Asus Memo Pad HD 7 review
A fine budget compact tablet with a decent screen and excellent battery life
Compact tablets are the technology industry's newest commodity items, and the Asus Memo Pad HD 7 is the latest addition. As you can probably guess from the name, it's a 7in tablet and, like most recent compact tablets, it comes in at well below £200.
It isn't quite as ludicrously cheap as the Barnes & Noble Nook HD, the price of which fell to £99 in July, but at £130, it's still low enough to make the HD 7 a close competitor.
Despite the budget price tag, it's a well put together product. There's no sign of metal in the chassis, but the gloss-plastic rear panel feels stout and capable of taking abuse. It looks smart, with the Asus logo carved into the rear, and is available in four colours – hot pink, white, bright green and dark blue.
Along the edges of the Memo Pad, there's a flap-free microSD slot on the left-hand side, large power and volume buttons sitting opposite it, and micro-USB and 3.5mm audio sockets on the top edge. All in all, it's a handsome device that certainly doesn't give the impression it was fished out of the bargain bin.
That's also true when you turn on the tablet. For starters, the display has a higher resolution than you might expect from a budget tablet. Apart from the Nook HD – which boasts a slightly higher pixel count of 900 x 1,440 – the HD 7, at 800 x 1,280, has the highest-resolution screen in the penny-pinching price bracket.
It's extremely sharp, excellent for everything from reading to gaming, and the quality is surprisingly good. Measured with a colorimeter, the maximum brightness hit 393cd/m2, a superb result that's only slightly behind the Nook, while contrast was recorded at a Nook-beating 914:1.
It nudges ahead of its rival on the camera front, too, offering both rear and front snappers, at 1 and 5 megapixels respectively, with 1080p video capture. Image quality isn't bad, either, although it becomes grainy in low light.
|Price ex VAT||£108|
|Price inc VAT||£130|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||6|
|Dimensions||121 x 12 x 195mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||800|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,280|
|Display type||Multitouch, capacitive|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1.2GHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Built-in flash type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|Mobile operating system||Android 4.2|