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Michael_Mcr

ASUS ZenPad 3s 10 Tablet (Model Z500M)

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Michael_Mcr

 

I only got this last night, but wanted to get some thoughts down as I used it. This isnt to be a full-on review, but more about how it is in real life usage.

Its not really easy to photograph the fine features of a tablet, so i have instead included a link to the ASUS product page which has plenty of clear photographs, as well as the full specification.

https://www.asus.com/uk/Tablets/ASUS-ZenPad-3S-10-Z500M/

In terms of it being a tablet, it seems very well-made from premium materials. The best picture I can present is that when I put it alongside my wifes Ipad Air2, it is virtually identical in design, style, perceived quality, weight and thickness, which is a good standard for any tablet I would think. Available in either "Dark Grey" or "Silver" , i went for the "Dark Grey".  Both devices have a grey back panel, but the "Dark Grey" has an almost Black front bezel and the "Silver" actually has a White front bezel ( unless i am going very colour blind in my old age ...)

At first power-up, the Zenpad downloaded several system updates and is now running Android 7.0 with the November 2017 security patch.

After some light pruning of removable bloatware, I was left with 24Gb of usable internal storage from the 32Gb total, with 7.94 reserved for system, which isnt the lightest load, but not too bad and allows for plenty of apps to be installed. There are only a few hard coded un-installable apps which include the usual suspects like FaceBook and Instagram.

I put in a pre-used and pre-loaded 128Gb SD card, with music and movies on it and it was accepted straight away as external storage.

The ASUS ZenUI launcher / skin isnt too far removed from stock Android and does have an online library where you can download other peoples theme designs or icon packs, as well as designing your own. ZenUI does allow for a huge amount of customisation of layout in terms of home screen carousel action, icon layout and other functions, similar to an aftermarket launcher.

Performance wise, the ZenUI doesnt seem to hold the Zenpad back at all and everything feels very quick, slick and snappy in use. App launch is very quick.

The screen is IPS, not AMOLED, so doesnt quite have those inky blacks and vibrant colours of an AMOLED, but it is plenty sharp and clear, with strong vibrant colours and only a little reflectivity I was completely happy with the playback quality of a few different movie rips, using MX Pro player and VLC.

Hi-Res audio is built in, along with various Dolby standards. Headphone audio is great and the output from the dual speakers at the base of the tablet is about what you would expect from a pair of tiny speakers good clarity and expansive sounding, but a bit light on bass.

The USB C port allows for fast charging, which is an advertised feature, but naughtily the supplied charger doesnt provide fast charging and my understanding is that you need to purchase a particular ASUS charger to enable fast charging. These are widely available on the internet for around £15 to £20.

Thats about it so far. I will add to this anything I think is useful to note.

So far its been an impressive ownership experience this is clearly a top-end Android tablet in all departments.

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The Guru

Good to hear Mike that it's looking good. Are there any built quality issues? A couple of the reviews I've read state that the SD card and USB connectors are a bit flimsy and that the back creaks / flexes?

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Michael_Mcr

I haven't noticed any issues. The sd slot is a removable pop-out tray like on some phones. 

Haven't really used the USB connector many times yet, but i will have a look at it - it felt ok when i used it to charge first time. 

Apropos flex - i bought a plastic shell case with a hinged cover, so i couldn't tell you yet if the case flexs - it felt solid enough out if the box? 

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The Guru

Fair enough sounds good enough. Will continue to see if you notice any issues arriving, but it is looking very tempting! :)

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Boz

Nice tablet Mike, how are you finding it in everyday use for general surfing, weather and news etc.

You should be able to disable apps you don't want to use. :)

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The Guru

I just has a shufti on John Lewis and the flipping black model is out of stock :( Grrr

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Michael_Mcr

I have only played with it for a few hours, but it is effortlessly quick and the screen looks lovely. I need to spend some time tweaking everything, so hopefully will get time this weekend, but have already taken the Ban Hammer to a few of the apps by stopping and disabling them..

Think it will be great for what i want, as i just didn't have the enthusiasm for spending circa £500 on a Samsung or ipad, but didn't want slow and cheap either.

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The Guru

For the price point you certainly can't argue. The iPads are certainly way too expensive and I too can't justify that much of a spend on a S3 either.

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