ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 Review
We often get asked what budget-friendly Android tablet we recommend. There are actually a lot of brands from China that are below Php8,000 but most of them break down easily or they don’t have enough local customer service. That’s why we were kinda excited when ASUS Philippines announced the launch of their newest affordable Android tablet, the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7. Priced very competitively at just Php6,995 (8GB), the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 offers respectable internals, an IPS HD 7-inch display, and expandable storage. This combination potentially makes it a fantastic portable media player.
We’ve had a unit for over a week now and we’d like to share with you guys our full review! Before anything though let’s quickly go over the specifications.
Asus MemoPad HD 7 Spec Sheet
- Mediatek MTK 8125 1.2GHz quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB/16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card
- 7.0-inches IPS LCD display @ 800×1280 pixels, 216ppi
- 5.0-megapixel primary camera with 720p video recording capabilities
- 1.2-megapixel secondary camera
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- 15 Whr Li-Po battery
- Android 4.2 Jellybean
- SRP: 8GB Php6,995 / 16GB Php8,995
*The 8GB model only has a 2MP camera. The 16GB model has the 5MP camera.
Hardware: Kinda Like the 1st Gen Nexus 7 in Colorful Plastic
The ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 has a plastic back that comes in a variety of colors. The ASUS logo is centered at the middle while the speaker grill is at the bottom. All the usual ports and buttons are on the sides. We did find the power lock button to be a little recessed though making it hard to reach and press. The layout is actually very similar to the first generation Google Nexus 7 (which ASUS also made). The only thing different really is that they swapped the rubberized back with the colored plastic one here, hehe.
Up front we have the 7-inch screen. The bezel is decent but not as thin as we would want it to be. The display is actually one of the best features of the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7. Most of the time a lot of budget tablets sacrifice and compromise the quality of their displays. That’s not the case with this model. We have it in HD and it also packs IPS technology for better viewing angles. Images, colors, and videos all come out beautifully on it and that’s absolutely critical since most tablets are used for media consumption. Add to that the expandable storage of the MeMo Pad HD 7 and you have a winner!
By the way, inside the box we found a plastic stand for the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7. It’s the stand that we’re using for the photos for this post. It’s a cool and simple accessory that’s very helpful and useful especially if you’re the type that uses their tablet mostly for watching videos (like us). Kudos to ASUS for putting that in the package!
Some people are averse to plastic and want to cover that up with cases. ASUS actually sells a foldable book type cover (not sure with the price) especially made and customized for the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7. You can fold the front flap so that it acts as a stand for landscape, portrait, or typing.
Over-all ASUS did a good job with the hardware of the MeMo Pad HD 7. We also like it that they’re supporting it with accessories like the cover and the stand. These extras actually give more value to the product especially in the eyes of the customer.
Performance: Kinda Like the First Generation Nexus 7 Too!
The ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 scored a little over 13,000 on the Antutu Benchmark Test. The score is actually pretty close, once again, to the first generation Google Nexus 7. In real world usage this score translates to a decent Android performer. If you don’t have anything taxing running in the background like live wall papers and crazy 3D widgets then all the basic and core functions should work smoothly and lag-free. However the moment you load up a live wall paper you will notice some stuttering especially if you use a graphics intensive one like the Iron Man armor WP.
Live wallpaper aside, the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 can do most of what you would want your Android to tablet to do pretty well.
Because of the beautiful HD display, web browsing is much better experience on the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 compared to a lot of the other generic and cheaper tablets in the market. Don’t bother with the default browser app though. Make sure you use the Chrome browser for a smoother web experience. The 7-inch form factor is also great for web browsing when you’re in chillax mode like in the bed or in the sofa.
If it can handle browsing well, it can also do social networking without any issues. There was an initial lag with Twitter though but the good news is that the recent Twitter update seemed to have fixed it. Scrolling is much smoother now compared to the previous version.
Perhaps the more challenging task for the MeMo Pad HD 7 is gaming. We tried a couple of titles and yes there is some lag especially if you load up the more graphics and RAM intensive ones like Dead Trigger or Wild Blood. There was even some initial stuttering with Minion Rush. You won’t have any issues though with casual games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds so if you won’t be using it primarily as a hardcore gaming machine then it’s a pretty good buy already.
Lastly we get to the biggest reason why we would actually want to get one — video playback. The ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 is a superb media player thanks to it’s 7-inch HD display. Regardless if you’re streaming movies via YouTube or you’re watching downloaded ones, the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 delivers a great viewing experience.
By the way, we were surprised that the loudspeaker was respectable. It’s not crazy loud but it leaves a lot of other Android tablets in the dust in terms of volume and quality.
ASUS also put in their own custom apps in the device. They’re all neatly located in the ASUS folder on your home screen. The Power Saver app definitely does wonders in extending battery life and it also gives you a lot of customization options for power management. It’s not intuitive to use though so mostly techies will be the ones to take full advantage of that feature. All the other apps are stuff you probably won’t use.
To summarize the software performance side, the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 is very competitive given the low price tag. Yes it can be laggy at times but you can mitigate it via task manager applications and by not using heavy live wallpapers.
Battery Life: Good and Can Be Better with Power Saver
Like what we mentioned earlier, the Power Saver app does wonders for battery life. Without it we went as far as 7-8 hours doing a mix of browsing, watching videos, reading eBooks, and playing games. With it we extended to around 10 hours which is already iPad levels.
Verdict: Our Budget Android Tablet of Choice
With a little bit of managed expectations (hehe), the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 is one of the best affordable Android tablets you can get today. We’d recommend the 8GB model though since we feel that an additional Php2,000 for 8GB more storage and a 5MP camera is too much since you can just expand the 8GB via microSD and you’ll rarely use the camera anyway. At Php6,995 you get a solid, compact, colorful, and quite able Android tablet made by the company that currently holds the distinction making the best Android tablets in the world (2nd Gen Nexus 7).
>>> SEE ALSO: ASUS Google Nexus 7 2nd Generation Review
ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 on the Unbox Podcast
We initially featured the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 on the Unbox podcast when we guested ASUS PH’s Marketing Manager, Jamie, on the show. If you want to skip to the segment featuring the MeMo Pad HD 7 go to 33:50.