Asus Memo Pad 8 review
A perfectly competent Android tablet, but it isn't a patch on the Nexus 7
Review Date: 16 Apr 2014
Reviewed By: Bobby MacPherson
Price when reviewed: £150 (£180 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Asus seemed to have cornered the compact-tablet market in recent years: its Nexus 7 currently holds the top spot on the A-List, and the modestly priced Fonepad achieved the top spot before that. The Asus Memo Pad 8 marks the newest instalment in Asus’ range of budget Android tablets. Priced at £180, it’s in a similar price bracket to the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7in. See also the 11 best tablets of 2014
Physically, it’s smart enough, all clad in charcoal grey and black. It shares the Nexus’ restrained design, with a matte-plastic finish that curves gently at the sides and corners, but it’s noticeably chunkier. It’s 10.7mm thick – a full 2.2mm thicker than the Nexus 7 – it’s broader and heavier at 125mm, and at 350g it’s significantly heavier, too. It’s still narrow and light enough to sit in one hand fairly easily, though.
The Memo Pad 8’s selection of ports didn’t throw any surprises our way: there’s only a 3.5mm audio jack and micro-USB found at the top of the tablet. However, we were pleased to see a microSD slot on the tablet’s left side, a handy feature that gives the option to add an additional 64GB to the tablet’s 16GB internal storage. That’s one upgrade option the Nexus 7 doesn’t share.
Elsewhere, the Memo Pad 8 is less impressive. Its 8in screen has a resolution of only 800 x 1,280, where the Nexus 7’s is Full HD; a shame, since the Memo Pad’s IPS panel and LED backlight produces perfectly acceptable image quality. The maximum brightness is 313cd/m² and the contrast ratio of 1,043:1 is superb, ensuring images are eye-catching and dynamic.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the tablet offers only single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3. Its 5-megapixel rear camera is middle of the road, producing crisp snaps outside, but grainy pictures with a warm, orangey hue in less favourable light indoors.
The Memo Pad also falls short when it comes to performance. A SunSpider time of 1,209ms is comparable to the Nexus 7’s score of 1,202ms, but its quad-core 1.6GHz Rockchip SoC and Mali-400 MP4 GPU are a long way behind when it comes to gaming performance. In the GFXBench T-Rex test, run at the screen’s native resolution of 800 x 1,280, the Memo Pad 8 gained a mere 6fps compared to the Nexus 7’s 15fps.
Where the Memo Pad 8 shows some promise is battery life. In our looping video test, it lasted 11hrs 14mins with the screen set to 120cd/m², where the Nexus 7 lasted 11hrs 48mins. It isn’t far behind, and should deliver a day of use comfortably – more if lightly used.
The Asus Memo Pad 8 isn’t a bad tablet at all. Performance may be a little lacklustre, but screen quality and battery life are good, it’s handsomely designed and storage is expandable, thanks to the microSD slot. Its key problem is that – while it does everything perfectly well – the Nexus 7 is superior in most departments. Unless memory expansion is absolutely critical, we’d spend the extra £20 and opt for the A-List title holder.
Author: Bobby MacPherson
"A perfectly competent Android tablet, but it isn't not a patch on the Nexus 7"
By milliganp on 16 Apr 2014
"but it isn't not a patch on the Nexus 7"
Does anybody not proofread these any more?
By ArtissTheGeek on 16 Apr 2014
Hardware - vivotab note 8?
This looks like exactly the same hardwaer (minus the digitiser) as the Asus Vivotab Note 8?
By bibble on 16 Apr 2014
I agree - I read this twice to see if these comments made better sense the second time - they didn't:
- " it’s broader and heavier at 125mm, and at 350g it’s significantly heavier, too."
- "a shame, since the Memo Pad’s IPS panel and LED backlight produces perfectly acceptable image quality."
- "the Memo Pad 8 gained a mere 6fps"
By dahawthorne on 17 Apr 2014
- Will the next Windows 8.1 update arrive next month?
- BBC Sport comes to Chromecast
- Those parental-control filters? As few as 4% are signing up
- iPhone 6's Apple logo may light up for notifications
- Apple releases round 4 of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite betas
- Cortana preview headed to Britain in two weeks
- Google unveils Chrome OS update "Athena"
- Piracy warning letters: four strikes and you're not out
- iPhone 6 sapphire display: is Apple cutting costs with composite materials?
- Google admits games with in-app purchases aren't free
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 11 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to free up hard disk space
- Driverless cars: could your next car be driven by a robot?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?