Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA ReviewAsus ZenPad S 8.0 6.8
It’s been a while since we’ve last reviewed a dedicated tablet from Asus, seeing that the last one we got the chance to check out was the hybrid PadFone X mini from last year. Most companies nowadays tend to shy away from high-end tablets, especially on the Android side, but Asus comes back swinging with something delicious in the svelte ZenPad S 8.0. Now, there are variants of this particular model, but the one we’re dealing with here, the Z580CA, is the company’s flagship tablet that strives to balance work and play.
The package contains:
- Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA
- microUSB cable
- Wall charger
- Get start guide
- Important information
Almost unbelievable we’re dealing with an 8-incher here, just because it looks and feels more like a 7-incher.
You’d hardly think we’re dealing with an 8-inch tablet here, just because it feels and looks more like a 7-incher thanks to how they’ve trimmed the footprint to achieve an impressive 74% screen-to-body ratio. What’s even better, is the fact that its design blends sophistication and elegance with its hairline patterned metallic chassis and a soft-touch leather accent that’s hugging one side of the tablet in the back. Even though it's still a bit wide to comfortably grasp with a single hand, its lightweight (298g) feel and svelte profile (6.6mm) do nicely in giving it some notable traits for a tablet of its caliber.
Unfortunately, the power button and volume controls lack any decent feedback when pressed – so you never know if you’ve actually pressed down on them or not. What’s really interesting, though, is the fact that it’s one of the few devices in the space right now with a USB Type-C connector, ensuring that it’s one step ahead of the game. And lastly, Asus blesses the ZenPad S 8.0 with dual front-firing Sonic Master speakers with DTS HD Premium Sound.
We like its 2K resolution, but not so much with the other characteristics of the display.
Cementing its place as a premium tablet, the ZenPad S 8.0 is fashioned along with an 8-inch 1536 x 2048 (QXGA) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protecting it. Details, unsurprisingly, are plentiful factoring in its 8-inch real estate with its generous resolution – giving it a respectable pixel density of 320 ppi. As much as we take fancy over its sharpness, there’s just this subdued overall tone that lessens its attractiveness.
For one, its peak 387 nit luminance makes it troublesome to view outdoors when the sun is out, which can be the main contributing factor to its subdued appearance. Secondly, the display exhibits a colder tone with its ~7300K color temperature, giving colors a hint of blue. And while it’s technically not perfectl in hitting all the target values in the sRGB colorspace, it does nicely to stay within a certain degree of tolerance – though, the various shades of magenta tend to favor some bluish hues to them.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Google Nexus 9||453
|Asus ZenPad S 8.0||387
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch||375
|Apple iPad mini 3||312
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch||52.8%
|Google Nexus 9||70.6%
|Apple iPad mini 3||73.7%
|Asus ZenPad S 8.0||77%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. kkmkk (Posts: 463; Member since: 06 May 2013)
phones**tena if you will keep giving every device below 7/10 no matter how good they are just because they are not Samsung or apple logo on it you will loss all of your readers ... so stop the s**t your doing
6. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Oh c'mon, have you seen how BAD the battery life this is compared to the Nexus 9 with practically identical specs? And for a tablet, anything that offers multi-tasking is practically MANDATORY, considering Apple is now on board with what Samsung's been doing for so long.
I don't think PhoneArena's rating devices lowly without reasonable doubt...
16. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
So you want top end battery life right? And you want top end camera specs right? Oh, throw in cellular conectivity. Right? Then throw in that cheap price point too. If you want unrealistic, then let's just have fun with it. To be honest, do you really truely trust these battery values? Honestly? When is the last time you sat for 7 or 8 hours at one time with your tablet? Huh? 5 hours in one sitting? Beyond that, have you heard of those $15 external battery packs? Go big and spend $20 and you're likely fine for any extended usage. Right. You want big battery and the lowest price in the category.
18. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
All I'm saying is that ASUS is using an excuse the low price to slack on specs - I mean, the software is a nonstarter! And you cannot possibly achieve a low price with supposedly "flagship killer" specs if they wouldn't compromise somewhere else.
Also, the bigger issue is NOT using the tablet straight, unless you so desperately choose to "Netflix and Chill," this is an indication that in heavy use, when I want the tablet to perform the most, it won't for a long time, when other similar tablets CAN. And letting your battery run down by using it WHILE CHARGING helps...
20. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
Your expectations are completely unrealistic, which Is my point. Have you actually done any price comparisons? If you think Asus slacked on specs, sorry, but LOL.
Regarding battery. Let's be realistic. When is the last time you sat for 4 hours straight? 5 hours? 6 hours? If not, then guess what? It's called plugging it in. The reality is the S2 pack around the same size battery. What you really should care about is standy time so that when you're done. you know that it will still be decent battery left. However, no reviews bother.
It's an Android tablet. Why on earth anyone would pay a S2 price for a device which is obsolete in a year or two? I'm having a hard time understanding, but to each their own.
2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I read the review and feel that it deserves a 7.8 at least.. Why the harsh reviews these past two weeks?
5. androidwindows (Posts: 186; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)
They are going the way of The Verge. They only give high scores to apple's products (or Samsung's). Everything else is garbage in their eyes.
3. NotAGeek (Posts: 279; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
Poor camera performance? Who would even care about a camera in a tablet?
7. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1371; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
Many more people that will surprise you. Also if the camera is on the tablet then it needs to be reviewed too. If you put one just for the sake of it and its beyond s**t then its your fault.
17. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
The reason the camera review is there because it's easy, it's fast and it fills up a review with images and words. Meaningless ultimately, but apparently this is how to do it. It's called review churning I believe.
4. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)
This tablet is way better than Samsung Tab A, but ,nevertheless, I can bet my ass if those two, 8.0 and 9.7 have a review, they will be rated better than ZenPad S, just because it is Samsung. lmao
15. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
You're onto how this works. It's automatic. Samsung? Check. Score up? Check. Compare the Z580C and Z580CA to the S2. That's the fair comparison and frankly it's a complete joke. Unless of course you like to spend extra cash.
9. fyahking (Posts: 859; Member since: 28 Jan 2015)
Just wait for the almost perfect score of the ipad mini 4 and Iphone 6s and 6s plus.
10. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Enough with the pretense of bias against the small players compared to the big ones. If the small players want to compete and win over the big players, then the small players need to step up. All ASUS has with this tablet is over-specs and low price, but the battery and non-extensibility (software) compromise is frankly inexcusable. iPads have terrific battery life and Samsung standardised multiple apps functionality (multi-window) on their tablets, why should ASUS get a pass for cutting corners on their tablet just because the price is low...?
22. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
@Odeira, you're like a millionaire who shops at Walmart for clothing. What do you expect? Products suited for millionaires on the shelves of Walmart? Complaining that Walmart clothes aren't up to snuff for the millionaire crowd?
12. ninja_master (Posts: 306; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)
wtf phonearena you need a better reviewer
14. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
If I was Asus? I would reconsider sending you guys devices to review. Perhaps it's because it's a tablet? It would appear that you spend a few hours tinkering. I would also bet that if I asked you something about the Z580CA you would have no clue. And that level of knowledge is enough for a review on PhoneArena.com?
You are doing a disservice to your readers, although none of them would likely realize it. It's obvious to me because I obviously know this tablet better than you. By a mile.
So, a Samsung Galaxy Note review that didn't mention the S pen. What would you think of that kind of review? How about a MS Surface review without a mention of the stylus? How about...a Z580CA review without mention of the Z Stylus? Guess what. It's called....a value added proposition to the device! It might be noteworthy to some of your thousands of readers. Or not. I list this to being unprofessional.
Do you even know what Tru2Life+ is? Do you know that exists on the Z580CA? Did you so much as tinker or see if it's a value added? Clearly not. Again, a disservice to your readers.
How about the color adjustments within the settings to adjust hues, and assorted coloring aspects of the display?
Your take on the brightness outdoors? You kidding? Take a iPad Air outside. Take a iPad mini outside. Take ANY TABLET OUTSIDE in bright sunlight and then come back and say that tablet a was superior to tablet b in bright outdoor. Fact: they all suck in bright sunlight. Heard of e-ink?
Like I said. If I'm Asus I'm reconsidering who I send units out to. It's pretty clear from what I read online, that just because you're a "big site" doesn't mean the quality of review is any good. Quite the opposite in fact. People listen. If you want people who spend time with a device? Look elsewhere. Basing a purchase on a assembly line review process is a mistake. $299. You could even look at the $199 version which is essentially what this review is anyways. Nothing said about the Z580CA extra features aside from the USB C.
19. DONUT (Posts: 407; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
criticism for the sake of criticism doesnt make your reviews any more credible than they were before. in fact, reviews here have lost credibility to me the moment they lowered the G4's score because of a few whiners. the reviewers cant even stand up for their own reviews. smh.
also, the display tests of measuring colour temperature only is just terrible. there is so much more that makes a display other than its colour temperature. sunlight legibility, viewing angles, brightness, etc etc. not to mention, almost every device has the option of adjusting colour temperature to suit the end users' tastes. colder screens are more appealing to the eye, if the screen hit the perfect accurate colour temperature on the spot, you're gona bash it for being less attractive than other devices.
it also is hard to believe how a phone like the Nubia Z9, and now this tablet, get terrible scores on PA, when other reviews praise them.
giving the OP2 a very low score might have helped you gain a little more clicks, but the same trick will not work all the time if what youre after is ad revenue and site views.
sadly, reviews here are an honest to god joke
21. GrahamDouglas (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2015)
Phew, credit due to readers. Realizing it's not "buyer beware" but "review beware". It would appear quantity over quality. Get the next review out, then move onto the next device as quickly as possible. Skim reading as it were. Skim reviews is what I call it.
24. HearMeHearMe (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Jan 2015)
I was back in the market for shopping for a tablet as the one I just recently bought into (Lenovo) decided it needed a broken LCD by barely applying pressure to the screen (it was in my cargo pocket, screen facing my leg….and I leaned forward and it applied enough pressure to crack the glass and turn the LCD into all sorts of colors). So after TONS of research and reviews (ie, like the one on Poc Network // Tech that seemed to like it a decent amount ), I decided to give this one (ASUS) a chance. So far I love it. The screen looks nicer (they claim it is 2K resolution, but it doesn’t look much better than any other awesome tablet…it just simply looks awesome lol but not 4K like the TVs). It’s faster than my other one, has more space than it + has a card slot for more space and hasn’t given me any troubles yet.
25. entotok (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Dec 2015)
Would've preferred it if the benchmarks compared it to the 8'' S2 instead of the bigger 9.7''. How does the battery compare there? I can only assume that the bigger S2 has a larger battery making the comparison kind of useless.
Also, the 9.7 S2 is $100 CAD pricier than the 8'' S2 (and even more than the Zenpad S). Overall not the most informing review.