If you read the news about Android devices being released in the market by now you may have heard about the new budget tablet from Asus, the MeMo Pad HD 7, and you may be asking yourself what is the novelty about this new 7 inch tablet from Asus, well, we’re here to let you know what the new features and letdowns of the MeMo Pad HD 7 are, so read on to find out.
Design and Ergonomics
If you ever handled the first Nexus 7 tablet you will find the handling of the MeMo Pad HD 7 very similar although the latter may be a little bigger it also is lighter than the Nexus.
The MeMo Pad has the following dimensions, 196.8mm x 120.6mm x 10.8 mm, which compared to those of the Nexus 7, tell us that the Pad is thicker and wider than the Nexus but it is length is smaller as the rim around the top and bottom of the screen are smaller.
The back of the MeMo Pad is very smooth and nice to touch but it is rubbery at the same time so you won’t be able to drop the MeMo Pad unless you really try to.
The MeMo Pad has rounded corners with a plastic rim that surrounds the screen and goes around the device until it reaches half the thickness where it is then replaced by the smooth surface of the back.
On the front of the device you have the 1.2MP front camera on the top, the Asus logo on the bottom and the 7-inch IPS LCD HD screen. The screen has an HD resolution, meaning 800×1280 pixels, and 216 ppi. It is a pity that there’s no luminosity sensor to take good care of this screen.
On the left side of the Pad you find the microSD card slot and on the right side the lock/power button and the volume rocker.
On the top of the device is the microUSB cable slot, the 3.5mm phone jack and the microphone. On the bottom there are no protuberances whatsoever.
When you turn the MeMo Pad around you will see the 5MP camera on the top and the stereo speaker on the bottom.
Don’t be fooled by the price tag of the MeMo Pad HD 7, the screen of the MeMo Pad displays great colors and has good brightness to it. As you don’t have a luminosity sensor you will find yourself adjusting the brightness time and time again, especially if you go outside.
Its brightness is enough to make sure you can clearly see what is displayed on the screen even if the sunlight is hitting it directly. This just tells you how Asus is concerned about usability of the device, anytime, anywhere. The brightness combined with the software Asus put into the MeMo Pad to adjust the screen configurations, Asus Splendid, is more than enough to assure you will enjoy watching movies on the MeMo Pad.
Performance and Software
We’ve been presented with clean devices time and time again by Asus, no useless proprietary apps, only apps that are somehow useful for the user, and no massive UI overlays.
The MeMo Pad HD is no different the only proprietary applications you will find are the Document reader, Supernote (lite), Asus Artist, Story, Studio and To-Do. Granted that the Story, Studio and Artist applications may not be as useful as Supernote or the Document reader, but I am sure they are useful to someone. And there’s a great thing that you can do if you don’t really need them, just go to the application manager and disable them.
Disabling an application will be just as efficient as removing it, as the memory it will occupy on the storage will reduce as well and you will be able to enable it if you desire to.
The MeMo Pad HD comes with the 4.2.1 version and if Asus overlayed the UI the differences between the overlay and the base UI are very small.
The keyboard is one of the best I’ve tried so far, pretty much like the one on the first Nexus 7. It responds well to the touch and precision is magnificent.
I was a bit disappointed in this aspect of the MeMo Pad. Since it has a quad core and 1GB of Ram I was expecting it to behave at least as good as my TF300T, but that was not the case, not even close.
I found the MeMo Pad lagging even while doing something as simple as switching homescreens. But I never saw lagging or breaks in performance while playing, which is awkward to say the least, and you will be able to see this in the video review. It breaks while switching homescreens but there’s no breaking at all while playing dead trigger or any other game I tried on it.
Explanation for that I don’t have, but here’s something that comes close to an explanation, take a look at the benchmark results below and you will see that the performance of the MeMo Pad is marginally higher in 3D environments than in 2D environments.
If you look at the Antutu benchmarks for example, you can see that the score in 2D graphics is 576 while the score in 3D graphics is a whopping 3178, well, that’s a big difference. The scores in NenaMark where very high as well, 45.8 FPS, which comes pretty close to some top of the line devices we’ve tested so far, like the SIII and the Note II, for example, that cost loads more than this 145€ device.
The speaker isn’t bad also, which is very surprising as Asus seems to not have been able to hit the mark of the device speakers since a long way back. The sound that emanates from the speaker on the bottom back of the device is pretty good and powerful. If you put the volume at the max and are playing real racing, for example, you will feel the device shake just for the power of the speaker.
This time Asus came up with a design that enables you to grab the device any way you want and you will not be able to muffle the sound of the speaker, unless you do it on purpose. So if you’re playing something in landscape mode, like real racing, or in portrait mode, you will not muffle the sound of the speaker enough so that the quality will drop significantly. Got to give kudos to Asus for this speaker, well done.
Well, there’s not much you can expect from a 5MP camera without LED flash, and that’s exactly what you get from the MeMo Pad camera.
If you’re in a well-lighted area and have steady hands you may be able to take decent photos and add them to your memory albums, if one of those elements fails, forget about pictures with the Pad.
The camera UI is pretty self-explanatory but Asus was kind enough to provide a tutorial when you turn on the camera UI for the first time.
Pictures taken in poorly lighted areas will have pixels appearing everywhere with colors that don’t match anything on the photo. Also, be aware that sometimes, even after the Pad tells you it has focused something, you take a picture and it will not be focused, as it only takes a itty bitty movement to unfocus the picture.
Outdoor Video Sample:
Indoor Video Sample:
Indoor Video Sample Low Light:
Connectivity and Battery Life
When it comes to connectivity the MeMo Pad HD 7 brings Bluetooth 4.0 to the table, and as far as Wi-Fi goes I had no problems connecting to wireless networks anywhere, and the signal was always pretty strong, and even when it wasn’t the connection was never terminated.
You can take a look at the speed test results below in order to check speeds reached with the Pad HD 7.
What I found very curios was that the download speed was always less than the upload speed, which is something I’ve never seen before in a device connected to my network that claims to have 100Mbps download speed and 8Mbps of upload.
For those concerned with battery life, I charged it on a Thursday afternoon, kept it on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday I played games, Dead Trigger, Real Racing, Fruit Ninja, etc, took photos, recorded videos, and by 2PM the battery was still at 50% capacity. This is good, if you take into account that power saver was off and that the WiFi was always on.
This tells me that the MeMo Pad HD 7 has good battery life, by any standards and that if you, unlike me, keep the power saver on, you will be able to enjoy you tablet for a lot longer.
- Screen quality
- Design and Build
- Ability to disable proprietary apps
- Camera quality
- Download speed
- Poor performance in UI navigation
I liked the MeMo Pad HD 7, it is a nifty little tablet, that fits well in hand has a nice performance and good battery life, joined with a great price tag of 145€.
When it comes to quality/price, the only tablets I know that surpass the MeMo Pad are the Nexus 7, both the new one and the old.
The camera was a big let down as it was worse than my TF300T camera, which I thought was almost impossible to achieve, almost as big a letdown as the lagging/freezing up of the UI transitions and simple tasks. I sincerely hope Asus takes care of this in a update soon, as the MeMo Pad HD 7 has enough power to avoid these situations.
Review by: Cátia Sofia @ Android Emotions