After 7 months of working in Dubai, and paying off the initial debts and sending school allowance to my sister back home, I’ve got the money to buy me some present! And there’s no better time than this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival! Time to splurge for myself, lalala-love!
For months, I’ve been tracking my expenses, cutting down costs, deciding on my budget and searching for a cheap but decent tablet and its accessories. And the one I chose is this Asus MeMo Pad HD 7! My personal reasons for choosing this are the following:
The AED 499 price tag.
This is the number one reason for choosing this. For my January budget, I can only spare up to AED 700 on tablet (with or without accessories). If I have more, I would have chosen to buy the Asus Transformer Pad, which is a notebook with detachable monitor – tablet. But since I cannot, I chose a tablet. You may say, why not Samsung Galaxy Tab? Because it’s more expensive and the screen is not a sharp as the Asus’.
The 1,000 x 800 pixels of the IPS LCD display.
I have been using the Sony Xperia P as my phone for a year already, and my eyes are already accustomed to its insanely sharp screen with crisp color contrast. Most tablets have the standard 1,000 x 600 pixel – screen, which I find as “not enough”. Fortunately, Asus MeMo Pad is sharper, with good viewing angles.
So, when I got my salary, I hit Carrefour in Deira City Centre to get my tablet! Why Carrefour? So I can redeem points for my purchase, if ever. And I did! I’ve got 49.99 points for my MyClub Rewards card, and a voucher worth AED 49.99! Now I can buy myself some replacement shoes and leggings! Yay!
And now, for the more techie part: the review. Okay, I will stop being a girly here and start being a nerd-techie person. In four, three, two, one…
The Asus MeMo Pad HD 7 came in a small matte box together with a micro USB cable (good for charging AND media transfer), charger head, warranty details and Asus guide. There are no manuals, but they can be downloaded online (think green, use e-manual). I dislike the charger head as it is different from the usual design, and it will not fit the electrical sockets in UAE. One must find an adapter for it. Although you can just go for USB charging via laptop / PC, but it will be a slow charging.
The Asus MeMo Pad HD 7 for review is in a navy blue color. Technically the color is a combination of dark blue and purple, although the purplish tint can only be seen depending on how light strikes the tablet back cover. Remember that this model is also available in outrageous hues of neon pink and neon green, hinting at younger, hipper consumers. The only demure color is white and the sleek black ones are all but gone (to the hands of eager early buyers, I bet.).
|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)|
The tablet itself is more on curves and lightness: it is only nearly a half inch thick at 0.43 inch or 10.8 mm and it is lighter than its high-end Google Nexus 7. The disadvantage is that the tablet is a certified fingerprint magnet. The back cover is glossy, the screen even more so. The back panel of the blue model is not as glossy as the pink-green-white models, though, so for this one, it is easy to carry around and ergonomic as well.
The 7-inch screen is glassy and shiny, a definite fingerprint magnet. It does not bode well with my hands, clammy and sweaty as they are. But there are a slew of covers and sleeves and matte screen protectors to remedy that “shiny” problem. The screen is an 1,000 x 800 pixeled IPS LED display with up to 170 degrees of viewing angle. Asus also has this Asus Splendid app that adjusts the display to make the colors vivid, or either warm or cool-toned. Splendid, indeed.
I’ve got the 8 GB model (the 16 GB is but all gone, too), so the front camera is 0.2 MP and the back camera is 3 MP, and I dislike the shots and videos. Too grainy. Oh well, if I really wanted my tablet as secondary camera, then I should have invested on an iPad instead, right? As the words go, “You get what you pay for.”
The standard 3.5 mm earphone jack and the micro USB port for charging and data transfer are on the top side of the tablet, and the power and volume keys are on the upper left corner of the tablet (tablet perspective, not the user), so you can use your right thumb to press the buttons.
The speakers in this slit at the bottom, alas, it’s not the SonicMaster dual stereo speakers, reserved for the 16 GB model, but I can definitely say the speakers are still loud and clear! It also come with an equalizer to set the mood better for movie watching and party-groovin’ to music, thanks to ASUS AudioWizard.
This is my camera shot of the screen, a dark and blurry shot. This does not do justice to its sharpness, and then I remember about screenshots.
This is the primary homepage. Did I just say “primary”?. Yes, with a pinching gesture on the homepage, you will see at least three homepages that you can customize for use: Asus (Primary), Work, and Entertainment. So with the primary, I put my fave apps. With Work homepage, more on Asus SuperNote (write and doodle all the way!) as well as productivity widgets and access to my documents. With the Entertainment, I have all the music / reading, movie-watching related apps, as well as some Asus apps to create “stories” or digital scrapbooks and create and edit “movies” Again, you may customized these homepage and add one more.
The MeMo Pad HD 7 boast of at least 8GB of storage, however, the only available space for additional apps AND files is 4GB! I felt cheated! It is because of the pre-installed apps or the so-called “bloatware”, half of which are really unnecessary, or not as good as other similar apps. Since I cannot delete them forever, some of them I banished from the app drawer by clearing their data and cache, and disabling them. Those that stubbornly remain on the app drawer I promptly ignore. Good thing, this is expandable with micro-SD up to 32 GB. Please note that micro-SD is not included in the package.
You will also see from the app drawer above that there are four “software keys” The triangular one shows the “Floating Apps” that can be used on top of whatever you are doing. Floating apps include the calculator, video player and notes. the “2-rectangles key” show the recently used apps
On the other hand, if you press and hold the “house key” or Home button these additional shortcuts tray will show up. You can change the outermost 5 apps and even add 2 more. Asus does have its good arsenal of multi-tasking aids and shortcuts.
I believe that one great quality of the Asus MeMo Pad is its nearly 10 hours of battery life. and it also has cool PowerSave settings to keep the already long-lasting battery life even longer. This is one deciding factor for me to purchase a tablet, in spite of having a smartphone that can satisfactorily do what a usual tablet can do.
The negative consequence of having a low battery capacity of a smartphone is exacerbated when one uses the smartphone as one’s own camera, video player, e-reader, play station, PDA and document editor. The low battery life is just not enough for one multi-tasking phone. More so for the tablets, and cheap tablets with long battery life are God-sent. The MeMo Pad saved me from hours of boredom while my phone is being charged at the corner of the room. And I can keep my phone happy by using it mainly as a phone, not a media toy. (Technically, nope, my Xperia P is still a superior handy camera and video recorder, handy e-book reader, and Personal Digital Assistant.)
As for the specifications, you can view them all here: http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_memo_pad_hd7_16_gb-5492.php
This tablet boasts of a tablet-optimized Media-Tek MT8125 chipset with a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU (central processing unit) and PowerVR SGX544 GPU (graphics processing unit). The description for each are detailed below.
Media-Tek chipset: MT8125 / 8389
Quad-Core Cortex-A7 1.5GHz + CPU Tablet Platform
• Delivering ground breaking visual quality powered by the leading picture quality technology – MiraVisionTM, derived from MediaTek’s extensive experience in the Digital TV market.
Best-in-class Connectivity Technology
• Including full support for MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that converges Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, bringing highly integrated, best-in-class wireless technologies to tablets
As a standalone processor, the Cortex-A7 will enable entry level smartphones at below $100 price point in the 2013-2014 timeframe that are equivalent to a $500 high-end smartphone in 2010. These entry-level smartphones will redefine connectivity and internet usage in the developing world.
The Cortex-A7 processor is a very energy efficient applications processor designed to enable low-cost, fully featured entry-level smart phones in addition to other low-power embedded and consumer applications.
The processor is fully compatible with other Cortex-A series processors and incorporates all features of the high-performance Cortex-A15 processor including virtualization support in hardware, Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE), NEON advanced SIMD, and AMBA 4 ACE coherency.
The Cortex-A7 processor is widely used as a standalone applications processor in entry level smartphone applications. It is also used as a LITTLE processor in ARM big.LITTLE processing technology – which powers high end mobile platforms today.
The Cortex-A7 processor:
- Provides best power-efficiency and low footprint as a standalone applications processor
- Similar performance to mainstream smartphone in 2012 based on Cortex-A9
- Up to 20% more performance compared to Cortex-A5 at similar energy efficiency
- Used as energy efficient LITTLE CPU with high performance Cortex-A15 processor to enable ARM big.LITTLE Processing
- Software can run on an energy efficient Cortex-A7 processor and on a high performance Cortex-A15 processor as needed without recompilation
- AMBA 4 ACE coherency interface enables sub-20us context migration between big and LITTLE CPU clusters
PowerVR SGX544 Graphic Processing
PowerVR SGX544 is the second member of Imagination’s PowerVR Series5XT family. It can be implemented as a high-performance 4-pipeline single core or in various multiprocessor (MP) configurations of between 2 and 16 cores (8 to 64 pipelines).
The list below shows just some of our partners that have shipped or will soon ship PowerVR SGX544-based platforms:
- Allwinner A31, A31s
- Intel Atom ‘Clover Trail+’ Z2580, Z2560, Z2520
- MediaTek MT6589
- Renesas MP6530
- Samsung Exynos 5410 Octa
- Texas Instruments OMAP4470, OMAP5430, OMAP5432
Simply put, the tablet should run fast enough and can handle intense gameplay and some multitasking. Web site browsing is alright but as for online video watching and flash games, I have not tested this tablet yet. What I also noticed is that the tablet occasionally freezes for a second, then it will be snappy again. So as for performance, this tablet is high responsive but not perfectly so. I can ignore the occasional hiccups, but if I do not want any hiccups, than I should have bought the Nexus instead, correct?
In a nutshell, the Asus MeMo Pad HD 7 tablet is a great entry-level 7-inch tablet with long battery life, quad-core snappiness and sharp screen delight at an affordable price. The pre-installed apps may take much storage space (esp. for the 8 GB model) although this shortcoming is remedied with an expandable memory slot. The camera and the glossy exteriors are not its selling points, but the sound speaker are crisp and loud and nearly all of ASUS apps are useful and creative. All-in-all, you won’t be much disappointed with this entry-level tablet.