is Below the volume rocker on the right - bit unusual; the headphone jack on top right can double as a mic-in; micro SD card left top under a flap - supports up to 128 Gb. 2 front-facing speakers are on either side of the display when landscaped. The sound is the best I have ever heard in a tablet and is enhanced with DTS HD Premium. USB-C (see other thoughts) port is on the bottom but offset to the right in a way that makes charging while in use easier (in landscape it ends up top right). The GPS can also use Russian GLONASS sats. There is a G-sensor, E-compass, light sensor and Hall effect sensor for a magnetic cover. Rear cam is 8 MP and front cam is 5 MP. Photo quality is average and worse than either my current gen iphone or Galaxy phone. Dual band wireless includes AC mode for 5 GHz. Miracast (HDMI over Wifi) is supported. Bluetooth is there in two forms.
Front & Display: Corning ‘Gorilla Glass 3” covers a 1536 x 2048 IPS panel at a pixel density of 320 ppi. This is Quad HD in a 3:4 aspect ratio and is technically QXGA or 2K. Still images are fantastic and better than my Samsung. Part of this is “Tru2Live+” enhancement which is supposed to have 200% better contrast ratios. Another part is a two-layer panel design called “TruVivid” which is supposed to eliminate air gap. The software tricks used to display lower res video on a high res display (interpolation) can cause some video artifacts that depend on how you adjust the “Blur Motion Free” setting. It has Active Pen support (optional pen not included - see other thoughts).
Engine/OS: whopping 4 GB RAM, quad core Atom Z3580 @ 2.3 GHZ & PowerVR G5430 GPU. Built-in storage is 64 GB. AnTuTu benchmarks are great -see other thoughts. Android 5.0 Lollipop with Zen UI on top. 2 years of 100 GB Google Drive space and LifeTime Asus Webstorage is included. Behaves as fast as the specs.
Battery: pretty good for an android. I got 6-8 hours. Power efficiency must be good for something this light to last that long (15.2 watt hour non-removable bat). One bar to full using the included adapter with tablet off took me 3 hrs.
Cons: No SIM slot option available yet to take advantage of mobile data. It is coming however. There is a fair amount of bloatware but it doesn’t seem to affect performance at all. USB-C means you have to start changing out your cables but it will probably be worth it in the long-run and is better than the iphone Lightning mess. Eventually, apple will change over too.
Overall Review: This is probably the nicest wifi tablet I own -- at half the price of my latest iOS tablet.
I’ve found myself moving away from iOS and more toward android in the search for a tablet to be able to replace more of my laptop functions. It also is nice when you can get a lot more for less money but some things are never going to come to iOS even if you jailbreak your system. Easy file access across applications, customization, removable storage for unlimited cheap memory, ability to hook-up USB devices, security features, and networking features made it all worth it even when heavily invested in iOS apps. (The one exception is aviation applications). I’ve found that investing a little time into customizing my android device pays back big time in not having to take out the laptop.
Stats seem to show that most folks use their tablets to consume media. This particular device is quite good at doing that too. If that is what you primarily do, then android is the most bang for your buck. And within android, this tablet gets you the most value for those tablets considered to be of premium build quality from big-name manufacturers.
The USB-C thing is what permits the design of a tablet that is really thin. In the long-term, this will be great because USB-C is potentially better than regular USB. There is no up/down orientation (similar to Apple’s Lightning). Unlike Lightning, it is going to be the new industry standard. Cables are eventually supposed to have the same connector on both ends but this came with regular USB on the charger side which makes it more compatible. It is potentially twice as fast as USB 3.0, it will potentially support DisplayPort, HDMI, power (up to 100 watts), USB, and VGA. It will be used on new MacBooks as well as Windows machines. The down-side is you’re gonna have to buy new adapters and cables (hopefully for cheaper than what Lightning cables go for).
There are supposed to be some cool accessories but I have not been able to buy them for testing due to lack of availability at the time of this writing. The ASUS Z Stylus is the pen that is supposed to work with this tablet and is supposed to last about 150 hours on an AAA battery. This is said to give you 1024 levels of pressure and a 1.2 mm tip. There is also supposed to be an ASUS Power Case which should extend battery life to 15 hours.
AnTuTu didn’t have benchmarks so I ran them: 46685 score. It was only slightly below galaxy note 4 and meizu mx4 which were at the top of the list.
For memory expansion get only brand-name 128 Gb cards that are marked SDXC. There are a lot of cheaper non-branded cards with hacked controllers that show 128Gb but are really not. These are often labeled SDHC and will corrupt data above whatever they really have inside. The SDHC standard is only used up to 32Gb.
Pros: Lightweight and very strong construction. Metal backing and leather like plastic makes it feel like you are holding a premium product. Display is beautiful to look at, 2048x1536 IPS display portrays video and pictures in stunning quality. It is very snappy as well, utilizes an Intel Quad Core Atom processor. Boot up time was average compared to most tablets, roughly 10-15 seconds but apps, games and videos loaded up very quickly without any lag. Having 4GB of DDR3 ram also helps with speed as well. Runs Android 5.0 and uses the typical Asus Zen UI which is easy to navigate and utilize. Another thing which I definitely liked was the addition of duel stereo front speakers. Instead of having one speaker and it being set on the back like most tablets, the audio is superb and definitely sets this apart from other tablets. Supports micro sd up to 128 GB SDXC and a generous 64 GB of onboard storage available. Camera quality is decent, definitely bright vivid pictures provided that there is adequate lighting. And finally USB-C which is the next generation of USB i/o connectors. Data and charging are all enhanced but the biggest plus is that the connector is reversible
Cons: Power buttons and volume rocker are both located on the right. Usually the volume rocker is on the left but this setup can confuse those who are used to the traditional layout. The power button is located below the volume rocker which I found to be confusing; I would always press the volume buttons instead of the power button to turn on the tablet by accident.
The camera seems to fail in low light situations and produces quite a bit of noise and there is no flash on top of that. Not reliable at all if you are looking to use this device for photos or videos.
Too much bloatware
Battery life is average.
Overall Review: After using this for a couple of weeks, the ZenPad has shown to be one of the top tablets to date when it comes to overall design and speed. Apps ran smoothly without any bugs etc. The only major issue I had was watching videos with regards to battery life. Considering the high resolution, utilizing the Quad HD screen for an extended amount of time absolutely drains the battery. Otherwise the ZenPad has an average battery life. I haven't really tested a stylus on the ZenPad but you really don't need one and there is no holster or anything to prevent you from losing one as well. Overall a solid tablet.
Pros: Amazing Android tablet. Gorgeous IPS display with a resolution that's two times HD (2K). The gorilla glass is very impressive and the touch sensitivity is flawless and super fast. Of course the quad-core Intel processor makes everything run smooth and fast. Video playback is also smooth and looks great on the 2 x HD screen. Games are just as impressive. There are no graphical hiccups in blockbuster games like Modern Combat 5 or Real Racing 3. The ASUS apps are actually quite functional, helpful and very user friendly. I especially like the Auto-Start app that helps with choosing which apps will open in the background when the tablet turns on. The UI's Home, Back, Apps, and Open-windows buttons are all that's needed to operate the tablet efficiently. The tablet itself is very light weight, thin and aesthetically beautiful to look at. The build quality feels solid. Battery life is great. It had been on for days with average use and the battery was only at 50%.
Cons: Not much here. If the tablet is powered off, turning it on requires the power button to be held for several seconds. And even then the screen does not light up right away to indicate that its actually coming on. Several times I thought something was wrong with the tablet as I tried to turn it back on. Just turns out I was not patient enough. At the very least there should be some kind of indication prior to boot-up that something is happening. The only other con I have is Android. As smooth and fast as the hardware is, Android can be clunky at times... mainly compared to "other" popular tablet OS's. However ASUS seems to have minimalized the clunky-ness and has made operating the tablet very user friendly.
Overall Review: Top-notch beautiful hardware with massive speed and power under the hood makes the ASUS ZenPad a tablet totally worth owning. So far its my favorite Android tablet. And the price is very fair. If you are in the market for a quality tablet that can do just about anything... this is it.
Pros: ASUS has a great tablet here it blows any other tablet I’ve
used out of the water, Super-fast, very light, great screen,
lots of storage (64GB) with expandable micro SD card
slot (up to 128GB)
Quad Core Processor really horsepower’s thru anything
you throw at it.
This tablet plays the Walking Dead; SimCity games
flawlessly super snappy speeds between apps.
Love the graphics and detail this tablet has the screen is
impressive for a tablet.
4 GB Ram really shines when running multiple programs
streaming music and using office excel sheets.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi work well together using my Bluetooth
This Zen-Pad has lots of customization options for menus
and backgrounds sounds and notifications.
Google play Store (android 5.0) great OS.
Really love using the GPS apps due to the size of the
screen very easy to see.
DTS HD Stereo Speakers Actually Sound Great for what
they are they are very Clear and don’t sound fuzzy when
there are loud bass parts.
I see this tablet as a very good Value for all what you get I
looked around and the closest thing you can find to the
specs of this tablet is the transformer tablet by guess who
Has Optional touch pen.
Cons: Screen settings needed tweaked slightly to look great.
Touch screen is sensitive (you get used to it)
No Good Protection cases available yet, (Want
OTTERBOX for this with a ZAGG Screen Protector.)
Overall Review: Would highly recommend this tablet to anyone it a great value
and is super-fast and loaded with options.
Must Have, Must Buy!!!
Pros: There's a lot to like about this tablet but is this the iPad mini killer that everyone had hoped Asus would be producing? Well the answer is both yes and no. Right off the bat, the best thing about this tablet is the screen, which reaches iPad Mini resolutions without breaking a sweat. Plus the quad core Intel is lightning fast and even matches my Samsung Galaxy S6 in terms of the performance one can get in a mobile device. It recognized my Samsung 128GB memory card without any problems whatsoever. So on one device you can have a near unlimited amount of music plus your entire Google Play movie collection. The battery life is pretty decent as well. On a 12 hour flight from Los Angeles to London I was able to watch a couple of movies and play several rounds of Angry Birds Space while still having nearly 40% battery left when the plane touched down in London. The build quality is also truly exceptional. The construction of this device is very solid and has lots of little touches right down to the leather grip on the right hand side. Android 5.0 is hands down one of the best mobile operating systems around.
Cons: There's several cons that prevent this from being the iPad Mini killer that everyone was hoping that Asus was going to be producing. The first and most obvious is the near complete lack of accessories for this tablet. There's no Bluetooth keyboard which would prevent anyone who wants to use this for productivity to not be able to use the device for its' intended purpose. Also there's a really sensitive on / off switch that even by merely touching the screen turns on the device, so it's really easy to drain the battery really quickly. The lack of cases is also a noticeable minus. While the device is roughly the exact same shape and size as an iPad Mini, you can use 8" tablet cases, but it's an incredibly tight fit, and you won't get the lens of the front and back cameras aligned. The camera quality is also less than adequate, although this is not the device you want if you're buying it for photography purposes. And in 2015, with nearly all movies being shot in some sort of 235:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio, how is 4:3 still a thing? It's great for reading, but horrible for watching movies, being shot in any aspect ratio. And when typing in Firefox, the on screen keyboard is very sticky and not nearly as responsive as other Android devices that I have used.
Overall Review: The noticeable lack of accessories such as keyboards, stylus, and cases, is something that Asus should remedy immediately. Especially if they are going to compete with Apple. Everything else about this tablet is pretty solid except for the 4:3 aspect ratio. That's something that, if you're going to be using this tablet for watching movies, is something that you need to consider.
Pros: From first glance it is readily apparent what device Asus targeted with the ZenPad 8. The iPad Mini. The tablet specs bear this out as well. Light weight? Check. 4:3 aspect ratio? That too. Beautiful, bright high-resolution display and speedy processor? Yes to both, with Asus besting the iPad Mini in these areas. . For the price of an entry level, 16GB Mac Mini Asus gives 64GB, an SD card slot for an additional 128 GB if you wish, and the best sounding speakers on any tablet Apple or Android and what more could you want?
Unfortunately there are several flaws. One technical with the ZenPad itself, the rest are of Asus' own doing in terms of software. On to the pros, however.
The first thing I noticed upon picking up the ZenPad Z580CA is how it felt in my hand. Exceptional. It feels absurdly light and comfortable to hold in either portrait or landscape orientation. Part of this is due to the thin plastic shell - lighter than the aluminum on more costly tablets - but Asus absolutely nailed the dimensions and a tactile, rubber strip running along one edge. Plastic notwithstanding, build quality was good. There is no flex or flimsy feel to the back.
The screen itself is very good. It offers high resolution and vibrant color. Out-of-the-box color balance was terrible, but this can be fixed using with a tweak to the color hue. Overall accuracy is not up to iPad standards, but it is pretty good.
The speakers are excellent. Better, even, than those on many laptops. Watching a movie won't find you immediately reaching for your earbuds.
Performance is, overall, very good. The Intel processor certainly competes with anything from Apple or Samsung. The ZenPad S blazes through demanding applications, be they either productivity-oriented or games. At least for the first 20 minutes until it overheats.
64GB of memory is exceptional at this price point and offering a SD slot for an extra 128GB is icing on the cake. Our business is commercial photography, and I have all too often run out of storage on other tablets. Asus shines here.
In a welcome nod to the future, Asus uses a USB type C connector.
Battery life is just OK. Count on 5 hours with reasonably heavy use and the screen turned up to a normal level. If you are only browsing the web and dim the screen, you can squeeze 8 hours from a charge.
Software is a mixed bag. The basic GUI Asus imposes hews closely to the base Android 5.0 feel. Asus uses Material Design elements and task switching is speedy. The camera app implementation is great. It's intuitive and has a slider to set variable delays for timed shots.
Cons: I debated between giving the Z580CA four stars or only three. The tablet hardware is a solid 5 stars. The software Asus bundles reminds one of the worst pre-installed bloatware on a cheap laptop. I found two issues with the hardware, many more with the software.
The technical flaw I mentioned above is that the ZenPad is prone to overheating if the CPU is heavily used for 20 minutes or so. Although the tablet does not feel overly warm to the touch, it starts throttling. This leads to lagging and stuttering. I found this behavior most often during video games, although video playback where the tablet needed to do on-the-fly transcoding caused the problem as well. Running benchmarking software caused the problem after 17-18 minutes. This likely is not a deal-breaker for most; just be aware that the problem exists.
The plastic shell is not as durable as the metal shell of an iPad. The ZenPad shows noticeable wear and scratches to the edges after a couple weeks' use. Again, not a serious flaw for most.
On to the software. Asus bundles a boatload of utilities and freebies as well as putting their custom skin atop Android. The tablet ships with 5.0 Lollipop, Stagefright vulnerabilities and all. No updates are available as of this review.It appears that Asus fell prey to the desire to distinguish their offering from stock Android. In a few cases this works well – the aforementioned camera control in particular. Most of the time, however, their choices needlessly complicate common choices (the settings is a real mess) or add complexity to what is a simple task in stock Android.
Some of the freebies are useful: 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years - who couldn't use more cloud space? Avast Antivirus for a year, although advanced protections only work on a rooted device. Others are harmless: 5GB of Asus cloud storage for 1 year. The majority are pure bloatware offering little more than battery-sapping processes that can't be uninstalled.
The worst "features", however, are Asus' own doing. Enabled by default is software that promises to smooth video playback. This is mostly harmless when viewing 60p video. Watch a 24p movie, however, and you'll see weird transitions inserted between video frames. Thankfully there is an option to disable this option.
Two settings that cannot be disabled are aggressive sharpening and an auto contrast algorithm for images. The sharpening makes on-screen text blurry and UI elements unclear in web pages. For images, it creates obvious artifacts. The auto contrast adjusts all images whether they need it or not. From a professional photography standpoint, this makes the Z580CA less than useful for image review or client presentations.
Encrypting the tablet brought forth another problem. Booting the tablet once it is encrypted requires eleven(!) minutes from entering the password to when the Android account login screen appears. Didn't Asus test this?
Overall Review: If there were no other options, I would give the ZenPad S only three stars. The hardware itself is very good. The software, not so much. The option, naturally, is rooting the tablet.
If you decide to go this route, you can delete most of the bloatware Assu pre-installs. The tablet runs more smoothly and you can replace the Asus launcher with Google's. The rest of the Asus mess can be deleted as well. I left the camera app (it is the one item where Asus improved on the stock apps) and the Asus keyboard. The last is a must if you encrypt the device, as otherwise you can't enter a password.
Speaking of encryption, it becomes workable after rooting. Startup times are still long - about two minutes - but better than the 11 minutes for a stock device. An encrypted Z580CA will not boot if it is plugged in to a power source or computer. The Asus logo just fades in and out for hours.
As for whether you should purchase the Z580CA, I can't give a hard-and-fast answer. The speakers are the best you'll find. The display has great color range, but the Asus auto contrast kicks in and the result often looks worse than on an iPad or Samsung tablet. If you need lots of storage, buying the Z580CA is a reasonable choice, although I hesitate to recommend it if you are uncomfortable rooting the device. If you don't absolutely require the extra memory and are not wedded to Android, the 16GB iPad Mini 2 costs the same, is nearly as fast, has better colors, and you don't need to deal with the mess Asus made of the Android UI or the bundled bloatware.