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
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?
- Samsung unveils curvy Gear S smartwatch and Circle smart necklace
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- Round-faced LG G Watch R teased ahead of IFA
- 1,500 fake apps kicked off Windows Store
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Kobo dives into waterproof tech with Aura H2O
- Google promises faster Chrome with 64-bit support
- iPhone 6 release date, rumours, specs and features: when is the iPhone 6 coming out in the UK?
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to edit PDFs: make change to a PDF
- Building a patently better future
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- 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