New Delhi: With the budget tablet market getting hotter, big players are now attempting to stride into the space originally created by second-rung manufacturers. After Google and Acer, Asus now has introduced its budget tablet in India. Called the Asus MeMo Pad, the tablet comes at an attractive price tag of Rs 9,999.
I was eagerly waiting for this device after the Acer Iconia B1 failed to impress me (Read the Acer Iconia B1 review). Does the Asus MeMo Pad turn out to be a better alternative to the comparatively cheaper Acer Iconia B1?
As I opened the box, I found an OTG (on-the go) USB cable inside it, which gives users the ability to connect a pen drive to the tablet. This accessory rarely comes bundled with other devices and hence calls for a special mention, though Asus did not bundle a pair of earphones, a standard accessory that comes with other devices.
I have often heard people saying "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". And, this phrase goes quite well with this tablet. The tablet has a very simple design and that's what makes it handsome. It does not look cheap in hands, and hence no embarrassment while taking it along anywhere. Neatly designed, the tablet's real panel has a diamond-patterned finish, which makes it comfortable to hold. The tablet houses power and volume buttons on the left side, while the right side is totally clean. There is a speaker located on the back. It is relatively heavier than the Acer Iconia B1, it isn't ponderous.
The Asus MeMo Pad has a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels at 169 ppi. The touchscreen is quite responsive and the display produces reasonably good colours. The screen produces good details, but not as sharp as I had expected. The screen is reflective and thus the visibility gets hampered under sunlight. While in normal lighting conditions, it produces good results. The navigation on this tablet is smooth. While the text does not appear crisp, it is easily readable. Therefore, the screen is decent for reading e-books. The viewing angles, however, are staggeringly bad. One more thing I found missing was the option to set auto-brightness.
The tablet has a 1 megapixel front camera, which captures quality snaps with zero shutter lag in both indoor and outdoor conditions. The front camera is pretty good for video chats. The tablet has no rear camera, but in a budget tablet the absence of a rear camera is acceptable.
The tablet is powered by a 1GHz VIA WM8950 CPU and a Mali-400 GPU, and has 1GB RAM. The Asus MeMo Pad easily lets you multitask. I managed to run five to six apps simultaneously, with some apps running in the background. There was no lag while switching between apps. The tablet supports 1080p videos. However, the Acer Iconia B1, which is engineered with a dual-core processor, simply refused to play the Full HD videos.
Where the Iconia B1 scored above the Asus MeMo Pad is that the Iconia B1 did not show any lags throughout the review period. But the Asus MeMo Pad dawdled when I played games with strong graphics. Playing Temple Run 2 on this device did not turn out to be a good experience, but there was no hitch while playing Fruit Ninja.
The tablet runs Android 4.1 OS with some minor tweaks. The tablet features a floating widget video player that lets you view videos while performing some other tasks. The video window can be resized; it can be dragged and located anywhere on the screen. The tablet has an onboard memory of 8GB, of which only 5.61 GB is user-accessible. Its memory can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. Asus has also bundled 'Asus WebStorage' app with 5GB lifetime online space.
The device has good speakers which produces quality sound, but not loud. The Asus MeMo Pad tablet has better battery than the Acer Iconia B1. The fully charged MeMo Pad lasted for 4.5 hours, when used heavily. During those 4.5 hours, I browsed web, downloaded apps, watched a two-and-a-half-hour long movie - with other apps running in the background. On normal use, the tablet can easily last for more than 5 hours.
So, if you are planning to buy a new tablet under Rs 10,000 from a Tier-1 manufacturer and are scratching your head about which one to pick, then you are advised to go through the following comparison.
Comparison between the Acer Iconia B1 and Asus MeMo Pad:
- Asus MeMoPad has better looks than Acer's Iconia B1. The Asus MeMo Pas has a scratch proof rear panel, while that of Acer is scratch-prone.
- MeMo Pad's camera scores above Acer's.
- Acer has a dual-core processor, and playing games with high graphics on the Iconia B1 is a good experience. While the Asus Memo Pad is good for casual gaming.
- Asus MeMo Pad supports 1080p videos, while Acer's Iconia B1 does not.
- Asus MeMo Pad costs Rs 2,000 more than the Acer Iconia B1, which is priced at Rs 7,999.
- Multitasking experience on both devices are satisfactory.
Pros (Asus MeMo Pad)
- Great design
- 1080 p support
- Quality front camera
- Expandable memory
Cons (Asus MeMo Pad)
- Slight lag during heavy games
- Reflective screen
- Bad viewing angles