Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Review: Form A to Z

The EeePad Transformer, one of the first Android Honeycomb 3.0 tablets, was released by Asus in 2011. Since then, the company has been working to develop the rumored “iPad killer” that so many Android users are searching for.

Even if the company’s Transformer tablet series has seen some substantial upgrades, only the original Nexus 7 with the Google logo has been able to achieve significant sales.

The ZenPad S 8.0 from Asus, which costs at £169.99 ($199 or AU$279) and is nearly half the price of Apple’s least expensive 7.9-inch tablet, has the iPad Mini 4 squarely in its sights.
The ZenPad S 8.0 boasts a higher resolution 2048 x 1536 IPS screen than the Asus MeMO Pad 7, which we tested earlier this year. With 324ppi, this screen is very sharp and has viewing angles and color that rival those of the iPad. Asus is continuing to use the same quad-core, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 processor running at 1.83 gigahertz and 2GB of RAM as it did with the MemoPad.

The twin front-facing speakers with Dolby DTS-HD technology and the 32GB of storage space that can be expanded by an additional 128GB via a microSD card slot are just a few of the things that stand out.

One of the first tablets to use the USB Type-C connector, which is reversible like Apple’s lightning connector and allows for faster charging and data transfers, is the ZenPad S 8.0.


The ZenPad S 8.0 is slim and well-balanced, measuring only 203.2 x 134.5 mm and weighing just 6.6 mm. It can be held easily in one hand. While not the best you’ll find, the 76.5% screen-to-body ratio is sufficient to offer the majority of videos the full-screen cinematic treatment.

Apart from the two front-facing speakers, the design doesn’t offer much to set it out from the tablet crowd up front. Third-generation Gorilla Glass is separated from the plastic chassis by a chrome bezel, and on the back, a second chrome bezel divides the soft plastic from a leather-effect section that provides a little bit more grip (depending how you hold it).

While not particularly elegant, the power/wake button and unremarkable volume control are located on the right side of the device and are at least high enough to be visible from a distance. The bottom has a microphone and a USB-C port, and the top left has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The microSD card slot is located on the left edge and is covered by a little flap. Although the cover does shield the slot from dust and sit flat with the casing, it’s not the most durable example of its kind and feels like it may be snapped off relatively easily.

As for cameras, there’s a rear-facing 8MP unit and a 5MP front-facing shooter for selfies and video calling. Neither is accompanied by a flash, although if you’re serious about taking a high-quality snap it’s unlikely that you’ll be resorting to a tablet to do so.

Interface and features

While Asus has recently switched to its own ZenUI launcher, which in this case is based on Android Lollipop 5.0, the Nexus 7 may have provided a completely stock Android experience. ZenUI causes relatively little harm and, in some situations, even improves the Android experience, unlike other launchers.

First off, the skin is really customizable and a touch smarter than Google’s stock experience in terms of organizing recently installed apps, for example. ZenUI will automatically organize an app into a variety of pre-made “Smart” folders after installation, or in other circumstances, it will create a new folder, like it did when I added a few games.

In order to preserve some of the best aspects of Android, Asus has been careful to only slightly alter well-rounded elements like the pull-down alerts and fast settings window and the multi-tasking apps menu.

The lock screen provides quick access to programs like the camera, email, and web browser, all of which can be opened with a short tap and a swipe, as well as essential information like the weather, location, and any pending notifications.

It’s a useful feature that is present in many third-party launchers, but like the others, if the PIN or pattern lock screen security options are enabled, it rapidly fades into the background.

It comes as no surprise that the app drawer includes every option imaginable because ZenUI offers so many customization options. You may alter the grid’s dimensions, lock and conceal apps, and do a lot more.

ZenUI can actually be customized to look as you like (although none of these extras get in the way of usability). You can choose to leave the ZenPad S 8.0 exactly as it is out of the box, but if you want, you can customize the background transparency, icon colors, icon labels, and system typefaces through the preferences menu found in the app drawer.

TechRadar Verdict

The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 packs great specs and well-rounded features into an attractive tablet that won’t break the bank, and which competes strongly with more expensive competitors.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button