Another fantastic tablet at a fantastic price, today we bring you our opinion on Asus’ ZenPad S 8.0 tablet. It recently hit stores this August knocking out some of the competition–such as Lenovo–as with it comes an outstanding display, a host of great specs and a solid battery life.
We will begin with pointing out that the screen is one of it’s biggest selling points. The ZenPad S 8.0 comes with a 2048 x 1536 (2K resolution) IPS screen and ASUS’ “TruVivid technology”, which is supposed to bring out the best in graphics. This screen is not only super bright, but the resolution can really be seen when watching various HD content, especially animated movies and shows. Colors are very rich and blacks are decently dark. It proves to be an excellent tablet for media playback use.
Average battery life is around 8 hours which makes it more than usable for around the house, at work, school and so much more. Long bus or train rides, a flight across the states or sitting on a bench waiting for your special someone to finish shopping. This tablet will last a long time before you begin to worry about plugging it in. Even better, with a good case (with built-in magnets), it reacts to the magnets to disable the screen when the case is closed over it. This prevents accidentally enabling the screen and for some reason also improves standby battery life (most likely knows to disable the light sensor and some other hardware when the case is closed). We have let it sit there in standby for many days before it needed a recharge (case closed, and no one bothering it).
It features a 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z3530 64-bit quad-core processor inside. 1.3GHz might not sound like a lot compared to some of the new processors available in today’s tablets, but this one really performs. For a mid-range tablet, you truly feel you are holding something more expensive in your hands. That’s when you develop the idea that you sure got your money’s worth. There is also 2GB of RAM to help feed some of the memory intense applications. The whole thing sounds like an old PC I used to have back in the day (only it didn’t have multiple cores).
There is 32GB of internal storage and can be expanded using any SDHC microSD card (up to 128GB). Between this and the various cloud options available to you out there, you won’t be worrying so much about storage.
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Android 5.0 (Lollipop) is installed, covered with a brilliant ASUS UI that adds to it’s design and functionality. It proves to be quite user friendly while allowing a great deal of customization. Lollipop runs stable and app wait times are minimal to average compared to the latest mid and high end tablets of recent months.
There is both a front (2MP) and rear (5MP) facing camera. Resolution is average and there is no flash available. This won’t be a tablet that you would buy for taking pictures with. Then again, that’s what your phone is for (or an actual camera…they still sell those you know). It does prove to be useful when you simply need “anything” to take a quick shot with and most importantly something to use for Skype or whatever video communication app you prefer. Resolution is comparable to a basic webcam and seems to get the job done.
You get a solid speed while connected to a WiFi network with great range. We got speeds anywhere from 20 to 40 Mbps. There isn’t any cellular support, so you are limited to WiFi. This isn’t a problem since tablets that offer cellular support (aka phablets) typically cost $350+ anyway. The lack of a constant mobile connection may be tough for some, but for others there are plenty of WiFi hotspots to tap into.
It isn’t the lightest of tablets, but also not the heaviest. It weighs somewhere around 2/3rds of a pound and closure to a pound or more once you have a nice case on it. Cases can be found for relatively cheap (around $10) or I’m sure you can opt to spend a lot for an Otterbox(like) case. I haven’t found any of the latter just yet, but I’m sure they will produce one eventually.
Looking at the layout of the sides, the top is where you will find your typical 3.5mm headphone jack and the bottom the microUSB port for charging as well as a small hole to the right that represents the microphone’s location. The left side contains a small flap for accessing the microSD slot and the right side contains your volume up/down toggle and your power/unlock button.
It does support microUSB to USB adapters so that you can tap into thumb drives, hubs, card readers and more. You can also connect a keyboard or mouse using this method (although Bluetooth would be more user-friendly since there wouldn’t be any wires).
There is 64GB version of the model as well (model Z580CA) that offers a handful of other features to the expanded internal storage. It also features a 8MP/5MP set of cameras (vs 5/2), whopping 2.3Ghz Intel processor (vs 1.3), 4GB of RAM (vs 2), USB Type-C connector charging (instead of micro-USB), 802.11ac wireless (vs 802.11n of the model being reviewed here) and Gorilla Glass. It’s also $100 more, but when you look at the specs, it’s hard to argue the deal you are getting. We don’t have one of those in front of us right now, so we can’t offer a tested opinion, but I can at least say it sounds like a perfect upgrade to this already perfect tablet (makes sense right?…).
I can confidently recommend this tablet. If you are looking for something with solid performance, a ton of storage(including expandable) and a brilliant screen; This is a great tablet for the buy. It runs around $199, making it quite affordable and you can always opt to upgrade to the even better $299 model if you dare spend the cash. Both models sound worth it, but this one I can provide the hands-on experience to back it up.
- Operating SystemTablet: Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
- Display8″ LED Backlight QXGA (1536 x 2048) Screen
10 finger multi-touch support
- CPUIntel® Atom™ Z3530 Quad-Core, 64bit
5GB Life Time ASUS Webstorage Space
100GB of Google Drive space for 2 years.
- GraphicIMG PowerVR Series 6 – G6430
- Wireless Data NetworkWLAN802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth V4.1& Bluetooth Smart(Bluetooth low energy)
- Camera2 MP Front Camera
5 MP Rear Camera
- Audio2 x Front Speaker with DTS HD Premium Sound, Sonic Master technology, Supports aptX®
- Interface1 × Micro USB
1 × 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in)
1 × Micro SD Card Reader, up to 128GB (SDXC)
- SensorG-Sensor/ E-compass / GPS / Light-Sensor / Hall Sensor
8 hours battery life; 15.2Wh Li-polymer Battery
- NavigationGPS & GLONASS
- ColorBlack, White
- Dimensions203.2 x 134.5 x 6.9 mm (LxWxH)
- Weight317 g
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
Ryan- Reasonable review, except the usb is Type-C, not micro. There is also a 64 GB storage, 4 GB of RAM version for about $100 more that REALLY flies, but loses maybe a bit to battery life.
John, the unit we reviewed was the 32GB model which is a microUSB connection. This is mentioned towards the end but before the conclusion. The 64GB model (next model up) is the one with a Type-C connector. You can see in the images that the adapter is micro. Why they chose to go two different directions with two sibling models of the same series, I don’t know. Personally I think both should have been Type-C, but they must have felt they were rolling the right number by going the direction they did. Both models are wonderful tablets. I still like the 32GB model though. We haven’t had any hands on time with the 64GB model, so we couldn’t go into too much detail.