Is it worth your hard earned cash?
When we first unboxed the ASUS Zenpad 7.0, we were impressed by the hardware build and design but we were a bit underwhelmed with the performance. We heard that ASUS pushed a software update OTA which supposedly helped optimize the Zenpad so we picked it up again, downloaded the update, and used it as our primary daily tablet. Today we’d like to share with you guys our full review.
To kick things off, let’s have a quick refresher on the specifications of the Zenpad.
ASUS Zenpad Z370CG specs
- Intel Atom x3-C3230 quad-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 7-inch, WXGA display with Gorilla Glass protection, 1280 x 800 resolution
- 16GB of internal storage
- 8-megapixel rear camera with AF
- 2-megapixel front camera
- 3G (Single Sim)
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, GLONASS, Miracast
- Android 5.0
- 13Wh Li-polymer battery
This particular Zenpad uses the new Intel SoFia chipset. It’s not the same chipset that can be found on the ASUS Zenfone 2. In a way this review is not just a review of the ASUS Zenpad, but the capabilities of Intel’s new chipset as well. They’ve been playing this up since last year’s Mobile World Congress so hopefully it actually delivers. 😛
Hardware Build & Design: Premium Look & Feel at an Affordable Price
Like we mentioned during our unboxing, the ASUS Zenpad looks stunning. It’s lightweight, super thin, and has a fashionable textured back plate that mimics a flap of a clutch bag since it doesn’t full cover the entire back. The Zenpad is easy to hold and use for long periods of time with just one hand given the weight and dimensions. It’s definitely a good media consumption (reading/video) machine for mobile use.
Removing the back plate reveals the slots for a SIM card (single SIM) and a micro SD card. Along the sides we have the usual volume rocker and power/wake button. They’re a bit recessed and it can be difficult to press them if you’re using the Zenpad in portrait mode.
Up front we have the 7.0 inch glass display which has 1280 x 800 resolution (WXGA). Admittedly we noticed the difference since our eyes have been used to looking at screens with 1920 x 1080 resolution, hehe. Other than the resolution, we also felt that the contrast and saturation were initially off. Colors were a bit washed out but we were able to fix this by setting the display mode to high contrast/saturation. Viewing angles weren’t also too good so this is more of a single use tablet than one that you would share.
By the way if you want to have the same homescreen look for your Android device as the one in the photo of the Zenpad above, just download Nova 7 Launcher and get the Soul Icon Pack. The Soul Icon Pack also comes with a bunch of really nice wallpapers that go very well with the icons.
Performance: Better Thanks to the Update But Still Lacking
The Intel SoFia processor on the ASUS Zenpad doesn’t pass our standards. It can power you through basic core tasks like messaging, web browsing, video playback, and light gaming. However it’s not capable of supporting graphics intensive applications. For example, the ASUS Zenpad can’t even run Marvel Future Fight at the lowest settings. It lags incredibly bad and it eventually crashes. We wouldn’t recommend this at all to people who demand a lot from their tablets.
Initially when we got the ASUS Zenpad (prior to the software update) even Clash of Clans crashed every now and then. However after the update it’s been stable and we haven’t had any problems raiding and doing massive scale TH 10 level attacks. We also noticed that apps seemed to load a little faster after the update. Everything else though like browsing and Facebook works smoothly.
It’s puzzling that this tablet can’t handle Marvel Future Fight. There are a lot of cheaper devices that can actually run that game at low settings. Ultimately the culprit looks to be the Intel SoFia chipset. Hopefully this is still fixable via software update. If not Intel should focus on delivering better low-cost chipsets or else they’ll have problems competing with MediaTek and Qualcomm in this space.
Camera: Usual Tablet Photography
As with most of the tablets we’ve reviewed, the camera on the ASUS Zenpad doesn’t impress. It struggles with focusing, starts up slowly, and has issues with overexposure in harsh light and noise in low light.
Some sample shots below.
Battery Life: Standard for Android Tablets
Screen-on Time for us was consistent in the 7 hour range which is the usual time we get for Android devices in this size category.
Verdict:It’s a Nice Looking Tablet for Non-Demanding Users
So what’s our final verdict? Simply put it’s a tablet that looks nice, can deliver basic tasks, but can’t do anything intensive. Great gift for your mom. 🙂
SRP is Php7,995.