ASUS MeMO Pad Smart 10, VivoTab Smart Compared

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There are some interesting things happening in the tablet world. Perhaps the biggest development of all is that Apple's iPad family is finally starting to yield market share to the competition, and that's primarily due to the increasing number of affordable Android slates being pumped out by name brand manufactures. At first, pedestrian price tags were only attached to Android tablets in the 7-inch range, but more recently we've started seeing large slates come down in cost. One of the more intriguing options is the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10, a 10.1-inch slate that streets for as little as $280, or about half the price of a regular sized iPad. Given that it's one of the least expensive 10.1-inch Android tablets on the market, we told Asus we had to have one to evaluate, and they obliged.

What's also interesting in the land of tablets is the emergence of Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8/RT software. Microsoft made a concerted effort to build a unified platform that's just as capable on mobile devices (if not more so) than it is on the desktop, and that's given rise to a new generation of Windows hardware, including tablets and hybrids. In addition to the MeMO Pad mentioned above, Asus sent us its VivoTab Smart, another 10.1-inch tablet, only it's built on a x86 foundation and is running a full version of Windows 8 -- gnarly.

It's a tale of twos: Two different tablets running two totally different operating systems on two different architectures. In all reality, they're aimed at two distinct demographics, including one that's more interested in content consumption (MeMO Pad Smart 10) and another that aims to get work done before it's time to play (VivoTab Smart).

Of course, there's some overlap there, and on the following pages we'll compare the two tablets and tell you the pros and cons of each. Let's start with the MeMO Pad Smart 10.


Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10"
Specifications & Features
Operating System
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Display
10.1-inch LED backlight WXGA (1280x800) IPS screen, 10-finger multi-touch support
Graphics
GeForce ULP
Processor
NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core SoC, 1.2GHz
Memory
1GB DDR3L
Internal Storage
16GB eMMC flash storage + 5GB lifetime Asus Webstorage
Wireless Connectivity
802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth v3.0+EDR +A2DP

Multimedia
Dual stereo speakers
SRS sound
1.2MP front-facing camera
5MP rear-facing camera
w/ auto-focus
Ports and Expansion
Micro USB
Micro HDMI 1.4a
Micro SD card slot
3.5m headphone/microphone-in combo
System Weight
1.27 pounds (580g)
System Dimensions
10.35 (W) x 7.11 (D) x 0.38 (H) inches (263 x 180.8 x 9.9 mm)
Battery
19Wh Li-polymer battery (8.5 hours)
Extras
G-sensor, gyroscope, e-compass, ambient light sensor, GPS
Accessories
N/A
Price
ASUS MeMO Pad Smart - $279.99 on Amazon


ASUS tapped NVIDIA's Tegra 3 platform to provide its MeMO Pad Smart 10 a performance punch that belies it's entry-level price tag, and we're also excited to see an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel in this price range, albeit the resolution isn't quite high enough to watch Full HD 1080p movies in their glory.

What ASUS essentially did here was take the features that are commonly found in high-end 7-inch slates and pour them into a 10.1-inch container. In fact, the MeMO Pad Smart 10 is strikingly similar in spec to Google's Nexus 7, hardly surprising since ASUS builds both tablets. It's not a carbon copy, however, as the MeMO Pad Smart 10 is obviously physically bigger, features additional ports, and has a 5MP rear-facing camera.

The ASUS MeMO Pad Smart 10 is large, but is it in charge of the low(er)-cost Android space? Let's find out starting with a closer look the tablet.

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