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The MeMO Pad HD 7 - A Stylish And Portable 7-Inch Value Tablet

1/30/2014 10:13:19 AM
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Asus provides excellent value for money with its MeMO Pad 7 HD. Is it a good alternative to the mighty Nexus?

When we look at tablets costing less than $240 we start seeing compromises and can come away feeling that, for one reason or another, they aren’t to be recommended. There are compromises with the Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD, but on the whole they are compromises we can live with. The hardware design is a key example. The chassis is far from svelte and stylish. Indeed, Asus makes the more expensive Nexus 7, and if you sit the two side by side as we did you can see the differences a mile off. The Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD has a thick chassis.

Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD

It actually feels a bit more substantial than its 10.8mm measurement suggests. That’s good in that it gives you plenty to get hold of for one handed use, less good in that it doesn’t look very appealing. The design is not helped by the fact that the colored back plate (blue, pink, lime green and white are available) draws the eye and adds to the optical illusion of thickness. The back plate is made from shiny plastic. Our review sample had some scratches on it - you’ll need to buy a case if you want to keep it looking smart.

There’s a little design hangover from the Nexus 7 in the MeMO Pad 7. The power switch and volume rockers sit on the upper-right edge nestled into the inward curve of the chassis where it blends into the back plate. It’s an awkward location on the Nexus 7, making it tricky to find the buttons by touch alone.

There’s a little design hangover from the Nexus 7 in the MeMO Pad 7. The power switch and volume rockers sit on the upper-right edge nestled into the inward curve of the chassis where it blends into the backplate

Here, though, the buttons are more pronounced, and they can be located with a finger with ease.

Asus has trumped the Nexus 7 in one key area by including a micro SD card slot. Hurrah for that, as it means you can expand on the internal storage. There's 16GB of this in total, with close to 12GB free for your use. Insert a 32GB micro SD card and you won't find yourself needing to ration how you use the tablet.

Asus has trumped the Nexus 7 in one key area by including a micro SD card slot

The screen is surrounded by a fairly thick bezel on all sides making it look a little bit lost. The plus of this arrangement is that fingers and thumb can sit around the edge without fear of tapping the screen. Its resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels is below that of the latest Nexus 7, which runs to 1,920 x 1,200, and if you sit the two side by side the difference is palpable.

But considering the Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD's price the screen is perfectly acceptable, and by no means poor. It's easily sharp enough for eBooks, and HD movies look great. Plus there's a very neat touch in terms of an app called Asus Splendid, which you can use to alter the hue and color depth of the screen to match your taste, taking it right down to black and white if you want to.

But considering the Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD's price the screen is perfectly acceptable, and by no means poor.

Android 4.2 is barely enhanced at all, though Asus does add a few goodies of its own. An extra soft button gets you into a library of mini-apps you can open onto any screen. There are things like a calculator, timer, unit converter, compass, even a web browser and email tool.

And there are some extra apps to enhance Android such as App Backup, which lets you save apps and data to micro SD, and App Locker, which is a password utility. Asus Artist is a drawing app, and there are a few other extras too, but nothing radically new or different. About the most exciting it gets is Asus Story, which can be used to create photo-based presentations.

And there are some extra apps to enhance Android such as App Backup, which lets you save apps and data to micro SD, and App Locker, which is a password utility.

Asus has built the MeMO Pad 7 HD around a quad-core 1.2GHz MediaTek processor with 1GB of RAM behind it. It's a budget-minded CPU so performance doesn't match the likes of the Snapdragon processors at similar speeds. It works well enough, and while there are occasional laggy bursts, considering the price, it's a fair performer. There's a five-megapixel main camera and a 1.2-megapixel front one too, and battery life seems a shade above what we'd expect.

Taken as a whole, the Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD is a very impressive budget tablet, and the inclusion of a memory card slot may even make it more attractive for some than the (still superior) 2013 Nexus 7. If your cash hovers around the $240 mark, and you are looking for a seven-inch tablet, you might be well advised to look in this direction.

Specifications

General         

·         2G Network: N/A

·         SIM: No

·         Announced: 2013, June

·         Status: Available. Released 2013, July

Body  

·         Dimensions: 196.8 x 120.6 x 10.8 mm (7.75 x 4.75 x 0.43 in)

·         Weight: 302 g (10.65 oz)

Display          

·         Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

·         Size: 800 x 1280 pixels, 7.0 inches (~216 ppi pixel density)

·         Multi touch: Yes

·         ASUS Waveshare UI

Sound

·         Alert types: N/A

·         Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers

·         3.5mm jack: Yes

Memory

·         Card slot: microSD, up to 32 GB

·         Internal: 16 GB, 1 GB RAM

Data   

·         GPRS: No

·         EDGE: No

·         WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct

·         Bluetooth: Yes, v4.0

·         USB: Yes, micro USB v2.0

Camera          

·         Primary: 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus

·         Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, simultaneous HD video and image recording

·         Video: Yes, 1080p@30fps

·         Secondary: Yes, 1.2 MP, 720p

Features        

·         OS: Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

·         Chipset: Mediatek MT8125

·         CPU: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7

·         GPU: PowerVR SGX544

·         Sensors: Accelerometer, compass

·         Messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM

·         Browser: HTML5, Adobe Flash

·         Radio: No

·         GPS: Yes

·         Java: Yes, via Java MIDP emulator

·         Colors: Black, Gray, White, Pink, Green

·         SNS integration

·         16 GB One Year ASUS Webstorage Space

·         MP3/WAV/WMA/AAC player

·         MP4/H.264/H.263 player

·         Organizer

·         Document viewer

·         Photo viewer/editor

·         Voice memo/dial

·         Predictive text input

Battery                     

·         Non-removable Li-Po battery (15 Wh)

 

 
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