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Today, we can say with confidence that users in general have played enough with tablets and put these devices aside. Nevertheless, manufacturers of consumer electronics do not give up and update the existing line, adding something, removing something. At the end of last summer, we got acquainted with the ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 model with the Z500M index, and now let’s look at the new version of Z500KL (the name remains the same) with a different processor and LTE support.
Options and first impressions
At first glance, the differences are minimal. The tablet as it was convenient and looked nice, it remains so now. True, ASUS can be recognized in it only by the logo on the back side. And it’s not that the company has copied the design from competitors, not at all. The fact is that tablets have become too similar to each other and it becomes really difficult to distinguish them. Not to mention the models of one manufacturer, which are completely different only in “stuffing”.
Design and usability
This is not to say that the appearance of the new product is very different from the previous model. Of the external changes, there is only a small glass insert on the back. In size, the gadget minimally added: 242.3 x 164.2 x 6.75 mm. Weight has increased by 60 grams and now reaches 490 grams. Such changes do not affect the use in any way, in everyday life using such a tablet is exactly as convenient as with any similar device from competitors.
Of the typical ASUS design tricks on the ZenPad 3S 10, there is only button design with a distinctive pattern. Everything else is usually enough for a tablet from an A-brand metal case, good glass, polished sides of the sidewalls. But a decent assembly should be added to this albeit hackneyed design, which the company has definitely dealt with.
Now about the unpleasant changes. The touch buttons “lost” the backlight, and the “Home” button no longer has a fingerprint scanner. You can live without one or the other, but with these things it was, in my opinion, more convenient. At the same time, all controls remained in their places and there are no problems in working with them. The color options for the case were also reduced, or rather, it was left alone: dark gray metal and a black frame around the display.
It is unlikely that someone will not like the appearance of the device, such a design should suit almost any tablet user. On the practical side, it’s better to get a cover, because scratching a large aluminum gadget is quite simple, and it will be calmer during transportation with a case.
As with the design, the display also hasn’t changed. 9.7 inches is the unwritten standard for the average tablet. The resolution is also good: 2048×1536 pixels, the pixel density is 264 ppi. Do not repeat that such a resolution looks great on the screen of this diagonal. Using it, as practice shows, is also convenient for both entertainment and work.
Transmission of flowers just right. Unfortunately, the tablet did not reach the colorimeter, but even without it it is clear that the display is well calibrated. Personally, I didn’t have a desire to somehow change the saturation or color temperature, but if someone has such a need, there is a corresponding item in the settings. In any case, the IPS-matrix with ASUS True2Life technology did not fail my expectations.
There are two unpleasant moments. Firstly, the maximum brightness level is not quite enough to work on a bright day, the reflection on the glass will interfere. Immediately, the auto-brightness sensor slightly “misses”, but this is a common device problem. Secondly, the sensor can sometimes not respond to touch, or do it wrong (for example, it does not recognize a long press). This is more of a software problem. However, a couple of times during operation, this error occurred.
All the same two speakers on the bottom face are responsible for the soundtrack. They sound dull, although they do not wheeze at maximum volume. Another thing is location. The sound will be either on the right or on the left while watching the video in landscape position. Of course, this is a rebuke not only towards ZenPad, but in the latest tablets this is what I would really like to receive. sound from both sides of the screen.
But no one bothers to connect headphones to the tablet. over, on the road (in a train or plane) the only way you can comfortably watch a movie or listen to music. So the sound is wonderful in the headphones. Established means of improving sound will not significantly affect the quality. Fortunately, the gadget does not need them, and with the help of any modern player you can “twist” the equalizer, if necessary.
Video: Problems with the Asus Zenpad 10 Tablet
Performance and Software
Outside, the changes are minimal, but inside the device has been updated more significantly. The processor is now not MediaTek, but the six-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8956 with the Adreno 510 video core. The amount of RAM is still 4 GB. The 32 GB drive can be supplemented with a memory card (up to 128 GB). As before, there is support for Wi-Fi standard AC and Bluetooth 4.1. There is also a SIM card slot and support for LTE networks. Like the previous model, this ZenPad supports working with a proprietary stylus, but it is not included in the kit.
In operation, the device caused minimal problems at the beginning of testing. Either the sensor stopped responding for several seconds, then the application “crashed”. This was sometimes repeated a couple of days, then everything fell into place and the tablet worked fine. Apparently, these are the features of the test sample.
ZenPad is running Android 6.0.1 with the same ZenUI shell. It was minimally updated (the “Dock” is now located on the side when the screen is rotated in landscape mode), but no major changes have occurred. There are still additional interface settings and accompanying applications from ASUS. Special attention deserves a search on the system (reminiscent of Spotlight in iOS), which can be called up by swiping down the desktop. And with a swipe up, you can go to the settings for the behavior and appearance of the desktop, which will be interesting for fans to change something in the interface.
The tablet works quickly, and its performance with a margin is enough for games and other entertainment (especially for social networks and the browser).
The capacity of the built-in battery has increased to 7800 mAh. According to the manufacturer’s forecasts, such a battery is enough for 16 hours of video viewing (720p with a backlight level of 100 nits). We were not limited in video resolution, brightness level and other tasks. On average, the battery lasted for 8 hours, which is a good result. In the PCMark autonomy test, the ZenPad test ran 6:45.
A battery charger charges a little more than two and a half hours from the bundled charger thanks to its support for fast charging technology.
One of the most controversial “places” tablets are cameras. Nevertheless, they are in almost all new models, although they are noticeably inferior to smartphones. The new ZenPad has the same 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. Their capabilities improved slightly compared to the previous model, but their problems remained approximately the same.
The quality of the pictures will be good if there is enough light around. On a sunny day, the frame will turn out with fairly correct colors and good detail. Video recordings under such conditions lack stabilization, but otherwise the video will be tolerable (as for recording from a tablet). Under artificial lighting, artifacts will appear on the photo and detail will suffer. It’s the same with the front camera, in the pictures of which the Beautification mode will also work and will hit the details even more. And if there will be very little light, then you do not have to count on a normal picture.
Of course, this is a subjective matter, but I do not think that users will often turn to the tablet’s camera for photography. Nevertheless, the smartphone is more suitable for this. And as for tablets, the sensors available at ZenPad are quite suitable for those cases when you need to make a scan of a document or a snapshot that is of little value (for example, when you need to send a photo of a broken part of something or a “screenshot” of the screen of a computer with a computer error )