From the people that brought us the Nexus 7, here is what many have tout as a replacement for the aging Nexus 7.
We managed to get our hands on the new ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C, Asus’s premium but affordable high end 7-inch tablet. This is not to be mistaken with the other ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176CX, which is equally new but lower specified. Launched at the final quarter of 2014, the 7-inch Android 4.4 (KitKat) tablet has had a good start over the festive season but seems to stay in the limelight of the cheaper ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176CX. The cheaper device went to the market with a sub one hundred price tag with slower processor, less memory and lower resolution display.
There are not many Full HD 7″ inch tablet in the market. Apart from the Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HDX and the Nexus 7, the new ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C are among the few devices that spots a full 1920 x 1200 pixel screen resolution. But what else is on offer from this small but mighty tablet.
10 Things You Need to Know About the New Asus MeMO Pad 7
1. Well Received
Our first impression of the device is really great, it felt solid to touch in a slim and tidy package with design that you can fall in love with immediately. Already very well received by existing customers and reviewers (TechRadar, PCPro and Trusted Reviews), the tablet is set to receive even more positive feedback and reviews with all it has going for it. With a ‘budget’ like price tag, this tablet is expected to fly off shelves very quickly. If you put this side by side with other tablets at this price point, you will be hard pressed to find one that can match or better the specs and quality of this device.
2. Excellent Design
Ultra slim and lightweight with built quality you have come to expect from Asus, the tablet is stylish and elegant. Inspired by folios, clutch bags and wallets, the slimline tablet has a accented back cover and rolled side edges with a distinct floating border that makes it look like it is folded together.
The case is made of hard plastic, but has a higher quality feel to it, with very clean and smooth lines where the screen and chassis meet. From the back of the device, it almost looks like a fold on a folio with the accent with clever use of colour. When you turn it over, it tells a different story. From the front, the device looks rather squarish at the corners with large blackout bezels on the face plate near the top and bottom edges. The side bezels are in keeping with most new tablets in the market especially 7-inch devices where it is kept at a minimum width.
The stereo speakers are centered on the top and bottom edges of these larger bezel areas. Just like the iPhone and iPad mini or any device with side firing speakers, these can be obstructed when holding the tablet in landscape mode. But it could also be enhanced if you hold the tablet a certain way directing the sound to you with your hands which often happens by accident. Overall, a very well thought out design, with greater emphasis on the looks and ergonomics.
The colour options available are Gentle Black, Burgundy Red and Gold. Other colour in the range include Rose Champagne with a textured finish. The Rose Champagne version has a lustrous finish and together with the textured surface shimmers in the light. At the time of writing, only the first three colours are on offer.
The Gold model has a shiny and almost brushed metal finish with black accents. The Burgundy Red model has an elegant dark lacquer coating reminiscent of a grand piano and finally the Gentle Black version has a refined, non-reflective texture with the look and feel of fine leather.
3. Gorgeous Display
The FHD or 1920 x 1200 resolution display produces top quality image in vivid, true to life and bright colours. If you have seen the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HDX this is an equally good if not better display.
The display also uses IPS, in-plane-switching technology to a delivery ultra wide angle viewing of 178-degrees and accurate colour reproduction. The same technology is found on premium tablets and smartphones such as the iPad, iPhone and Galaxy S5.
ASUS’s focus on viewing experience is shown with the ASUS Splendid display settings that lets you set the colour temperature, automatic enhancement and vivid mode; options only found on High Definition TVs. This lets you optimise and enhance the colour, brightness, contrast and sharpness of your video and images making every look amazing.
Whether you are using the device to browse the Internet or to watch a movie or TV show, the screen displays crisp and share text and images and visible from any angle. ASUS TruVivid technology delivers stunningly sharp image that looks great at any angle.
The display also features an anti-fingerprint coating to give you the best viewing experience when you are browsing the web or playing games. Stay in control of your touch driven tablet without the messy finger prints left on the screen getting in the way.
4. Lightweight and Portable
Weighing only 269grams with ultra thin side bezels at 7.1mm makes the display looks larger. The tablet has a small foot print and is only 8.3mm thick. The device has a grip friendly width at 114.4mm due to its narrow side bezels. The top and bottom bezels are slightly higher at 200mm which works out well as it lets you hold the device without covering the display when viewed in landscape mode.
5. Mighty Powerful
Based on Intel’s efficient and powerful quad-core processor, the Intel Atom Processor Z3560 with a burst frequency of up to 1.83GHz. The 22nm 64-bit processor with its 2MB L2 Cache coupled with Android 4.4 and Asus ZenUI offers a smooth and fluid user experience.
The tablet tested is capable of handling multiple tasks and jumping from one to another without much lag. The performance is impressive and while it will munch through anything you throw at it, it is also kind to the battery, efficient enough to get you through the day without needing to find a power socket.
For graphics, the tablet relies on IMG PowerVR Series 6 – G6430 which again is plenty for most games and apps designed for both Intel and PowerVR.
In the memory and storage department, the device is equipped with a generous 2GB RAM and 16GB on board storage. While 16GB is the standard and most probably sufficient for any additional programs that you wish to install, there is also the option of adding up to 64GB of additional memory via the onboard MicroSD card slot. This allows you to carry more content such as photos, songs, movies and TV shows.
Application start-up, browsing, and switching between apps are a breeze with this much processing power. The same cannot be said for other tablets at this price point. To sweeten the deal, ASUS thows in 5GB of life time cloud storage with ASUS Webstorage Space with an additional 11GB of extra storage in the first year.
ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C comes equipped with a 5-megapixel (MP) rear-facing, auto focus camera capable of capturing and recording 1080p Full HD video. There is also the 2-megapixel (MP) front-facing camera which is great for video calls and high resolution selfies and is capable of 720p High Definition video capture. ASUS’s PixelMaster technology lets you capture great-looking photos and videos.
The technology helps you take the best snap possible with clever features that you can take advantage of without much hassle. The many different modes include Time Rewind mode will automatically start recording images two seconds before and one second after pressing the shutter button, taking 31 photos and ensuring you won’t miss the moment. All Smiles mode is great for taking photos of a group. It will take a burst of five images and then let you individually choose the best shot for each person, so you can ensure everyone looks their best. Finally, Smart Remove mode helps you get rid of unwanted background objects in photos.
7. Sounds Good
The carefully engineered dual speakers direct sound towards the user so you get to experience the full effect. As you would expect, with the size limitation, the sound produced by the speakers is great in a small room (bedroom or dorm) but loses its edge in in open space or big room. For your personal enjoyment, we would recommend a good pair of headphones. Still, ASUS SonicMaster-enhanced audio is a good effort on the company’s part to bring even with the limitation.
aptX audio codec supports high quality sound over Bluetooth to an aptX enabled headphone delivering wired like CD quality audio by addressing the bandwidth and sound quality issues found on just relying on Bluetooth alone. aptX audio codec compresses the file, making it smaller before pushing it over Bluetooth to compatible device. Note that in order to take advantage of aptX, you will need an aptX equipped headphone.
The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C while doesn’t come with HDMI connection, supports Miracast wireless streaming with up to 720p of High Definition video direct from the tablet to a Miracast enabled TV. You can get a Miracast to HDMI dongle for your TV if your HDTV doesn’t support Miracast inherently. Share your video or photos on the big screen.
Apart from the standard digital headphone and microphone combo socket, there is an additional headset only jack, a sleep and wake button and a volume rocker button. The microSD slot is not conceal; not hidden behind a cover or behind the battery. You should guess by now the battery is not removable. It is however flushed when inserted so out of the way and no risk being caught. It does support high speed microSD/HD and XC. This leaves the only other visible connector on the device, the micro USB connector used to charge the device.
For wireless connectivity, the tablet has an 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN adapter and Bluetooth 4.0 that as we mentioned earlier supports aptX CSR when transmitting sound. On board sensors include the G-sensor, Light sensor, E-compass and Hall sensor. The tablet also comes with GPS and GLONASS for navigation.
9. Good Battery Life
The 15Wh Li-polymer battery provides up to 11 hours of mixed used battery life, be it browsing the web, playing games or watching movies, the Asus MeMO 7 will power through the day on a full charge. We were able to get around 9 hours of battery life between charge but have to say we were pushing the device a little bit during the test.
10. Great Value
Currently available Exclusive to John Lewis at a reduced price for a limited time only. The tablet offers many great features and great value for the price.
We know that Google is pushing the Nexus 9 Tablet with HTC, Nexus 6 Phablet with Motorola and Nexus 5 Smartphone with LG. However, if Google were to collaborate with ASUS again to create a new Nexus 7, it won’t be far off the new MeMO Pad 7.
ASUS also offers a range of accessories to go with the tablet that are worth looking into, they are the Carry Me Cover with bold and eye-catching design and finish. The cover also includes an adjustable wrist strap. If you prefer something more substantial, you might want to go with a Folio Cover that protects the screen and also lets you prop up the tablet in positions suitable for typing or viewing. Remember the aptX support, ASUS’s own EB50N wireless headset with Near Field technology gives you high quality sound with enhanced data rate (EDR) and a full range driver. Finally there is the Micro USB Charging Stand that not only charges your device while on the move but also lets you prop up the tablet at different angles ideal for viewing or typing. The charger replicates the USB port allowing you to connect external drives or a mouse with your tablet using the on-board full size USB port.
One More Thing… Operating System and Software
The new ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C runs on Android 4.4, KitKat complete with apps like Google Maps, YouTube and Google Play. You can access to more games, apps, music tracks, movies and eBooks on Google Play, Google’s app and content store. With Android 4.4, you can also set up multiple user accounts, making it possible for the whole family to enjoy their own individual apps and widgets, including setting parental controls to help you protect the kids.
ASUS took the bold step of including its own brand of customisation called the Asus ZenUI. Asus ZenUI is not just a pretty skin but a brand new user interface that simplifies and improves the tablet OS with over 200 upgrades and enhancements over the standard Android interface. This includes What’s Next which will help you organise your day and Do It Later, which makes creating a to do list simple. Other enhancement include PixelMaster, which will enhance the image quality of any photos you take and Omlet Chat, which makes chatting with friends in more ways by adding drawings photographic filters and more.
We leave you with the video demo and specifications for ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME572C
|ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME572C)|
|Processor||64 bit quad core Intel® Atom™ Z3560 (up to 1.83GHz)|
|Operating system||AndroidTM 4.4 (KitKat)|
|Display||7-inch, LED backlit WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS panel|
10 finger multi-touch support Anti-fingerprint coating
|Cameras||5MP rear with autofocus 2MP front|
|Memory & storage||2GB RAM|
5GB ASUS WebStorage with an additional 11GB free for the first year micro SD card reader (up to 64GB SDXC)
|Wireless||802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.0|
|Connectivity||2 x High quality speakers 1 x Micro USB|
1 x Headset jack (headphone/MIC-in) 1 x Digital microphone
1 x Micro SD card reader, up to 64GB SDXC 1 x SIM tray (ME572CL only)
|Sensors||GPS, GLONASS, G-sensor, ambient light sensor, hall sensor|
|Battery||Li-polymer 15Wh for up to 11 hours 2|
|Colours||Rose Champagne, Gentle Black, Burgundy Red|
|Size||114.4 x 200 x 8.3mm|
1 Specifications, content and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors.
2 Measured with 720p HD video playback, 100cd/m2 brightness, Wi-Fi turned on, and default volume with headphones