In the minds of many consumers, the iPad name alone is a sufficient guarantee of quality for buyers to see it as the best option when it comes to choosing a tablet. What if there was an equally valid alternative, but less obvious to find? And this is where comes into play the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 which is in our eyes the best Android tablet we’ve ever tried. It combines design and excellent performance, all at very affordable rate of approximately 200 euros.
A mini iPad cheaper
For many, rhyme tablets with iPad. So why bother to seek an alternative, to explore a little, to think outside the box. What is unfortunate for a tablet like ZenPad S 8.0 that is not only excellent, but also cheaper than the iPad mini 2 worth 300 euros or iPad mini 4 available from 400 euros .
For the fairness of our test, we compared the ZenPad with the iPad mini 2, as they are quite close in price, feature similar technical specifications.
Despite the difference in price of 100 euros, the screen is as sharp and ZenPad colorful than the iPad Mini 2. As a bonus, the Asus tablet offers two storage times larger (32GB against 16 GB) and a micro SD memory card reader. Something that does not have the iPad and allows to simply increase the available space up to 128 GB. ZenPad is also thinner and lighter than its rival while offering equivalent performance. It runs Android 5.0 and embeds 4GB of memory (RAM). The mini iPad 2 running iOS 9 with 2 GB of RAM.
One like the other offer very good performance when it comes to browsing the web, play video streaming and check messages. Even the results on the 3D Mark test stand are very close. And we have not noticed any difference in the performance of common tasks that can justify spending more money for one rather than the other.
The neat finish of the Asus tablet leaves to think that its tariff instead in the category of entry-level tablets “mediocre”. This is one of the most thin and light models of the moment that quickly forget once in our bag.
The custom Android interface by Zen overlay Asus offers some additional features welcome. In addition to changing the wallpaper and adding widgets, you can also change the main text font, color and animation used for scrolling pages. All this simply by long pressing the home button. And for those who want to push more customization, implementation Splendid enables intervention on balance and color saturation as well as the level of detail of the screen, just as is done on a monitor. This application also active against a filter blue light to reduce eyestrain, which is important for regular readers. A tablet that offers such a range of screen settings is virtually unprecedented. Only other recent Asus models offer it. Finally, all these options are accessible without having to dig into the confines of the menus.
The user interface with its integrated applications maintains a good balance between the simplicity and the possibility of customization. Adding that Android keeps getting better with every update and Google Play is now quickly make up on the Apple Store in terms of choice.
Some prefer the organization clear and effective iOS very configurable side of Android. For our part, we love the hack.
Despite its nearly perfect price, ZenPad 8.0 Tablet S is not. She suffers from a few flaws, albeit minor, that are found on most tablets. Audio performance in it. The speakers of the 8.0 S out good sound at low and medium volume. But it turns weakling high volume and lack of bass, which is common on the shelves. The application, AudioWizard improves things a bit for movies, games and music. Note that the speakers are placed in front, which avoids muffle the sound when holding the tablet horizontally as it does on the iPad.
The device photo that provides a definition of 8 megapixels, is neither good nor bad. The development is correct in good light, but the colors are bland. The quality at full resolution has a lot of grain and edges tend to become blurred in the darkest environments.
The front camera is doing pretty well for video calls and the native application offers some fun options to customize self-portraits.
The ZenPad runs Android 5.0, and Asus has not said anything about his plans to propose an update to Android 6.0. The brand is not known for its speed on updating the OS of its shelves, which makes us pessimistic about the longevity of the ZenPad.
Faced with competition
In the same price range, the 8.0 S ZenPad faces competition from Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 and Galaxy Tab 8.0 At Samsung, two very good models. Yoga Tab 3, the price starts at around 180 euros, includes a handy crutch and a rotating camera with impressive performance. The Galaxy Tab 8.0 A is also found around this price. It is distinguished only by its trendy design and finesse. The Asus S 8.0 ZenPad therefore deserves to be spending a bit more to benefit from its performance, the quality of its display and its finish.
Fans Apple deem the impeccable design and effectiveness of iOS justify to themselves, only to spend more for a mini iPad 2. Yet the 8.0 S ZenPad rivals the Apple tablet like no other has done up ‘now. If we stick to the facts, the ZenPad is really comparable to the iPad mini, except that it runs Android and is cheaper. Informed consumers who have nothing to do with the popularity of the brand and the product can turn without hesitation to the Asus tablet. This is truly one of the hidden gems of the moment. She is not content to be one of the best alternatives to the iPad mini 2 but it is also one of the best Android tablets of the moment.