ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA Intel-Powered Premium Android Tablet Review

Introduction & Specifications

Competing with Apple in the mobile space isn't rocket science, it's just a matter of sticking to a proven formula for success -- build a premium device with superior specs than the one Apple is selling, inject it with Android, and then undercut the iWhatever in price. That's not to say Apple is the only premium slate target of opportunity but we'd surmise Apple would consider it the sincerest for of flattery anyway.

Incidentally, we've just described the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. It's a well designed Android tablet with Intel inside, and it boasts better specs than the iPad mini 3. It's also less expensive -- as configured (see table below), the model we're reviewing runs a penny shy of $300, which is $99 less than the 16GB iPad mini 3, and $199 less than 64GB model. That kind of savings isn't chump change, folks.

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Stock

We're not trying to pit fanboys from both camps against one another, we're simply jumping straight to the value proposition that's being offered here. As far as Android tablets go, the ZenPad S 8.0 brushes shoulders with the Dell Venue 8 7000 and the more recent (and pricier) Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 that we've yet to review (coming soon).

Offering an Android tablet with plenty of bang for your buck is quickly becoming an expectation of ASUS. Last year the company introduced us to the MeMO Pad 7, a lower end offering that paired a respectable spec sheet with a budget price tag, and now the ZenPad S 8.0 comes along to shake things in the premium tier. Have a look:

ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580CA-C1-BK) Android Tablet
Specifications & Features
Intel Atom Z3580 Processor (2M cache, 4 cores, up to 2.33 GHz)
Android v5.0 Lollipop
2 x front speakers w/ DTS HD Premium Sound, Sonic Master technology
Micro SD card reader (up to 128GB SDXC)
15.2Wh Li-polymer
Up to 8 hours
7.9-inch QXGA (2048x1536) IPS display
Capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multitouch
298 grams (0.65 pounds)
203.2 x 134.5 x 6.6 mm (LxWxH) / 8 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
Rear: 8MP f2.0 Auto-focus
Front: 5MP
G-Sensor, E-compass, GPS, ambient light, hall
802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.1 Smart
Miracast support
1 x USB Type-C
1 x 2-in-1 audio jack (headphone / mic-in)
1 x Micro SD card
$299.99 as tested, as low as $199

What you see above is a solid collection of hardware consisting of a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and modern amenities like 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a USB Type-C port.

For $100 less, ASUS also sells a version of the ZenPad S 8.0 with half the amount of RAM (2GB versus 4GB) and storage (32GB versus 64GB), and a slightly slower processor (Intel Atom Z3530 versus Z3580). Our benchmarks and performance evaluation represent the higher end configuration ASUS sent us, but otherwise it's the same slate.


Tablet makers typically don't deck out their slates with elaborate bundles and the ZenPad 8.0 S is no exception (nor do we expect it to be at this price). As you can see in the above video, ASUS includes a user guide, warranty booklet, AC adapter, and a USB Type-C charging cable with a standard USB connector on one end and a Type-C connector on the other.

Let's move on to the design.

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