We expand our list of budget tablets that are worth at least taking into account when deciding to purchase one with the Asus Memo Pad 7: the spiritual successor of 2013’s Asus Memo Pad HD7. While the name not only does not imply it, but actually ends up doing the exact opposite – the Asus Memo Pad 7 is the series’ iteration that came a little over a year later but actually didn’t end up bringing astounding improvements over its predecessor.
There is never a shortage of tablets that fall into the low budget category; however, the grand majority of them end up particularly disappointing because manufacturers choose to cut corners on some very important aspects of the build. Now, depending on what a person wishes to purchase a tablet for, this may either be walked past with no problem or be an absolute disaster for other potential buyers.
The Asus Memo Pad 7 is a great example of an affordable tablet, especially handy now that the holidays are on our doorsteps. To be frank, the tablet doesn’t particularly stand out in any aspect and even struggles with some of them, but ultimately ends up being a decent piece of hardware that you can use for your daily internet-related routine or family time. So, on to the Asus Memo Pad review.
- Decent Build
- Great Quality to Price ratio
- Outdated Hardware
- Performance Issues
- Even more underwhelming in the camera department than tablets usually are
Asus Memo Pad 7 Design
Aesthetically, the Asus Memo Pad 7 is hardly an innovation. It’s a relatively small tablet, a fact only emphasized by the fact that the bezel surrounding the screen in a little on the wide and large side. That also takes away some of the charm from the tablet’s overall look and making it feel a little buried in the bezel and unsatisfactory to some. It has a 66% screen to body ratio which is a lower than average number; as a comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 scores a 72.7% ratio while the Apple iPad Air 2 only goes up to 71.6%.
There are no quirky features that seem particularly attractive about the tablet other than the metallic frame that peeks out all around the edges, breaking the uniformity to some degree. The edges are also slightly curved to give the tablet a good grip. Considering that its size falls into the small category, chances are that you’ll be able to hold it up single-handedly comfortably when watching something for example. It’s only 295 grams heavy so it shouldn’t weigh too much on your hand or become uncomfortable. At its overall dimensions are 189.3 x 113.7 x 9.6, it’s even smaller than an iPad mini 4, but considerably thicker. That’s also a result of the curved back that doesn’t look half bad and gives the tablet a smooth feel through the plastic but slightly rubberized texture that prevents slipping and will secure your grip on the Memo Pad.
The front of the tablet displays the Asus logo at the bottom, underneath the screen and a front-facing camera in the top right corner. We consider the portrait positioning as being the default one. The back of the Asus Memo Pad 7 displays an unusually large camera sensor that slightly juts out in a non-upsetting manner.
In terms of button placement, the tablet has a more unusual location for its volume rocker and power button: on the right side of the tablet, on the curve the surface makes towards the edge. While that may feel a little unnatural, it’s not hard to get used to it nor will you find the respective buttons hard to use or in any danger of accidentally pressing them. The opposite side hosts the microSD card slot, unfortunately not covered by a door so that is one aspect that you may want to take extra care of just to make sure you don’t lose your SDs by mistake. The top side of the Asus Memo Pad 7 tablet hosts the 3.5 audio jack and a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer.
The tablet doesn’t look like it has any particular physical weaknesses, with no visible creases or exposed bits that could end up being damaged by continuous use. Visually – and this may not be regarded as positive feedback – the tablet actually reminds me of the old Samsung Galaxy S, given the metallic frame running along its sides.
You can purchase the Asus Memo Pad 7 in 5 color variations: black, white, red, yellow and blue – making it appealing for both professional and family use alike.
Asus Memo Pad 7 Display
The Asus Memo Pad 7 employs an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that measures only 7 inches. Considering that we have seen 6 inch phablets, the tablet is really modestly sized and rather inspires something you would have your child use for entertainment. It is capable of multi touch of up to 10 fingers at once so any kind of game or app will not have any problem of being used on this tablet.
The display isn’t amazingly brilliant. For starters, it will only display a maximum resolution of 1200 x 800, a lot lower than you can get for high-end smartphones for example. Given its size, the tablet only manages to reach a 216 ppi pixel density, meaning you might end up thinking images look a little blocky and that reading small text is a little more tiring than it should. Secondly, the screen doesn’t seem to have been coated in the usual Corning Gorilla Glass that we see on most, if not all average and above devices. Don’t misunderstand me, the screen is by no means frail as it still has a toughened glass build protecting it from scratching and smudges, but it’s just not the material we’ve all grown accustomed to.
Because of that, the display of the Asus Memo Pad 7 has some considerable issues with reflexivity: viewing the images depicted on the tablet in clear daylight – or worse, sunlight – will turn out to be irksome as the image loses a lot of its vibrancy. In average lighting conditions, the screen is satisfactory to say the least in terms of color range and color accuracy, it’s just that the viewing experience may fail to impress a fair bit.
The fact that the maximum brightness that the Asus Memo Pad 7 is capable of isn’t outstanding by itself is one of the culprits behind that as well. The story goes down the same road when it comes to viewing angles: the image loses a considerable amount of brightness as you start rotating the tablet and viewing the image from the sides. On the upside however, the tablet has its very own customizable color temperature and saturation, allowing you to tweak the way things look on it to your own liking – whether you prefer vivid, saturated colors, or you’d rather aim for warmer hues over colder.
While we can’t say that the screen is necessarily bad, it’s just two or three things that happen to feed upon each other and amplify certain effects such as overall visibility on the Asus Memo Pad 7. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from two perspectives: one is the fact that this is, after all, a budget tablet. The other one is the fact that unless you’ve used amazingly detailed and clear displays on your other devices in the past, the effect is really not upsetting.
Asus Memo Pad 7 Specs & Performance
By far the most important part if the entire tablet, this is the one chapter where performance results have the unusual effect of not matching the hardware that we saw on paper. while the Asus Memo Pad 7 is a remake of 2013’s version of the tablet more than anything else, it did get some tweaks here and there. One of the upgrades that you’ll be able to find on this version over the predecessor is the processor. While the HD7 sported a Mediatek MT8125 quad-core 1.2 GZHz Cortex-A7, the Asus Memo Pad 7 brings to our table the Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core 1.86 GHz CPU, part of the Bay Trail chip family. It’s a core processing unit that is very familiar for a number of devices simply because it manages to pack a decent amount of power while keeping the costs to a minimum.
If we’re to take benchmarking results into account, this unit is comparable to what was considered state of the art technology 2 or 3 years ago. It scored 765 on the single-core Geekbench 3 and 2038 on the multi-core scale.
In terms of storage space, the tablet may seem underwhelming to some extent considering that it only comes in 8 or 16 GB HDD space respectively, but thankfully to the microSD card slot, that shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to storage management.
Asus Memo Pad 7 Features & Software
If you’re looking for a pure, stock Android tablet for your holiday gift shopping, I’m afraid that the Asus Memo Pad 7 may not be for you; there aren’t that many tablets that come from other manufacturer than Google, Samsung and a few examples from Dell that do. However, the Memo Pad 7 manages to pull off a skin that is anything but upsetting and “bloaty”.
The Asus Memo Pad 7 features the Andoid 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. Considering the tablet has been out for a while and yet there haven’t been any updates announced for it, there is a chance you will end up being stuck with this one for a while to come. That means you wouldn’t be able to enjoy Android’s Material Design on this one. Although that is a bit disappointing, the interface of the Asus Memo Pad 7 is anything but not stylish. It’s clean, it’s comprehensive and very practical; only a few minuses have made their way on this tablet.
What this tablet does on top of adding its very own native app of various utility, it also provides its own input when it comes to some of the basic apps by replacing them with Asus’ own version of them. The e-mail app, contacts, calendar, image gallery and even the keyboard have been given a new and different look.
The extra apps that you would be getting with the Asus Memo Pad 7 are mostly useful and very much excusable content, such as the Asus cloud storage app. Considering that if you purchase the tablet you get 5 GB of Life Time ASUS Webstorage Space as well as an extra 11 GB for the first year of usage, the manufacturer put in an app for you to be able to easily use when making use of the cloud services. There is a native, Asus-only application that you get access to – the Party Link which allows you to instantly share photos with 3 other people in your vicinity – which would be great if it wasn’t restricted to Asus devices alone. Other than that, you get a to-do note list app, Accuweather’s weather app, a Kindle app and Zinio, a multi-platform hub of digital magazines.
Anything else in terms of utility, you’ll most likely have to handle yourself and download manually off the Google Play – which thankfully offers a wide variety of applications that are compatible with the Asus Memo Pad 7. The interface itself hasn’t gone through a whole lot of changes, everything being controlled and navigated the same way. While the device is multi touch capable, there is no gesture control interface or anything of the sort.
There is one aspect of the Asus Memo Pad 7 that you may find very useful if you’re planning to allow your kids to use the tablet. The operating system allows you to set locks on certain applications that you have installed on the tablet. So for example, if you wanted to let your child only doodle, watch cartoons or play games on the tablet you can easily restrict his or her access to other parts of the system – whether we’re talking YouTube or System Options.
In terms of performance, the Asus Memo Pad 7 has an unexplainably hard time with keeping its footing when running graphic intensive apps or when multitasking gets serious. You may experience a short moment of lag when switching between apps and don’t rule out frame drops if you’re attempting the latest 3D games on it either.
Asus Memo Pad 7 Camera & Battery Life
The same unexplainable latency that we just mentioned above manifests itself when it comes to the camera too. When trying to take shots you may end with more frustration that you were ready for as the image on the screen lags behind the real time conditions in considerable amounts. In the absence of a more advanced auto-focusing sensor, the rear camera will never be a competing force when it comes to taking shots. Furthermore, the rear camera is only a 5 megapixel one, meaning that the images that the tablet is able to render will hardly be satisfactory in terms of quality. While the rear camera allows video recording in up to 1080p, don’t get too hopeful, the quality isn’t any better.
There is also a front facing camera that doesn’t exceed 2 megapixels. While you can use it to take selfies or video conferencing, don’t get your hopes up any more than you have for the rear one. Any of the cameras found on this tablet should really only be taken as a last resort and not much else.
Given the fact that hardware packed in the Asus Memo Pad 7 isn’t exactly the most lightweight build you can get, I think it’s a great fact that the battery life seems to be longer on the MP7 than it is on so many others. The tablet can handle itself for as much as 9 hours of video playback on one single charge thanks to the non-removable 3,950 mAh battery pack that was used in its construction. And as a plus, the one aspect that so many devices skip on for some reason, the Asus Memo Pad 7 also comes with a great amount of customizability your tablet’s power consumption – meaning that if you feel your device is eating up way too much power, there are a few things you can do about it.
Asus Memo Pad 7 Verdict
In the end, the Asus Memo Pad 7 remains a little, modest but reliable tablet that you can consider as a Christmas present for your kids or for any of the regular internet-related activities such as sorting through e-mails, reading documents, web surfing, watching movies and videos and whatnot. If you feel like you wouldn’t mind a display that isn’t up to par with the brightest and best looking screens out there, then the MP7 won’t give you any discomfort.
It’s far from one of the best but manages to make up for that through sturdiness and reliability – and everything at a price that doesn’t even come close to its more “advanced” counterparts. If I’d reviewed this tablet a year ago and unbiased by the more recent half a centimeter thick and downright power-house level tablets that are currently gracing our market, the Asus Memo Pad 7 surely would’ve received more praise than it has. And that’s without counting the extremely low Asus Memo Pad 7 price tag.
You can purchase the Asus Memo Pad 7 from various online retailers for as little as $125 for the 8 GB version and $150 for the 16 GB one. Accessories for it, such as Asus Memo Pad 7 cases you can still purchase off of the Asus official website instead.