Asus ZenPad 8.0
Asus has faced tremendous success with its Zenfone series and is now trying to replicate that in tablets as well. The Asus ZenPad 8.0 is the latest offering from the company. Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 the ZenPad aims to replicate the Zenfone experience with a bigger screen.
Built and Design
The Asus ZenPad carries very few similarities in terms of design with the Zenfone. The tablet measures 209 x 123 x 8.5 mm and weighs 350g. This makes the tablet easy to hold in one hand. The tablet carries a thin metallic bezel around the screen. On the back is a rough finish that appears like leather from afar. This also makes gripping the tablet easy.
On the front is a speaker grill that also doubles as the earpiece. Besides the speaker grill are the 2MP front camera and a few sensors. Below the screen, there are no capacitive touch buttons as were seen in the Zenfone. On the right edge are volume rockers and power buttons.
The 3.5-mm headphone jack and USB port are located on the top. The back houses the 8MP primary camera towards the top left panel. Under the rear panel is the micro SD and micro-SIM Card slots, there is nothing much else there as the battery is inaccessible.
HD IPS LCD 8 inch Display
The display is an 8-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels and 189 PPI pixel density. The company’s decision to use such a low-resolution screen is a bit confusing. The lack of details is evident. Colors and brightness are a bit dull, but it does not look very bad.
RAM GPU and Processor – CPU Performance
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, which has a clock speed of 1.4 GHz along with 2 GB RAM and Adreno 405 GPU, powers the ZenPad 8.0. The CPU is robust with a great multitasking experience for the end user adding multi-tab web browsing and mild gaming support, too.
In terms of storage, the device comes with 16GB internal storage, which you can expand up to 128GB. The performance is at par with most 615 SoC smartphone in the market. The specs keep this tablet as a strong contender in its price range. The performance of the tablet is smooth and snappy.
Operating system and User Interface
The tablet runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with Asus’s in-house developed ZenUI on top. The UI is similar to the one seen on the Zenphone with no specific tweaks for a tablet. The ZenUI is customizable with various themes and app layouts. The interface is very responsive and compliments the hardware. The only negative is a large amount of bloatware present.
A 4000 mAh non-removable battery powers the tablet. If you decide to use it as a smartphone with calling and data, the ZenPad will comfortably last you a day. As a pure tablet, it will easily give you two days of backup on a full charge.
8MP and 5MP Camera
The primary camera is an 8MP shooter and the secondary camera is a 5MP shooter. All companies consider that tablets are not meant for clicking photographs and are just there for backup. Asus is no different in thinking of photography by a tablet.
The images taken from the primary camera lack details and the color seem a bit washed down. The secondary camera is OK for clicking selfie and general video chats. The camera UI although is excellent as it is the same found in Zenfone. You get a ton of options and tweaks for clicking images.
- Build Quality
- Smooth performance
- Poor display
- Basic camera
The ZenPad is a good contender in the tablet market. It supplies decent muscle power for a price of just Rs. 14999. The device definitely looks good and while we might not be exactly pleased with the screen, it will not be much of a problem to an average user. It is a great all round device and could be in your shopping list.
iBall Slide Brace-X1 Tablet
The massive success of phablet (a device with more than 5-inch and less than 7-inch screen size), big electronics brands like Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, and LG has almost sidelined the tablet segment, these days.
Nowadays, no big brand in the market focuses on enhancing the experience of tablet users. The reason behind this is obvious. People do not buy tablet every year. In general, tablet means a device with a bigger screen and network support so replacing it with the latest one in short period do not sound wiser. Once purchased everyone thinks of using that tablet for at least 2-3 years.
The silence of big electronics giant has given an opportunity to small brands and they are doing a good job on this front. In order to secure a place, some Indian brands are trying to make attractive tablets. One such brand is iBall, which has grabbed a good reputation in the tablet market after Micromax.
In this tablet review article, we have selected the iBall Slide Brace-X1 tablet available for a price of just 14900 rupees. Many experts have appreciated the premium features of this device.
iBall has used really good materials in the making of this tablet. Its outer shell feels appealing to the eyes. The silvery white finish of the edges and back panel gives an idea of sturdiness of this device. In spite of having a big display, this tablet is much easier to handle on the go.
The main attraction of the craft is the stand that can be slid when needed. The attached hinge is tight so you might find it difficult to rotate most of the time. You can use the stand to balance the tablet on a flat surface result in a greater convenience for the end user.
iBall understands the market reality so the tablet with a premium price tag comes with all needed feature that makes it suitable device a business professional. Make conference calls, watch movies use it for a business or sales presentations. I am not able to understand why the SIM and SD card slots do not come with a cover. This is poor design engineering. If you open the stand, these slots will become susceptible to damage, which is awkward.
Another thing that caught my attention was the place of speakers. You will experience good stereo audio on this tablet. I will not be wrong calling it a complete device for a top-call multimedia experience.
The Slide Brace-X1 comes with a 10.1-inch IPS display panel. However, the resolution of just 1280 X 800 pixels degrades the end user’s experience. Because of the low pixel density of just 149 PPI everything becomes pixilated.
Rightly, iBall gets an IPS technology for the display that improves the viewing angles as well as enhances the contrast ratio. The display generates accurate colors and sharp text, which in totality renders a pleasant reading experience for the end users. Further, iBall keeps the display brightness high so reading outdoor is not bad either.
This might be the only tablet in 15000 rupees price range that offers a 13MP camera on the rear and another 5MP camera on the front. Both these shooters are capable of capturing decent images in daylight. However, in dark situations, the quality of the image degrades. The camera software is pretty fast and impressive shutter speed, too. Some extra features like HDR, Smile Detect, and Self-Timer enhance the photography experience.
At the heart of the Brace-X1 rests a 1.7-GHz Octa-core processor. However, the bad thing is that this processor is based on Cortex A-7 architecture, which is quite old. The 2GB of RAM is sufficient memory for all the apps to run in the background and is good for multitasking, too. Although this device sports 16 GB of onboard memory but the bloatware apps eat up a lot of space. Fortunately, it features a microSD card slot using which users will be able to expand the memory up to 32 GB.
Voice Call Support
One of the most important features of this tablet is that it supports voice calling. You do not need a smartphone if you are carrying this device. Interestingly, it sports two SIM card slots on the back one of which supports 3G networks. The tablet also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Good Battery Life
Considering the low-resolution display and average performance, the 7800 mAh battery of this tablet will easily offer about two days of power backup on moderate usage. If you are someone who occasionally uses a tablet, then there will be no need to put this device on charge before three days.
For fuel reloading, the iBall Slide X1 comes with an outdated connectivity port that was used by Nokia phones. While new age devices are adopting USB-C, iBall’s decision to feature an old gen charging port sounds more foolish. We are really impressed for massive battery backup onboard but disappoint with the charging port.
Old Operating System
iBall has not indicated so far rollout of the latest Android operating system pushing out the factory OS Android Kitkat on this tablet. I know this will be frustrating for some users.
- Sturdy and durable materials are used in manufacturing
- Bigger display
- Flip out stand
- Good place of speakers
- 13 MP back and 5 MP front cameras
- Offers decent performance
- 2GB of RAM
- Long battery life
- IPS panel offers wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio
- Indian languages are supported
- Dual SIM, 3G and Wi-Fi support
- USB OTG functionality
- microSD card support
- Old generation port for charging
- Low pixel density of 149 PPI only
For students and home users, the iBall tablet will prove to be a great solution. As compared to the price, its features are appreciable. I am sure even iBall will agree for the elimination of some stupid faults here. I would recommend this iBall tablet for casual usages (such as student’s product, bill payment, online shopping, mobile/DTH recharge, etc.)