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

Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: The ZenPad S 8.0 didn't turn on the jets and fly through our benchmarks at breakneck speeds, though overall, it did a decent job in most tests. In some cases, like SunSpider and Geekbench, it was comfortable mingling with the middle of the pack, while in benchmarks like Browsermark, it picked up the pace and trended closer to the top. It even managed to stand above the rest in one of our tests (AnTuTu), though for the most part, you can expect above average performance from the ZenPad S 8.0.

ASUS has a history of building Android tablets with solid specs for the money (MeMO Pad, Nexus 7) and the ZenPad S 8.0 is yet another example. It has a really nice looking display with a 2048x1536 resolution, a fair bit of power provided by an Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 4GB of RAM, and even a newfangled (and reversible) USB Type-C port, though it limits transfers to USB 2.0 speeds. Nevertheless, you can forget about plugging in the charging cable and other USB Type-C accessories the wrong way.

You get all this for $300 (MSRP) and it comes wrapped in a premium design that looks and feels better than Amazon's Fire tablet line. It's also lightweight and thin at just 298 grams (0.65 pounds) and 6.6mm (0.25 inches). Unfortunately it does look like the 64GB variant is sold out on Amazon but you might be able to find it elsewhere, or the $199 32GB variant is always an option.

ASUS ships the ZenPad S 8.0 with Android 5.0 Lollipop wrapped in its ZenUI, which itself is fairly lightweight and easy to navigate as far as Android skins go. There is, however, a fair amount of bloatware that comes with it. Beyond that, it's Android as you know it, and we imagine an upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow is in the cards.

You will have to be mindful of battery life with the ZenPad S 8.0. While ASUS claims up to 8 hours of run time, we only squeezed 6 hours out of the tablet during our web browsing test with the screen brightness set at 50 percent.

While there's room for improvement, the ZenPad S 8.0 is an overall impressive tablet for the money, especially when you consider that the iPad mini 3 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 both start at $399. The ZenPad S 8.0 is $99 cheaper, or $199 less expensive if you can make do with half the RAM and onboard storage.

  • Gorgeous 2048x136 display
  • Decent all around performance
  • Premium design
  • 4GB RAM as configured
  • USB Type-C connector
  • Very affordable price tag
  • Cameras are perhaps too sensitive to light
  • Too much bloatware
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • USB Type-C port is limited to USB 2.0 speeds

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