The reliable and surprising Taiwanese manufacturer's tablet with a well-made display and an attractive price
Price: 269 euros | Vote: 8.5More information: Asus
To propose a quality tablet at an economical price the secret to do the right cuts in the right place. It's easier said than done, but with ZenPad S 8.0Asus seems to have found a way to square the circle and churn out a tablet that is not able to overcome, but at least to compete with the most expensive offers of the competition.
ZenPad S 8.0 comes with a elegant and refined look:the combination of faux leather and brushed finishes is not the utmost simplicity, but the result is equally intriguing. In the hands the tablet is very handy. About a width of the particularly small side frameespecially of a weight of 298 grams and a thickness of 6.6 mm. The body is resistant enough to avoid deformations, even if it is let go some creaking exercising enough force in the twist.
Silicon and accessories are crammed into the ZenPad cheese slice thickness. The processorquad-core 64-bit an Intel Atom Z3569 supported by 2 GB of RAM that performs quite well, ensuring few hiccups both within the interface and in the launch and execution of the app. The graphics transitions are fast and smooth, and the operating system travels quietly in most conditions. On this platform are based Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 32 GB of integrated memory expandable via microSD cards and – software side – Android in Lollipop version seasoned with the cosmetic restyling carried out by Asus.
Aficionados of the original Android look will be able to bring the system back to its original appearance in a short time, but system menus, notifications and lock screens are destined to remain those designed by the Taiwanese home. Not bad, because in addition to changes to the graphical interface of Android Asus has added several useful features to the operating system – like the double tap to wake up or turn off the screen; more annoying is the plethora of pre-installed apps that do not offer real benefits over those available or offered by Google itself.
The display is the highlight of the offer: on the 8-inch diagonal and at a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, colors are always reproduced faithfully – loads but never too saturated – even if unfortunately the maximum brightness level is not very high. The reflections are however reduced to the minimum and the result a marvel for the eyes – both in the reading of texts, graphic novels and Internet pages, both in the vision of clips and films. The 3: 2 screen ratio in reality it clashes a bit with the contents in panoramic format like films and TV series: the shape of the tablet designed more to facilitate its use as a magazine. The quality of the set for such a high quality that it can even withstand the hated black bands during multimedia playback.
What is surprising, rather, to notice the battery that is discharged to the eye during use and in particular when watching movies. In these last cases the percentage of charge decreases inexorably at a rather sustained speed. It will be the high number of pixels to be moved on the screen, or perhaps a degree of optimization of the software not yet perfected; or the very small thickness that left no room for a larger battery, but ZenPad S from this point of view below average. Nothing that affects its use, but an additional thought for the mind of those who would like to use the tablet for demanding operations such as video streaming and games.
Overall, however, ZenPad S 8.0 proved itself a great tablet, able to respond adequately to all our requests: from gaming to fast productivity through entertainment and pure loss of time on social networks. Autonomy below the average relegates it more to a home environment that from travel, but with a minimum of foresight, even commuters will be able to make it disappear in a folder and carry it without problems. The price then it beats the majority of equivalent offers with confidence.
Wired2K display with bright colors; different covers available as accessories to expand the functionality of the tablet.
Tired8 and 5 megapixel cameras below average; insufficient battery; too many unnecessary pre-installed apps.