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ASUS Zenpad 7.0 (Z370CG) Review: Elegantly Made Everyday Tablet

It's the ASUS Zenpad 7!
It’s the ASUS Zenpad 7!

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

Looks more like a fashion accessory than a gadget
Looks more like a fashion accessory than a gadget

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.

Easy to handle even with just one hand!
Easy to handle even with just one hand!

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.

What it looks up front
What it looks up front

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

Wow ang bagal bro
Wow ang bagal bro

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.

CoC is stable after update
CoC is stable after update
Good for reading, watching videos, web browsing, and social
Good for reading, watching videos, web browsing, and social

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.

Favorite watch!
Favorite watch!
View outside our condo balcony
View outside our condo balcony

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

ASUS Zenpad dd

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.

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Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. Hearthstone is playable although lag is noticeable despite a recent update (20150813). Also tried Final Fantasy VII G-Bike ang gameplay is terrible due to lots of stutterring. Movie playback is good IMO especially since the earpiece doubles as a loudspeaker.

    Noticed some compatibility issues with OTG feature as some flashdrives and cables have detection issues (which is normally detected by a Zenfone 5).

  2. MarveL Future Fights is non playable with this Tablet..? Bumer..! :/ .. My Asus FonePad 7 Seem to handle the game just fine .. i was thinking of upgrading to this, But after reading the review i might stick with my FonePad 7 for now.. 🙂

  3. Wow really? my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 can play Marvel Future Fight at mid settings with a little lag and its very outdated and only Dual Core and 1 GB RAM.. I don’t understand why this one can’t play Future Fight.. very disappointing..

  4. Follow up regarding the latest update pls. How’s the performance now? Still lag? I was hoping I could do Web surfing, YouTube and video playback (movie type files etc.) not so much into games but I do a lot of online research, videos etc. Sort of intensive pa rin. Kaya ba nito? Thanks.

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