Asus ZenPad 10 review
|Review: May 2016|
In a nutshell: A 10-inch Android tablet for around £150 is a bargain by any standards, and when it's nicely built as the ASUS ZenPad 10, we're certainly not complaining. Just don't expect this to be a high performance tablet, and you won't go wrong.
ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 Z500M-1H00 ...
A budget 10-inch tablet
The ASUS ZenPad 10 is a beautifully-made tablet, and you'd never guess from handling it that it's a low-cost model. While it's not quite as slim as some more expensive tablets, at 7.9mm it's hardly thick. Its 510g weight does make it feel heavier than other tablets however.
It's nicely designed and crafted, with edge-to-edge Gorilla glass providing a smooth protective shield for the front, and a lightly textured back provides a comfortable grip. The power button is located on the top edge, and the volume rocker on the left edge. In landscape mode, it's very comfortable to use; less so in portrait mode.
The 10-inch display is an excellent size, but it has a relatively low 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, so it's not as sharp as we'd ideally like. The laminated IPS screen isn't that bright either.
The tablet is available in a choice of colours: Black, White, or Aurora Metallic.
Asus has made an unusual choice for the ZenPad, equipping it with an Intel processor. This isn't a laptop-style processor however, but an Intel Atom x3-C3200, designed for use in mobile devices. It's a quad-core processor running at 1.4GHz, and gives fairly modest performance. The Mali-450 MP4 graphics unit accompanying it is a low-end unit typically used in entry-level Android smartphones, and can't power the most demanding games at full frame rates.
The ZenPad comes with 2GB of RAM, which is a good match for the processor, and is furnished with 16GB of flash memory. This can be upgraded by adding a microSD card for an extra 64GB of permanent storage.
The tablet runs Android 5 Lollipop.
2 megapixel camera
If the processing power of the ZenPad 10 is modest, than its photographic capabilities are best described as poor. The rear camera is a 2-megapixel model, and the front camera has just a VGA resolution - that's 0.3 megapixels. These are really only suitable for the most basic use.
The ZenPad has fairly basic connectivity too, although the essentials are all covered. That means single-channel Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth and a combined headphone jack /microphone input. However, it does have GPS and Glonass positioning, plus a variety of sensors, and also Miracast wireless capability.
Battery life is acceptable, but far from impressive. The 18Wh fixed battery is smaller than we'd expect in a 10-inch tablet, but is capable of powering the tablet for up to 8 hours.
Conclusion - a nice entry-level 10-inch tablet
If you think that all entry-level tablets have to look and feel cheap, Asus proves otherwise with its beautiful ZenPad 10. Cheap it may be, but this tablet has a really high quality look and feel to it.
It has all the essentials covered, but its performance its modest across the board. Still, if you don't plan to use it for anything too demanding, it will do the job. Just don't throw too much at it, and you and your tablet will both be happy!
Asus ZenPad 10 features include:
- Operating system: Android 5 (Lollipop)
- Display: 10.1 inch IPS touchscreen with 1280 x 800 pixels
- 2 megapixel rear camera
- VGA front camera
- 2 x front speaker with DTS HD Premium Sound, Sonic Master technology, aptX support
- Processor: Intel Atom x3-C3200 quad-core, 64-bit, with 2GB RAM
- Memory: 16GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 64GB supported)
- Sensors: G-Sensor / E-compass / Light Sensor/ Hall Sensor / GPS & GLONASS
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack / microphone input
- Size: 251.6 x 172 x 7.9 mm
- Weight: 510g
- Battery: 18Wh fixed battery
- Battery life: Up to 8 hours
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