It’s no secret tablet sales are slumping big time nowadays around the world, and if there’s one manufacturer capable of overturning the market crash, it’s Microsoft. Not Apple, definitely not Samsung, but Microsoft, with its steadily growing Surface family.
What about low-cost Android specialists like Amazon or Asus? Well, the latter was at the forefront of the affordable 7-incher’s rise back when non-voice call-enabled Nexuses were still a thing, and the ZenPad line seeks at least part of that lost glory.
Possibly the tab with the greatest bang for buck already, the Asus ZenPad S 8 somehow finds room for more budget friendliness, as Amazon takes 30 bucks off the 2GB RAM/32GB ROM model’s list price. The deal isn’t signaled as time-limited, and extends to the higher-end configuration too, which packs twice the memory and accommodates twice the data internally.
Bottom line, the “entry-level” version now sets you back $170, and the top-shelf 8-inch ZenPad costs $270, down from $200 and $300 respectively. What else do you get besides plenty of RAM and storage space? A super-sharp 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution screen either way, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3530 or Z3580 processor, 5 and 2MP and 8 and 5 MP cameras respectively, Android 5.0 Lollipop software, 8-hour battery life, as well as a “refined, luxurious” design, with a sleek aluminum finish.
The ZenPad’s main rival is obviously the iPad mini 4, which starts at a little under $400 with just 16GB storage, a very similar display, likely slightly faster A8 chip, no upgrade possible beyond 2GB RAM, and 1.2MP front-facing snapper. No-brainer choice, don’t you think?