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08/19/2013

Review: Asus Memo Pad HD 7 - the price is right

Asus_memo_pad_hd_7When something is inexpensive, you tend to overlook small flaws that don’t exactly prevent things from getting done.

Take public transit, for example. For a few coins, $3 in Toronto, you can get from Point A to Point B. You might be standing for an hour, is a smelly streetcar, but it’s better than paying $20 for parking to get downtown.

Then, we have the Memo Pad HD 7 tablet from Asus. It costs only $160.

For that money, you get an Android (4.2) tablet with a 7-inch screen. It’s powered by a 1.2-Ghz quad-core processor with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of on-board storage space (which can be expanded on with cloud storage and a microSD card).

It’s a really strong value proposition, but first – let’s clear up the downfalls of a sub-$200 tablet.

While it has camera on the front and back, forget they exist. It’ll help for Skype calls but don’t expect to snap spectacular shots – especially in low light situations.

The power button also seems to be awkwardly placed, more on the back of the device than on the edge. I would often find myself pressing the bevel of the Memo Pad HD 7 to turn the thing on, only to realize I had to stretch my finger a little more to reach the real location of the button.

The screen is sharp and vivid with a wide viewing angle, but it isn’t the greatest in direct sunlight. I also found it unforgiving with fingerprints and smudges in those conditions.

As a tablet, it does everything you could want in this price range. Email and web browsing is obviously no challenge for the quad-core tablet,

It handled Need For Speed Most Wanted well, but gameplay was a little choppy with NOVA 3. Unless you’re a gamer, this tablet is suitable for most other tasks.

Asus tools – such as Splendid and the Audio Wizard – help you tweak both the sound and picture for optimal performance. The Audio Wizard is particularly handy for being able to crank up the speech when watching dialogue-heavy TV shows and movies.

For the price, you can buy a lot of apps, magazines and movies with the money you’ll save compared to other tablets. And for most people, that just makes sense. 

4/5

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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