Hands on: Asus MeMO Pad 7

Today Asus launched the MeMO Pad 7 in India for Rs 9,999, which makes it the second sub-Rs 10,000 tablet in the country to be launched by a global OEM. It not only bring a new level of quality to the price bracket, but also a sense of product design that has been seen in high-end tablets like the Google Nexus 7. We went hands on with it, read on to find out more.

At first glance, the MeMO Pad 7 is distinctively similar to the Nexus 7, but once we took a closer look, there were some solid differences in both the products. For instance on the Nexus 7 there is a soft-touch material, but the materials used in the back of the MeMO Pad 7 are stiffer, which is just different but there is nothing negative about it. Overall, the comparison with the Nexus 7 is inevitable as both look so similar and come from the same company, but at this price we feel this is a very good thing. Normally at such price point we have seen very shoddy build quality in tablets made by local OEMs, but the Asus MeMO Pad 7 is in a league of its own.

That said, the moment we start talking about the specs, we realize that it is not as capable as some of the Indian made low-cost tablets. To reach the price, there has been some massive undercutting of features. For instance, it is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU that has a clock speed of 1GHz. This is supplemented by 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot and a 7-inch display that has a resolution of 1024×600 pixels.

All this converts to a very humbling feature set. However in our short stint with the product it seemed to operate pretty smoothly and its interface was lightly skinned underneath which Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was omnipresent.

Asus also delivers a 4,270 mAh battery and says that its display has a 10-finger multi-touch, instead of 5-finger multi-touch which is the norm in tablets of this price bracket.

The display looked fine for the part and for basic tasks the performance was up to scratch. But due its lack of sheer power it might struggle when pitted against Android tablets that have superior processors.

Asus has also added applets similar to Samsung that run on top of apps and can be used simultaneously. We did not test them, which we will once we review the product.

The MeMO Pad 7 is shaping up to be an interesting product. Its build quality really stands out for the segment, but due to its lack of processing firepower it may struggle against the likes of the Acer Iconia B1, which also delivers solid performance and build quality for a bit less and also the Galaxy Tab 2 which now costs close to Rs 13,000. But this is just the first take on the product we will deliver our final verdict once we get our hands on a review unit.

Photographs: Rohit Sharma

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