Asus Memo Pad 8 review
8 in 1,280x800 display, 350g, 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9, 1.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Android 4.2.2
There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to compact Asus tablets. Having enjoyed success with the entry-level MemoPad HD 7, and having manufactured the Nexus 7 for Google, Asus has released the MemoPad 8, a budget Android tablet with an 8in display.
Built from a mixture of glass and smooth matt plastic, the MemoPad 8 looks like a budget tablet, but it’s much better than many entry-level and mid-range tablets. There are no signs of flex or bend in the chassis, the corners and edges are sculpted to fit comfortably in the hand and the screen bezels are reassuringly thin.
Asus has sensibly included a microSD card slot at the side for adding extra capacity beyond the tablet's 16GB of built-in storage. That gives it at least one major advantage over the Google Nexus 7 if you need to store lots of music and videos. The only other connection ports are an MHL-capable USB charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There are no physical display outputs, but the MemoPad 8 is compatible with Miracast, so you’ll be able to output your display wirlessly to Miracast-compatible TVs and media streamers.
We could hold the MemoPad 8 comfortably in one hand, but you'll need your other hand free to interact with the screen. The 1,280x800 resolution is about average for a mid-range device, although the MemoPad 8 looks a little fuzzy when held next to the Full HD Nexus 7. Images and text are clear and legible, but it's possible to make out individual pixels when you get close to the screen. Colours were vibrant out of the box, though, and you can use the superb Asus Splendid utility to tweak the colour temperature to your requirements. The screen’s peak brightness of 314.5cd/m2, so it’ll be bright enough to use outdoors, especially with the MemoPad 8's fantastic viewing angles, although the glossy screen finish does mean light reflections are a little troublesome.
The accompanying stereo speakers produce loud, clear audio, so you won't have to reach for a pair of headphones when watching YouTube videos. The rear-firing speaker is located at the bottom of the tablet, and we found that it's difficult to cover it with your hands, so audio rarely becomes muffled. There's not much in the way of bass and the very high-end is a little tinny, but it's a definite improvement over many other tablet speakers.