Asus of Taiwan has mastered the art of creating mobile devices, which not only look good to hold but provide trouble free performance. Whether it is smartphones or tablets, Asus knows very well that nowadays the consumers do not want to possess dull devices but such gadgets which reflect their personlaity. Taking this philosophy further, Asus has introduced ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL) tablet for the mid-segment. This tablet gives you luxury feeling and looks like an elegant clutch bag to hold it.
The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL features a fashionable embossed leather pattern, clean lines, a 6mm slim bezel and rounded edges for a more comfortable grip. This tablet is designed with metallic-coated frame with edges using NCVM (Non Conductive Vacuum Metalization) for metallic appearance and grater protection for the screen. This device is available in three color options : Leather Black, Pearl White and Aurora Metallic.
To add more zing to the appearance of the tablet, you can enhance its visual look by adding Asus Zen Cases which are available in Black, White, Aurora Metallic, Blue and Orange and these can be fitted on the back depending upon your mood and taste or even your outfit on a particular day.
This tablet has power and volume buttons on the right side and 3.5mm audio jack and charging slot have been placed on the top. The SIM card slot and microSD card slot have been provided behind the rear camera under the rear cover. The rear camera is on the extreme top left side of the tablet and front snapper can be found on top of the right side. The speakers have also been placed on the top front side.
The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL features an 8 inch WXGA 1280×800 high definition IPS panel display with anti-fingerprint coating and comes with a viewing angle of up to 178 degrees. The screen of this tablet can be compared with recently launched mid-segment Samsung Tab. It reproduces actual colors which are sharp and vibrant. This screen has 10 finger multi-touch controls which prove very useful while playing games on this tablet.
Asus takes special care to enhance the viewing experience on its tablets and smartphones and this tablet also incorporates ASUS TruVivid technology for vivid details and it can be used with ease in the daylight in outdoor environemnt thanks to ASUS Tru2Life Outdoor Readable technology employed on it for better reading of text even in sunlight.
This tablet will be ideal for those who want to read a lot on this tablet as it comes pre-loaded with Kindle reading app. You will enjoy reading on this tablet your favourite books as the size of the display is quite good and it will not strain your eyes. The viewing quality of dispaly is very much acceptable but do not accept iPad like quality or Super AMOLED display quality of Samsung tablets as you are also paying less than half of iPad or high-end Samsung tabs.
Under the hood of this tablet is Qualcomm octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor combined with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which can be extended upto 64GB. We have used this tablet for multi functions such as web browsing, running of games and for watching HD movie, and can say that it has functioned well for all these activities without any problem except for high-end gaming. The tabelt gets heated if you run resoureful games and this can be partly attributed to Snapdragon processor. However, switching between the apps was without any lag.
We do not appreciate the calling feature and rear camera on a tablet. It looks very odd to make or receive call on an 8 inch tablet. The calling quality of this tabelt can’t be compared to a reasonably good quality smartphone. But, you can certainly use it for calling in the event of an emergency or when your primary phone has some problem. This tablet worked perfectly well on 4G connectivity wherever the signals were available.
Similarly for the camera features on this tablet. Of late, I have not seen many people using their tabelts for clicking images and for selfies. The cameras on this tablet have been provided for the sake of enhancing its features. Its rear camera of 8MP is ok to click images incase you are working on it and decides to click some images for sharing with your friends and do not feel like using high-end camera. I do no recommend its camera for good selfies and for Skype, the quality is not upto the mark as during Skype call, the images sometimes get blurred.
Asus understands very well that consumers do not like to charge their mobile devices quite frequently as it hampers their work and interruption in the mood when using it for media consumption. Asus has provided its ZenFones with good battery back-up and also added this feature on this tablet also. It is fuelled by a 4000mAh battery which is quite good to last for full day even if you use it heavily for different tasks. Asus has scored well on this aspect.
This tablet runs on ZenUI based on Android Lollipop 5.0.2 and gives same experience which we have noticed on Asus ZenFones. We, as a matter of fact, are not fans of software tweaks of the manufacturers but in the case of Asus they do not let down their users even on this aspect as the feel and screen of this tablet looks like any ZenFone. What we have like the most with this UI is its ability to wake-up the screen with few words and double tap. When this tablet is asleep, you need not press the button to bring it to life. With Double tap, you can wake it up and by drawing C, you can start the camera. For you convenience, you can customize upto six gestures for the launch of specific apps. You can also lock the screen with double tap on the home screen without using the lock key.
This tablet comes pre-loaded with many apps and one for special mention and of utmost importance is Kids Mode, which is very useful for those parents who have young kids. The parents can select only those apps which their kids can use on this tablet. They can protect this tablet by setting their password on it for proper control.
This tablet comes with Audio Cover at an additional cost of Rs. 3000 to enhance the clarity and volume of the audio of this tablet. Since this tablet is basically meant for reading and media consumption, you would be compelled to buy this audio cover for true multimedia experience. Without this audio cover, the audio quality of this tablet is not bad but if you listen songs and other media output then you will find see difference and hence our recommendation to buy this device with audio cover which has a magnetic strip on it and it can be attached to the tabelt very easily. This audio cover also works as a case for the tablet and you can also use it as a stand for the tablet and you can watch the movies in upright position also.
In our opinion, the Audio Cover should be standard accessory and the company should not charge it separately as it is one of the msot important features of this tablet.
Asus ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL) is a well-designed tablet although the quality of removable back cover is not upto the mark and that is the only blemish in its design. From performance perspective, it scores good point as far as its display, performance, audio and battery is concerned. Its calling quality, gaming capabilites and camera is not as fine as it should have been, but the saving grace for the Asus is that majority of people do not buy a tablet for its calling and optics features. The question arises whether one should spend Rs. 17,999 on this tablet (audio cover is must for this tablet)? Yes, of course, if you are planning to use the tablet just for multi-media and reading purposes then you should definitely consider this good-looking tablet at this price despite the fact that many competitive but boring tablets will be available at little less price also.