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The original MeMO Pad was an odd decision for ASUS tablets. It was, in some respects, an attempt at a budget-friendly alternative to the already affordable, highly-regarded Nexus 7. It was a difficult goal to meet, and it largely failed.
Subsequent MeMo Pad tablets have improved, however, and the MeMo Pad 8 is ASUS‘s newest attempt to cash in on a quickly growing class of eight-inch budget tablets.
At 8.37-by-5.01-by-0.39 inches and 0.77 pounds, the MeMo Pad 8’s dimensions are about average compared to tablets like the Dell Venue 8 or Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8. The MeMo Pad is comfortable to hold in one hand, and it’s about 0.11 pounds lighter than the uniquely shaped Yoga 8.
The aluminum-edged polycarbonate body is constructed well enough, though it won’t be mistaken for a premium device.
Comparing tablets in its class, the ASUS MeMO Pad 8 is pretty barren in terms of connectivity. The power button and volume rocker are located just on the back side of the right edge, while an uncovered microSD card slot adorns the left side.
The top features a micro USB port and standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, while the bottom is empty. A wide grille near the bottom of the backing conceals a pair of stereo speakers.
Resolving the Details
As has become standard for budget devices, the ASUS MeMo Pad 8 employs a 1,280-by-800 pixel IPS display. Unfortunately, the MeMo’s panel is a disappointment compared to tablets like the Dell Venue 8.
Though the panel produces good viewing angles and satisfying black levels, the color reproduction is problematic. Colors seem distractingly inaccurate, and the display produces a slightly muddled picture. The brightness is acceptable for use in most indoor environments, though it’s far from ideal.
Under the Hood
The MeMo Pad 8 is powered by a quad-core 1.6-gigahertz Cortex-A9 processor and one gigabyte of RAM. It isn’t a powerhouse, but the MeMo delivers a fairly smooth experience during most routine tasks.
There’s a bit of lag during startup and while launching some apps, but otherwise, there’s little complaint about the performance. The operating system is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which has been tweaked to include unique touches like a stylish, effective quick-app launcher.
Tablet Roundup and Competition
The ASUS MeMo Pad 8 offers an interesting alternative compared to tablets like the Dell Venue 8 and Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8. It offers decent construction quality that’s on par with the Venue 8. The Yoga is fairly well-built as well, but the folded-book design is a love-it-or-hate-it feature.
All three offer solid performance, with the MeMo Pad packing slightly more power than the others. The display is somewhat substandard even for a budget tablet, however, and both the Venue and Yoga 8 feature higher-quality panels.
The ASUS delivers plenty of positives for the price, but it may not be the best bang for your buck.
What Customers Say
According to customer feedback, the MeMo Pad 8’s biggest draw is its blend of power, portability, and affordability. The MeMo Pad 8 is slightly narrower than some other eight-inch devices, making it easier to hold with one hand while still offering more screen space than a seven-inch tablet.
Despite the occasional hiccups, customers have responded positively to the MeMo’s performance compared to tablets in its class. The most common complaints center around inconsistent video playback, questionable display quality and occasional technical malfunctions that required the tablet to be replaced.