ASUS MeMO Tab Android tablet (preview)

The ASUS MeMO Pad is a competively priced 7in Android tablet

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ASUS MeMO Tab
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Pros

  • Competitive price
  • microSD card slot
  • Non-slip finish on back

Cons

  • Low resolution screen
  • No rear-facing camera

Bottom Line

The ASUS MeMO Pad is a low-cost, 7in Android tablet that will sell for $50 less than the Nexus 7 when it launches Down Under in "early March".

Would you buy this?

Competitively priced 7in tablets appear to be rapidly growing in popularity. ASUS started the trend with the Google-branded Nexus 7 and now it appears to be undercutting that device with the new MeMO Pad.

The ASUS MeMO Pad is a low-cost, 7in Android tablet that will sell for $50 less than the Nexus 7 when it launches Down Under in "early March". The pricing appears to suggest that ASUS is targeting users who may not be prepared to shell out over $200 for the Nexus 7.

The MeMO Pad represents reasonably good value for money at $199, though the Nexus 7 has it beat on most key specifications. The MeMO Pad's 7in display has a resolution of 1024x600, less than the 1280x800 panel on the Nexus 7. It is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor compared to the Nexus 7's faster, quad-core Tegra 3 chip.

The MeMO Pad's 7in display has a resolution of 1024x600, less than the 1280x800 panel on the Nexus 7.
The MeMO Pad's 7in display has a resolution of 1024x600, less than the 1280x800 panel on the Nexus 7.

Other specifications include 1GB of RAM, along with a 1-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. Just like the Nexus 7, the MeMO Pad does not have a rear-facing camera for still photos.

One real advantage of the MeMO Pad is its microSD card slot that allows users to expand the 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. It's a feature lacking in the Nexus 7 and something that many Android users may consider a big plus for this device.

The MeMO Pad will be available in three colours including white, titanium grey and pink.
The MeMO Pad will be available in three colours including white, titanium grey and pink.

ASUS clearly expects most buyers of the MeMO Pad to be more interested in the design of the tablet rather than its specifications. It will be available in three colours including white, titanium grey and pink. ASUS says the MeMO Pad includes a non-slip, diamond-patterned finish on the back which makes it easy to hold. At 358g, the tablet is slightly heavier than the Nexus 7 but the difference is minimal.

The MeMO Pad runs Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software, though ASUS has not confirmed whether it will be upgradeable to the latest 4.2 version. The software appears to be very similar to the stock version of Android, though ASUS will pre-load a number of its own applications on the MeMO Pad including SuperNote Lite and the BuddyBuzz social network aggregator. The company will also provide 5GB of lifetime storage through the ASUS WebStorage service.

The MeMO Pad has a non-slip, diamond-patterned finish on the back designed to make it easy to grip.
The MeMO Pad has a non-slip, diamond-patterned finish on the back designed to make it easy to grip.

The MeMO Pad will be available in Australia in "early March". It will be sold through authorised ASUS resellers and major retailers across the country including JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith Electronics, Bing Lee and Leading Edge.

A promotional video of the ASUS MeMO Pad can be seen below.

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