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In the world of tablets, the choice often reduces down to small form-factor devices built for budget-minded consumers or larger devices equipped for power users. There isn’t a great deal of middle ground between the two groups, and although it succeeds in several respects, the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10 proves that it’s quite difficult to bridge the gap.
The result likely won’t disappoint casual users, but it’s a bit disappointing compared to tablets with better hardware.
Being a budget tablet, the 10.3-by-7.1-by-0.39 inch MeMO Pad Smart 10 is unsurprisingly constructed from plastic. It feels a bit cheap compared to tablets using higher quality materials, but it’s a minor gripe overall.
The plastic also does little to diminish the build quality, as the device feels solid and well-built. At 1.3 pounds, the MeMO Pad is reasonably light for a ten-inch tablet. The weight is distributed quite evenly across the tablet, making it feel even lighter than it is.
Perched atop the device on the left side is the power button. Near the top of the right edge is a standard headphone jack and a volume rocker. Micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports are placed close together along the left edge. The micro-USB slot also serves as a charging port.
The bottom is empty since ASUS has decided not to produce a keyboard dock for the MeMO Smart. Aside from the bare bottom, button placement is generally similar to other Asus products such as the Transformer Pad TF-300.
Resolving the Details
The MeMO Pad Smart 10’s display, to put it mildly, is not a strong point. At 1280-by-800 pixels, the ten-inch panel musters up a disappointing 149 pixels per inch. For a tablet comparison, Google’s Nexus 10 cranks up the resolution to 2560-by-1600 pixels, producing a solid 300 pixels per inch.
On the other hand, price ranges of compared tablets are quite different. It is obvious that significant difference in ppi has it’s price. The display is at least adequate for images and video, but text readability suffers markedly from the lack of resolution. The panel does produce impressive viewing angles, though that isn’t much consolation for the lackluster quality.
Under the Hood
As is already quite clear, the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10 is a budget device. As such, it isn’t fair to expect exceptional performance and beefy hardware. That said, the MeMO does pack some decent specifications.
The 1.2-gigahertz, quad-core Nvidia Tegra3 processor and gigabyte of RAM are the same as the Nexus 7. The MeMO offers 16 gigabytes of internal storage, which is upgradeable by way of a microSD card slot. Overall performance is solid, though the tablet suffers from the same pair of problems that seem to be endemic in most Asus devices.
Battery life is quite poor, and any tasks that require writing to the device’s disk are exceedingly slow.
Compared to tablets with high-resolution displays like the Google Nexus 10, the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10’s mediocre panel is a major disadvantage. It also can’t match the Nexus 10’s battery life.
Its construction is quite solid despite the plastic body, and it feels more comfortable to hold than the sometimes slippery Nexus or the extremely bulky Acer Iconia Tab A210. For consumers who find the lack of a dock to be an issue, the Transformer Pad TF-300 offers a nearly identical experience for a somewhat higher price tag.
The MeMO Pad Smart 10 is generally a very solid budget tablet, but it also presents issues that may be too big to overlook for some users.