The wave of 64-bit Android tablets is upon us. ASUS launched another MeMO Pad 8 tablet earlier this month. Yes, “another”, because it replaces an older MeMO Pad 8. It’s bewildering why manufacturers want to reuse model names, but it happens.
The new MeMO Pad 8 has the part number ME581CL, and it replaces the older model (ME181) in the market, which means you shouldn’t be able to buy the older one anymore. For clarity, this review is about the newer MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL). I’ll use the old part number ME181 when I want to refer specifically to the older MeMO Pad 8.
The new and old MeMO Pad 8 tablets are largely similar, but there are a few key hardware differences. The new MeMO Pad 8 has a higher resolution display, more RAM, a newer 64-bit CPU, and LTE cellular support.
Interestingly, the older ME181 already had a 64-bit CPU, the 1.86GHz quad-core Intel Atom Processor Z3745. The new MeMO Pad 8 has a newer 1.83GHz quad-core Intel Atom Processor Z3560. The processor is different, but perhaps not clearly a whole lot better class. The main benefit of the new processor, however, comes from better performance, improved power efficiency, and a much faster integrated GPU.
The new MeMO Pad 8 doubles the RAM capacity to 2GB, and comes with 32GB of internal storage.
Another appreciable improvement is the new MeMO Pad 8 is its 8″ IPS LCD display which offers 1200×1920 resolution, up from the ME181’s 800×1280 resolution. The new display is really crisp and brilliant, and works very well even under bright sunlight.
The MeMO Pad 8 has a 5MP main camera on the back, without flash, and another 1.2MP front-facing camera. Oddly, the front-facing camera on the older ME181 has 2MP, so there seems to be a small downgrade here. I think, however, this may not matter to most people.
There’s an exposed microSD slot on the left edge of the MeMO Pad 8. Some people may be a little concerned about the lack of a cover. In practice, this isn’t worse than the microUSB port or headphone jack being exposed. The MeMO Pad 8 isn’t designed to be dust-proof or water-resistant, so just keep the tablet safe. The microSD card won’t just fall out.
The bottom of the K015 has one microUSB port. It’s one of those inverted orientation kind.
On the right side, you’ll find the SIM slot at the bottom, the power/lock button just above the centre, and the volume rocker above that.
Finally, at the top edge, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack.
There are two generous speakers on the back, and the 5MP main camera. The camera takes a while to acquire focus, but once focused, the actual shots are quick.
The MeMO Pad 8 measures 213 x 123 x 7.45 mm and weighs 299 g. It’s thin, and it’s light. The 8″ display is also a great balance between portability and readability. Yes, I’m finding the 7″ display of my Nexus 7 just a tad too small. Upping it by another inch would have been superb, and that’s exactly that the MeMO Pad 8 offers.
In terms of connectivity, the MeMO Pad 8 supports dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. It’s cellular radio supports LTE/4G, 3G, and 2G networks. It has a GPS receiver, and supports GLONASS too.
On the AnTuTu benchmark, the ASUS MeMO Pad 8 scores about 36000. It’s not bad, but certainly not fantastic as you can see several other Android devices, even older ones, ahead of it.
There is no 64-bit support in Android at this time, so the prowess of the MeMO Pad 8’s 64-bit CPU may not be realised at this time. We can only assume that the MeMO Pad 8 will perform even better when Android Lollipop arrives on this tablet.
Right now, the MeMO Pad 8 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and includes a bunch of ASUS applications and services. I’m usually not a fan of flavoured Android experiences, but ASUS does offer some useful apps. One example is their note-taking application, SuperNote, which allows you to scribble notes free-hand. The MeMO Pad 8 supports the use of a stylus, although none are included with it.
The new ASUS MeMO Pad 8 ME581CL retails at budget-friendly price of S$499, and comes in pearl white, powder pink and metallic blue colours.
The new ASUS MeMO Pad 8 ME581CL is compact and light full-HD LTE tablet. The 64-bit CPU makes it future-ready.
- Compact and light
- 8″ display is crisp and brilliant
- Unimpressive performance with existing Android software