During the past year, there has been an increased number of tablet PCs hitting the market with very affordable price tags. Some of the devices are a case of “you get what you pay for” where others are rather impressive for the price you pay.
If you are trying to stay on budget and cannot afford a full-featured tablet, the Asus Memo Pad HD7 tablet is worth taking a look. The Asus Memo Pad HD7 is very affordable, with performance that exceeds a bargain basement device. Because of the low price, you may tend to question the performance, quality of the screen, or the construction. but the Memo Pad has left many tablet PC consumers pleasantly surprised.
When you first remove the Memo Pad HD7 from the box you are greeted with a 7-inch glass IPS (In-plane switching) panel which is mounted on a surprisingly durable frame with concave backing that provides for a solid grip. The backing is not rubberised however, the design provides for a grip, which is void of any slippery surfaces. The Asus Memo Pad HD7 is 10.9mm in thickness and weighs in at 300 grams.
When you power up the Memo Pad HD7, you are treated to a 7-inch 1230x 800 resolution display with 226 pixels per inch (PPI) which provides for a sharp display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
On the top of the device is a micro USB port for charging and data transfer and a headphone jack located next to it. The improved Sonic Master speaker is located on the bottom of the device and is designed with stereo capability which provides adequate playback.
Inside the box, the Asus Memo Pad HD7 is accompanied by a convenient desk stand, USB charger, and an AC adapter with USB input.
What about Design and Build Quality?
In terms of design and build, the Memo Pad HD7 is rather thick in design and does not offer the very best premium build. However, the casing is quite decent for a device of this price range despite the plastic materials used for construction. The concave molded plastic as opposed to aluminum offers a nice surface and is built for durability without creaking or flexing when you hold the device in your hand.
The Memo Pad HD7 design and build is very simple with only the connection ports interrupting the sleek design. The rear facing camera protrudes slightly from the back of the device but the volume rocker button and the power switch are well integrated with the device design.
In terms of overall design and construction, the Asus Memo Pad HD7really does not feel like a budget tablet PC when you hold it in your hand. Instead, it feels like an upper end tablet and even comes in an array of colors.
What Are the Specifications?
Under the hood the Asus Memo Pad HD7 is running the ARMv7 Quad Core Processor at a speed of1.2 GHz. This makes for impressive performance quality for a tablet PC in this price range. The quad core processing speed makes gaming applications and multitasking seamless with no glitches when it comes to streaming media. There is also 1GB of Random Access memory (RAM) which contributes to speedy performance.
When it comes to storage, the Asus Memo Pad HD7 is offered in two different versions which include the 8GB model and the 16GB model. Both versions offer a MicroSD card slot which is capable of handling an additional 32GB of storage space.
Additionally, there are extra features which include a GPS/ G-Censor, MIRACAST connectivity which is the WiFi display specification for streaming media, and Bluetooth 4.0. The Asus Memo Pad HD7 runs on the Android Jellybean 4.2.1 operating system
There is a front and back facing camera for using Face Time or for taking photographs. The back camera is 5 megapixels with 1080p video capability with a front facing camera of 1.2 megapixels. The 8GB version of the Memo Pad HD7 offers a 2 megapixel back facing camera as opposed to the 5 megapixel camera in the 16GB model. On the left hand side is a MicroSD card slot to expand the 16GB capacity with power and volume rocker buttons located on the right hand side.
The 7-inch 1230x 800 resolution display with 226 pixels per inch (PPI) provides for quality screen viewing despite the fact that the display is lacking in black lighting and contrast to some degree. Otherwise, for a device in this price range, the display proves to be high quality and functional.
The battery life is quite impressive when compared to other similar devices. The battery included in the Memo Pad HD7 offers up to 10 hours of battery life before re-charging is necessary.
What about Usability and Software?
The interface is very user friendly and delivers smooth performance. It is quite standard in design with the navigation buttons located at the bottom of the screen and top swipe function to access notifications which have been merged with all of your quick settings.
The main screen is customisable using Asus apps and includes a power saver and task manager in addition to other productivity apps and software. One thing that really stands out is the Memo Pad HD 7 is relatively free of annoying ‘bloatware’ which is known to be useless and slows device performance.
The Home button has been changed to include easy access to a calendar, calculator, notes, Asus Studio browser, applications, shortcuts, and Google Plus.
There is an extra button on the bottom left hand side which is called Asus Floating Widgets and easily pulls up applications for multitasking. When you access this feature, the applications appear on a floating ribbon which you can slide across the screen to access frequently used applications.
The touchscreen is not gorilla glass and instead is a high quality glass which is quite responsive when it comes to multitasking, working with apps, and playing games. Like most tablet PCs, the screen tends to be prone to fingerprints.
The in-depth rear facing camera offers a lot of options and many different camera modes, filters, and resolutions with decreased performance in low light settings. There is a host of other features on the right hand side which extend the camera capabilities for capturing high quality images.
Performance wise and when using the interface, the Asus Memo Pad HD7 is not the most powerful tablet on the market. However, throughout regular use with browsing the web, playing back videos, interacting with social media, and playing games, the performance is very satisfactory for a tablet in this price range. It is not the smoothest experience you could have with a touchscreen when opening apps or pressing the Home button, but it is definitely not a deal breaker for the price.
Asus has also designed their own keyboard layout which include all numbers, letters, and punctuations on the same screen. This is an improvement over having to switch screens to access different typing functions.
Pros and Cons
Overall, there is a lot to like about the Asus Memo Pad HD7 with more pros than cons when you use this device. However, we will highlight some of the pros and cons to round out the review and help you to make an informed decision.
- ARMv7 Quad Core Processor provides high performance and speedy processing power.
- Overall Attractive Display provides many hours of high quality media streaming and multitasking.
- Exceptional Camera which provides an impressive variety of options for a device of this size.
- Customizable Screen provides a way to add Asus apps you use frequently.
- MicroSD Port is a great addition for extending the storage capabilities.
- WiFi Connection runs fast and efficiently.
- GPS does not require WiFi to function properly and, with an app such as Mapdroyd, it functions very well as a GPS unit in your vehicle.
- Easy Setup only takes a few minutes and steps you through the process.
- Automatic Updates to new versions of Android OS.
- Ambient Light Sensor which automatically senses lighting conditions is absent.
- Aluminum Casing is replaced with plastic casing.
- Random Access Memory (RAM) is limited at 1GB
- HDMI connectivity is not included.
THE FINAL VERDICT
When compared to other tablet PCs in this price range, the Asus Memo Pad HD7 offers a lot in terms of functionality, design, build, and performance. The battery life really surpasses other rival devices in this price range. Plus, the Memo Pad HD7 offers additional features such as the GPS and rear facing camera which is omitted on other devices in this category. Overall, a very nice tablet PC for the price if you are unable to afford a more expensive tablet or want a second tablet for portability and convenience.