Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA Review

Interface and Functionality

The ZenUI offers a higher degree of personalization to the interface, but lacks the true multi-tasking experiences to make it suitable for power users.

After following the succaess of its ZenFone 2, it’s no surprise to us at all that Asus employs the updated ZenUI experience on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop that we’ve come across previously. Visually, they’ve simply slapped the same interface running in the ZenFone, but stretched it out to accommodate the larger screen size here. While it’s more than functional, especially when there’s a higher degree of personalization, where we can even choose what font type to use, it lacks a bit as far as true multi-tasking functions go.

Despite that, there are some useful features in tow that diversify the experience – they consist of its various ZenMotion gestures, support for multiple users, and gesture shortcuts. And if you happen to pick up the optional $30 Z Stylus, it functions similarly to Samsung’s S Pen with its 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Processor and Memory

Don’t underestimate its Atom chip because it’s mighty fast!

By now, it’s quite obvious that Asus and Intel have a partnership going on with one another, since the ZenPad S 8.0, much like the ZenFone 2 before it, is Intel-inside as well. Under the hood, it features a 64-bit based quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and the PowerVR G6430 GPU. The combination absolutely gives the tablet a zippy and responsive feel, evident in how we’re able to move oh so fluidly across the homescreen.

Additionally, it’s able to handle some processes that are more demanding, including on the graphics processing side. Even more impressive, it holds down its ground by delivering benchmark scores that closely rival that of Samsung’s new tablets.

Our particular review unit comes with a spacious 64GB of storage, which translates to 53.74GB out of the box, but there’s a microSD slot tucked into one of its sides to complement it.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 47146
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 50148
Google Nexus 9 56836
Apple iPad mini 3 35513
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 1430
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 1474
Google Nexus 9 2731
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 3064
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 4671
Google Nexus 9 6103
Sunspider Lower is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 831.7
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 1011.2
Google Nexus 9 956.8
Apple iPad mini 3 443.4
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 26
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 29
Google Nexus 9 41
Apple iPad mini 3 22.7
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 9.9
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 12
Google Nexus 9 22
Apple iPad mini 3 8.9
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 1036
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 1183
Google Nexus 9 1929
Apple iPad mini 3 999
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 933
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 905
Google Nexus 9 1903
Apple iPad mini 3 1373
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 2953
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch 3676
Google Nexus 9 3166
Apple iPad mini 3 2478

Internet and Connectivity


Just as expected, the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is endowed with all the rich qualities that make it a fine experience surfing the web on it. From its lightning-quick page loads, to its zippy navigational controls, there’s nothing we don’t like about its ideal experience. There’s even the handy ZenMotion gesture that automatically launches the native web browser when drawing the letter “W” while the screen is off.

Currently, this is a Wi-Fi only tablet, since there’s no official word on whether or not it’ll be graced with cellular radios. Regardless, it comes with all of the basic connectivity necessities we find on any tablet – such as aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Sadly, though, NFC is nowhere to be found.

FEATURED VIDEO

25 Comments

1. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 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: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 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.

23. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

Maybe because they are garbage.

3. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Poor camera performance? Who would even care about a camera in a tablet?

7. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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: May 18, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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.

8. Kpon69

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 11, 2015

No cellular support, I won't buy this. ☺☺☺

9. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Just wait for the almost perfect score of the ipad mini 4 and Iphone 6s and 6s plus.

10. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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?

11. Tronlol

Posts: 35; Member since: Feb 06, 2015

Wouldn't give more than 5/10

13. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

You again? Stop licking them, will ya?

12. ninja_master

Posts: 306; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

wtf phonearena you need a better reviewer

14. GrahamDouglas

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 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: 9; Member since: Sep 24, 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: Jan 21, 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: Dec 15, 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.
ZenPad S 8.0
  • Display 8.0" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Atom, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.