If you’ve been out and about recently you may have seen adverts plastered across buses, magazines, tube stations and your television for the ASUS MEMO Pad 7. Marketed as a viable budget alternative to the iPad Mini, it’s hard to disagree with its price at the very least. Retailing uniformly below the £100 mark it’s pretty much a stocking filler when compared with the giants in the Tablet world such as the Galaxy Tablet 10.1 and iPad Air. It is of course not nearly up to the same standards of those tablets though, so naturally the price reflects that.
With a 16GB hard drive limiting its ability to house music or video (all the apps I use pushed the storage space to only 5GB for other media), the MEMO pad is only really useful for surfing the web and using apps – which isn’t really a problem considering various streaming sites ensure you can do just about anything these days. Where it really suffers though is that it really can’t handle any real heavy lifting. In fact it can’t handle any light lifting either. I found it frustratingly slow to even turn on most of the time and even basic apps like Facebook and eBay dropped out and landed me back on the homepage far too often. Even turning the tablet on from sleep mode can be frustrating at times and often results in multiple inputs without any recognition beyond the screen flashing like a homing beacon. Having said that, the screen (when it manages to turn on) is actually very impressive for such a budget tablet. The seven inch display packs in 1200 x 800 pixels so it’s not Full HD but it’s better than HD ready – which in real life means that the picture is uniformly impressive, especially on a tablet of this price.
Where most Android tablets fall down is on the Bloatware. Some manufacturers load an unbelievable amount of software designed to improve your experience which serves to only sit in a folder hidden out of sight for the majority of time. This is true with the Memo Pad as well, there are numerous apps I have never used once but in the department which makes up the name (Memo) it is actually surprisingly efficient. The Do It Later app and the To Do List are genuinely easy to use. You could argue that there are numerous third party apps which do the same job but that doesn’t negate the efficiency with which ASUS have handled memos. It certainly goes some way to solving the bloat ware issue.
But is this enough to justify forking out for ASUS over budget tablets like the Hudl? Not really.
The MEMO pad is fantastic value for money considering that it packs all the functions you’d ask of a tablet into something which is closer to the price of a PS4 game than most of its rivals but it needs a bit more power to handle simple functions like turning on to make it really worth recommending.