Asus launches the ZenPad S 8.0, $299 for a 2K screen and USB Type-C

The spotlight of Asus’s announcements has been lately centered around its popular ZenFone smartphones.  A couple weeks ago, Asus launched a barrage of ZenFone 2 variants at their appropriately named “ZenFestival 2015” event in New Delhi.  But not to undermine its tablet effort, a new ZenPad tablet was also unveiled at the event.

We now know what that means for the U.S.  The new tablet will come to us as the ZenPad S 8.0, and it packs a few tricks up it’s sleeve, along with a competitive price tag.

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Let’s go over the design first.  The back cover is mostly taken up by a metallic finish with “diamond hairline pattern”.  In addition, there’s a section on the bottom with soft-touch leathery material, which wraps around the frame.  At the price-point, I’m assuming the metallic finish is on top of plastic, surrounded by faux leather.

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The screen-to-body ratio is a welcoming 74%.  It weighs in at 298 grams (0.66 lbs) and is 6.6mm at its thinnest point.  It’s great Asus is focusing on details that other OEM’s overlook on aggressively-priced tablets.

The specs on this guy are also decent.  As the name suggests, this is an 8″ tablet.  But from the price, you may expect a mediocre resolution.  Nope, we have a pixel-packed 2K panel here (1536 x 2048 pixels, to be exact).  It is an IPS LCD screen, protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

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Here’s a breakdown of the other specs:

  • SoC: Intel Atom Z3580 or Z3560, quad-core processor, 64-bit, 6430 PowerVR GPU
  • Memory: 2GB or 4GB
  • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB options (expandable via microSD up to 128GB)
  • Cameras: 8MP rear (f/2.0 aperture) and 5MP front
  • Audio: Dual front-facing speakers.  DTS-HD Premium Sound built in.
  • Battery: 15.2Wh capacity (rated at 8 hrs)
  • OS: Zen UI on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop

Oh, and one other thing that puts more bang in that buck, the ZenPad S 8.0 sports the latest USB Type-C port standard.  Kudos to Asus for making this a priority.

Another omission on other tablets is stylus support.  Not so here.  Dubbed the “Z Stylus”, Asus claims you will have a natural writing/drawing experience.

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The ZenPad S 8.0 is now purchase-able via common online outlets, such as Amazon, B&H Photo Video, and Newegg, at $299.  It’s supposed to be available in White too, but right now there’s only Black.

Are you going to be picking Asus’s new tablet?  Do you agree that it’s a great value?

ZenPad S 8.0 product page

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