Competitively priced Android devices are becoming more prevalent in the crowded tablet market, but most of these have small screen sizes. ASUS is aiming to change this with the MeMO Pad FHD 10, a 10in Android tablet with a full HD screen. It's a solid tablet overall, and removable storage and a micro-HDMI port give it some nice benefits over more expensive competitors. However, its performance in some graphically intense games is poor.
- Reasonable build quality
- microSD card slot
- Competitive price
- Poor gaming performance
- Glossy screen is very reflective
- Mediocre cameras
The ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 is a solid tablet overall, and removable storage and a micro-HDMI port give it some nice benefits over more expensive competitors. However, its performance in some graphically intense games is poor.
Solid design, excellent screen
The ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 is best described as a run of the mill looking tablet. It's a 10.1in device with a thick, gloss black bezel, curved edges and a white plastic back. Despite its plastic construction, build quality is reasonable for the price — there's a few creaks when the case is twisted, and the back can feel a little hollow when pressure is applied in various spots, but both are relatively minor issues.
A run of the mill looking tablet.
At 580g, the MeMO Pad FHD 10 is lighter than both the 4th Generation iPad and the excellent Google Nexus 10, but is thicker than both at 9.5mm. The slight increase in thickness is offset by a ribbed finish on the back and sides. This makes it more comfortable to grip than most other 10in tablets, and also ensures that it won't easily slide out of your hands. ASUS produces both black and white variants in international markets, but the company only sells the "silk white" model in Australia.
The dual-speakers on the back of the tablet are reasonably loud.
ASUS has positioned the MeMO Pad FHD 10's ports and buttons in different places than most other Android tablets, but the layout is pretty effective during everyday use. There's a power/lock screen button along the top, towards the left side, a volume rocker and a headphone jack on the right, and a micro-HDMI port, microSD card slot and micro-USB port for charging on the left.
We like the fact that the power and volume buttons lean towards the back of the device, as it means they are hard to accidentally press. However, we would have prefered the power button positioned to the right, rather than the left, and the headphone jack on the side can be an annoyance. On the plus side, removable storage (despite a hefty 32GB of internal memory) and a micro-HDMI port are nice inclusions, especially given the modest price tag. The dual-speakers on the back of the tablet are also reasonably loud, and their position means they don't get covered by your hands when holding the tablet in landscape orientation.
ASUS only sells the "silk white" model of the MeMO Pad FHD 10 in Australia.
The key feature of the MeMO Pad FHD 10 is its 10.1in IPS display, which has a resolution of 1920x1200. Although this resolution isn't as high as devices like the 4th Generation iPad and Google's Nexus 10, it still has a more than respectable pixel density of 226ppi. It displays crisp and clear text with minimal visible aberrations, has excellent viewing angles and produces good colours. However, the glossy finish on the screen is highly reflective and sunlight legibility is poor.
The glossy finish on the screen is highly reflective and sunlight legibility is poor.
Jelly Bean with an ASUS touch
ASUS has added a range of customisable quick toggles.
The ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 runs the 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android operating system. It's largely a vanilla version of the interface — the lock screen, home screens and the app drawer are almost the same as the stock version of Android, aside from the screen indicators on the home page. However, ASUS has added a few of its own touches and many of them actually add to the user experience.
The main changes have been made in the notifications pull down. ASUS has added a range of customisable quick toggles including Wi-Fi, smart saving battery mode, Bluetooth and sound, along with a brightness adjustment with auto toggle. There's also the ability to capture and immediately edit any screenshots by holding the recent apps key. Conveniently, an option in the settings menu allows users to use the default Android notifications pull-down if they wish.
Most pre-loaded apps don't add much to the overall user experience.
ASUS has also included a range of small apps that can be opened on-top of regular apps. They're accessible by tapping a fourth on-screen button in the dock and consist of a range of preset AudioWizard sound EQ options, a video player, to do list, stopwatch, sticky memo, email, dictionary, countdown timer, calendar, compass, unit converter, calculator and a mini browser. We opened up to three of these before encountering sluggish performance, and you can easily resize the windows, or quickly open the full app if you need to.
ASUS has preloaded plenty of apps on the MeMO Pad FHD 10 but most of them don't add much to the overall user experience. There's a file manager, a MyLibrary books app, the Zinio magazine reader, an instant dictionary and translator, to-do list, SuperNote Lite and Sticky Memo apps, along with a basic sound recorder. Perhaps the best inclusions are App Locker, which allows you to protect selected apps with a password, Parental Lock, which can set up a PIN code and lock certain apps, and ASUS Artist, which allows you to create simple greeting cards with preset templates. There's also the ASUS WebStorage app, which offers 5GB of cloud storage and works similarly to the popular Dropbox service.
The MeMO Pad FHD 10 is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor, and has 2GB RAM. Performance is adequate but not outstanding. The processor keeps most apps performing with a minimum of fuss, though graphically intense games like Real Racing 3 do suffer from laggy frame rates. Less powerful games like Jetpack Joyride work without any issues, but if you're after stellar gaming performance, you'll be disappointed with the MeMO Pad FHD 10.
Average camera, decent battery life
The ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera that doubles as a full HD, 1080p video recorder, and a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera. The cameras are about what you would expect from a tablet, that being largely mediocre. The rear-facing camera suffers from excessive image noise and photos aren't very crisp or clear, while the front-facing camera does the job for video calling in apps like Skype, Tango and Snapchat but takes very poor quality photos.
A photo we captured with the ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10.
The MeMO Pad FHD 10 has a non-removable lithium polymer battery that ASUS says will last for up to 10 hours of video playback. In our tests, the tablet lasted for around seven hours before needing a recharge. While this is a decent result, it doesn't compare with both the iPad, and Google's Nexus 10, which both boast better battery life.
The ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 is available now for $399 and is sold through retailers JB HiFi, Bing Lee, Harvey Norman, Leading Edge, Radio Rentals, BSR and The Good Guys, along with a number of authorised ASUS resellers.