The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a great all-rounder that ticks all the right boxes and performs like an obsessively determined Olympic gymnast.
Like tablets? What’s not to love with their performance, portability, and convenience. They offer all the comforts of home in a compact package that is just right for hours of undiluted fun without flagging the attention. Apple has been ruling the roost lately in the premium tablet market. But with the launch of its new Tab, Asus is poised to take the fight to them with a way cheaper and almost as capable offering. Asus has always known how to design gorgeous tech, and they certainly lathered on the eye-candy with a heavy hand on this one. The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is big, beautiful, awesome, surprisingly lightweight and just the thing you want to proudly take home to mama. The bezels are bread-crust thin at 5.3mm to ensure you always get a good eyeful, while the all-metal body is just 7.15mm thick for a totally supermodel-thin look that effortlessly draws admiring glances.
The IPS screen is a just-perfect 9.7-inch with a resolution of 2048 x 1536p. The screen is eye-poppingly sharp and an absolute delight to get lost in, if a little too reflective especially when outdoors. While a fingerprint reader sits pretty on the home button for the password-averse, and works far better than expected. Under the beautiful hood lurks a hexacore 2.1GHZ Mediatek MT8176 processor mated to 4GB of RAM to keep the fun rolling on no matter how many apps you got open simultaneously. Want the exam marks? Well, the Geekbench 4 score is 1,583 for a single core and 3,297 for the multicore performance. On the 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited, it gets a score of 14,124, which is about average with its competitors, except the mighty iPad Air 2 of course. Game freak, are you? Am as disappointed as you are that Asus choose a Mediatek processor rather than a Qualcomm product. Not to worry much though as the tablet performs well enough in most games. Just don’t treat it to some graphics-intensive 3D games if you know what is good for you and it!
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 comes with dual speakers located at the bottom end that are concert-worthy loud and earth-shakingly powerful, while delivering crisp audio audiophiles will undoubtedly swoon at. On the right sits the power and volume buttons, while on top you get the headphone jack, with a USB Type-C sitting on the ass end. Inside the tablet lurks just 64GB, expandable via SD card to a more reasonable 256GB. Cameras are an average 8MP main shooter guarding the back, and a companion 5MP selfie-imager at the front. Both take adequant enough, but unremarkable photos and videos. OS is the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with ASUS’s ZenUI skin poured on top, and an update to Android 7.0 Nougat expected anytime soon.
The battery is a 5,900mAh tanker, good enough for hours of reasonable use. Charging is done via a USB-type C cable, with Qualcomm’s Quick-charge 3.0 feature supported, but the particular adapter you need to tap into its goodness are not provided. Which I do suggest you get because battery life is just average, especially when compared with its rivals. Connectivity options include Wifi, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS. LTE features are not supported, but Qualcomm’s Miracast video streaming protocol come enabled. So, you can use it with Chromecast devices to stream video to your TV.
Price is $299, while available colors are either titanium grey with black bezels or glacial silver with white bezels. The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a solid performer across most parameters, outclassing its more pricey rivals, and is a genuine delight to use.