Everything is Zen in Taiwan, as one of the local heroes took Computex 2015 by storm with not just a top-shelf selfie-centric smartphone and presumably affordable smartwatch, but a bunch of tablets too.
A few voice call-enabled Fonepads and ultra-low-cost Memo Pads weren’t really enough to help Asus capitalize on the unexpected mainstream popularity of the Nexus 7 family. And since Google never upgraded the 2013 stock Android-running 7 incher, the hardware producer decided to go its own way at last.
Hopefully, it’s not too late for iPad-bored audiences to connect the ZenPad 7.0, 8.0, S 8.0 and 10 with the once crowd-pleasing N7 and N7-2. Following the trend this very company pretty much started, three of the four new slates target unpretentious, cash-strapped tech consumers.
The fourth isn’t the largest of the pack, as you’d expect, but rather the “super quad-core” ZenPad S 8.0. The 6.6 mm thin, 298 grams light pad touts 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 power, yet its key selling points lie away from the design and processing departments.
Offered with 2 GB RAM to start with, the ZenPad S 8.0 will also be available soon in a 4 gig ZenFone 2-matching configuration. A “Z Stylus” should enhance productivity on the funky, metallic finished 8 incher, which also stands out with an ultra-sharp 2,048 x 1,536 pix res screen, current Android 5.0 Lollipop software, up to 64 GB internal storage, 8-hour battery, USB Type-C and 8 MP/5 MP cameras.
Next to this, the ZenPad 8.0 Z380C is a featherweight, cutting corners across the board with an entry-level Intel Atom x3 chip, 1 or 2 GB RAM, 1,280 x 800 display, 9-hour battery (!) and Lollipop treats (!!).
The ZenPad 7.0 is essentially the same tablet, only smaller and for some reason endowed with 3G connectivity as standard, while the ZenPad 10 borrows the optional keyboard docking station of the Transformer Pad line to provide a budget alternative for traditional laptops and Windows-based Microsoft Surfaces.
The Android “convertible” should appeal to fashionistas with a metal frame and leather rear pattern, standing narrowly behind the ZenPad S 8.0 at screen-to-body ratio (72 percent) and waist thinness (7.9 mm). Too bad the 10 incher settles for an underwhelming gig of memory, backed by a quad-core Intel Atom x3 CPU. Too bad for power users, excellent for bargain hunters.