Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 review

19 Sep 2013

Asus delivers another good-value tablet, but it’s outgunned by the Nexus 10 in the performance stakes

Price when reviewed: 
299(£299 inc VAT)
5

Asus has been putting out some great Android tablets lately, with the compact, low-cost Fonepad and Memo Pad HD 7 hitting the right notes. Now it’s the turn of the Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 to take the stage.

From the name, it’s clear what the headline feature is: a Full HD, 10.1in IPS display. In a tablet costing £300, that isn’t bad at all. Quality is decent too: although the top brightness of 325cd/m[sup]2[/sup] isn’t as high as the best tablets on the market, contrast hits a solid 1,016:1, and Full HD at this screen size is sufficiently sharp.

In fact, as long as you hold the tablet 16in or more from your eyes, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the FHD 10 and even the highest-resolution display.

Asus Memo Pad FHD 10

At this price, the Asus is in direct competition with the Google Nexus 10, but it isn’t far behind. In fact, in some ways, we prefer it to the Google tablet. For a start, its 566g body is 17% lighter, which makes it noticeably more comfortable to hold for extended periods. We also prefer the slightly softer, dimpled-plastic finish on the FHD 10 to the stickier plastic of the Nexus 10.

A quick glance around the edges reveals a micro-HDMI output and a microSD slot for expanding the tablet’s generous allocation of storage – two further points in the FHD 10’s favour.

When it comes to performance, it starts to fall behind. Powering the FHD 10 is a dual-core, Hyper-Threaded, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, backed up by 2GB of RAM, and it runs Android 4.2.2, a version behind the Nexus 10. This combination delivers mixed results. Navigating even hefty web pages feels smooth and slick, as does moving around the operating system. However, we were perturbed to discover that, even on such a modern tablet, there was a degree of typing lag.

Asus Memo Pad FHD 10

Benchmarking and informal games tests also revealed a lack of oomph compared to the best of the tablet crop. In Geekbench 2 the FHD 10 scored 1,173 and it completed the SunSpider benchmark in 1,186ms - both figures lagging behind the kind of results we've seen from recent models.

Gaming ability was better, the highly intensive T-Rex HD test returning a frame rate of 6.8fps; this was backed up by smooth gameplay in Real Racing 3 and Despicable Me: Minion Rush. However, there’s a caveat to all this. As the Intel processor is x86-based, rather than ARM-based, it won’t be able to run every app and game on Google Play.

With similar battery life and camera quality to the Nexus 10, it’s difficult to separate the Nexus 10 and the Asus Memo Pad FHD 10. The FHD 10 has more storage, a slot for expanding it, and a more pleasing all-round design; the Nexus 10 has a better display, quicker performance, and boasts the most up-to-date version of Android. If it were our money, we’d choose the Nexus 10, but the FHD 10 has much to recommend it.

Detail

Price ex VAT £249
Price inc VAT £299
Warranty 1 yr return to base
Overall rating 5
Performance 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 6

Physical

Dimensions 264 x 9.3 x 182mm (WDH)
Weight 566g

Display

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Display type IPS
Panel technology IPS

Battery

Battery capacity 5,000mAh

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 1.6GHz
Integrated memory 32.0GB
RAM capacity 2.00GB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Focus type Autofocus
Built-in flash? no
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.11abgn
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
HDMI output? yes