Asus MeMO Pad 8 and MeMO Pad 10 hands-on
A few key points were left out of the equation by ASUS, deeming it too early to share specific information on essentials such as release date and pricing. However, based on the two devices we have in front of us, along with the fact that the company's MeMO Pad line has traditionally carried a budget-friendly price tag, it shouldn't be a stretch to say outright that we expect both the MeMO Pad 8 and 10 to fall into the affordable category.
ASUS MeMO Pad 8
Starting off with the smaller, 8-inch MeMO Pad 8, we have an IPS display running at a 1280x800 resolution – not terrible for its class by any means, and should help with the 9 hours of uptime that the embedded 3950mAh battery is said to deliver.
Doing the brain work underneath is a unspecified 1.6GHz quad-core chipset that we suspect carriers a MediaTek branding. In terms of memory, you get 1GB of RAM and 8GB of microSD-expandable internal storage.
The MeMO Pad 8 will come with a palette of different color choices, though the unit we got to play with was snow white. In sync with its budget philosophy, the back is made of plastic and it houses a dual speaker at the bottom, along with a 5MP snapper up top, capable of shooting 720p HD video. The 350g device felt wieldy, so one-handed operation is not out of the question thanks to its acceptable 212.4x127.4x9.95mm dimensions.
Taking a look up front, we're greeted by a 1.2MP front snapper and a lightweight, albeit custom, ASUS skin on top of the Android 4.2. While we prefer less bloated takes on Android by manufacturers, the admittedly lightweight skin focused our attention on the occasional stutters that the tablet goes through more than anything else. Nevertheless, we got to test out a few of the apps that ASUS saw fit to pre-load -- one is an equivalent to Sony's 'small apps' (and now the Note 3's Pen Window), allowing you to load a selection of apps on top of what you're already running. Another app, called Splendid, will let you tweak away the color reproduction of the slate, should you deem ASUS' offering worthy of your hard earned dollar.
ASUS MeMO Pad 10
The larger of the two, the 10.1-inch MeMO Pad 10 sports an identical 1280x800 IPS panel, that ASUS promises the 5070mAh will manage to keep up for about 9.5 hours. Sporting the same unknown chipset featuring four 1.6GHz cores, the two tablets hardly differ at all – the amount of RAM, at 1GB, is identical, though the 10-incher does come with a slightly more spacious microSD-expandable storage at 16GB.
Made using the same type of plastic that went into its smaller kin, the MeMO Pad 10, though it looks perfectly normal, nevertheless fails to excite the senses. Designed to be used in landscape mode, the slate features a smaller 2MP camera at the back with a 1.2MP snapper taking the front. The extra size of the diagonal and the larger battery have added some meat to the tablet – it's both bulkier, at 256x174.6x10.5mm, and heavier (522g), taking away from the comfort of using the device -- you sure won't be using this one-handed.
Running the same version of the Taiwanese company's custom skin on top of Android 4.2, it features software functionality identical to the one outlined previously. It appears reasonably snappy, though we don't see it handling heavy-duty apps very well -- a compromise that will only sway would-be buyers if the price is right.