ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL - A Review

The laptop is most comfortable for typing a lot, esp while blogging, and also when I use heavy image editing professional software. But there is more to travel blogging, than just blogging, incl promoting via social networks, replying to emails for readers and brands spontaneously, reading and replying to comments etc...... and actual travelling!!! For all this, a handheld device is perfect. Also, when travelling, keeping in touch with our loved ones would mean whatsapp or hangouts, and when you wanna travel light esp when trekking etc, carrying a DSLR gets difficult and an all in one tab is just perfect.
ASUS is a brand that I personally trust. Coz they are one of the world's biggest manufacturers of motherboard, which most other leading brands use for their gadgets. My dad uses an ASUS Zenfone 6 and my dad-in-law uses Zenfone 2!!! Now with the brand new Zenpad 8.0 Z380KL in my hand, here comes its review. 
Except for Zenfone 2, all their models were numbered after their screen size 5, 6, 7 and now 8. First things first, I love if the Tabs that have a sim-card slot in it, coz it doesn't become an unconnected piece of gadget without wifi, and this one has a micro-sim slot with 4G support! The ZenUI is one of the most comfortable UIs, and I love it as much as Cyanogen, and this one is built on Andriod Lollipop.
Appearance: Its uber stylish. The embossed leather look on the back pretty much reminds of Samsung Galaxy S5. It comes in Leather Black, Pearl White & Silver. Other colors are available as accessories, but nothing looks as professional as Black!
Physical Attributes: It runs in a 1.4GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615. This one has a Corning Gorilla Glass just like my present Oneplus one. Though its said to be unbreakable I'm never taking my chances. I kinda manhandle my gadgets a lot. I've dropped my phone a few times and so I have a super sturdy case and tempered glass screen guard to help it survive all falls & thuds. At 350gm it isn't very heavy. The battery is a whooping 4000mAH capacity which is awesome and for my usage it withstands almost a day and a half! The back panel is removable & replaceable however like most latest smartphones the battery is not removable. It has an Anti-Finger Print coating on which I did not have much expectation at all, but it works, really, really works well!!! It has a micro USB cable (Thank God it isn't Type C)!!
UI: It doesn't have the off-screen soft keys - a feature I like, coz it slightly increases the size of the screen. I'm not a gamer, so I didn't check its maximum capacity of 10 finger multi touch control. However maps & photos with 3-4 fingers works great!
Capacity: The RAM is 2GB and the space is 16GB. The external memory card of upto 128GB can be inserted. I use pretty heavy apps on my phone esp for image editing and several social media apps all at a time. I've been using my 3GB RAM phone for exactly a year now and I'm facing no troubles of phone hanging or so. But yes, seeing the usage of RAM, its mostly at around 1.5-1.8 GB all the time. So with 2GB RAM I'm not very sure of its smooth functioning on heavy usage of multiple apps, over a period of time. However the space of 16GB is good enough for all apps while photos and music files can be stored in the memory card. Care has to be taken to initially set in the Camera settings, to store in Memory Card.

Camera & Display: At 8in, it has 1280x800 resolution which is OK, though not great. At this size, map looks great, displaying a large area! Esp while travelling, its almost like having a paper map in your hand. The front camera is 2mp which is low, but I'm not bothered about it. The rear camera is 8mp which is a bit of disappointment. For the traveller in me, when I want to skip my camera for a Handheld device, I expect atleast about 13mp. Another negative is that it doesn't have flash (it also means no torch!). However that is kinda taken care of with amazing options in camera settings. 
At the maximum settings, the file size of photographs come to about 1.8 to 2.3MB. Its autofocus, so you need not tap to focus.The best part is the Tru2Life inbuilt app which enhances the contrast and makes colors more vivid. Washout of bright colors doens't happen much (unless certain modes are used). The real color almost translates on the screen! Rear Camera has 15 modes incl Auto (the lady below), HDR, Low light (the scrap dealer guy below), Panorama etc, plus effects incl the usual ones like sepia, greyscale, vintage, pencil drawing, hearts frame etc. 
One of my favourites was Miniature which is perfect to click little things. It keeps a portion of the photo clear & totally blurs out everything else (the flower pic below). Another interesting mode is Depth of Field where when you take a close up of something, it adds contrast for the object to its background and blurs distant background (the fruit shop man pic below).
 
Music & Sound: The audio cover is a separate accessory and if you already don't own a bluetooth stereo speaker, I suggest you get this! This is perfect! At the first glance it looks like a typical flip cover, However the portion that covers the screen has an inbuilt speaker in it - not a normal one, but a DTS HD. It comes with a pin connector to connect with the phone. What is a let-down in Display is compensated in sound! Its way too good. Just brilliant. 
If ASUS could make the display HD, with 3GB RAM and 13MP cam for about 20k, it would be the best phone cum tablet of the present times. This is priced at Rs.14999/- it is a great budget phone cum tab. Most mid end 5" - 6" smart phones are priced at par or much higher in well known brands. Esp for people who travel, who'd want the size & comfort of a Tab with connectivity of a Phone without a pocket burning budget this is just perfect! 

P.S: The product was gifted by the company for review purposes. However the opinion is my own and this post does not advertise the product.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

17 comments:

  1. Although I don't like Asus products, this one looks interesting!

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  2. I totally agree how important having a laptop or a tablet is to a travel blogger. I've been contemplating of buying a tablet to capture the moment easier.

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  3. I have long wanted to buy a light laptop for blogging on the go. Blogging on the phone is too hard to do for me. Nice recommendation. Will check out the local store.

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  4. I am looking forward to own one ASUS Zenpad. Its so cool and the camera quality is good too especially the Miniature feature that can create background defocus.

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  5. Asus has been making the headlines these past few months. They are definitely stepping up their tablets and smartphones. Which I don't think is necessary because they are already one of the best.

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  6. I don't own any Asus products but some of my family does and they seem to really like it. I feel like they're definitely making their way to the top with awesome reviews from their customers.

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  7. I love ASUS products!! This ZenPad is so cool I would love to own one! :D

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  8. Team Apple here. Haha, I nearly got an ASUS, but at the very last moment, it lost to Apple because of the specs!

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  9. Interesting gadget. But yeah, I still am loyal to Apple. Not just because of blogging but because of some apps that are way too convenient on apple. Lesser hassle I'd say. But good review on this one. :)

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  10. Asus Zenpad can really give us a more affordable options to other pads. It's equally effected but not as pricey.

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  11. I heard that Asus is really performing well. I personally haven't tried it but I might since the price is really competitive.

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  12. My very first laptop which i bought when i was working in Taiwan was ASUS, and its good, they say asus motherboard are one of the best

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  13. I love Asus!. I'm really a fan because of the good quality. My laptop and tablet are all asus brand. I think this is another awesome product!

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  14. This looks great, glad to hear it is easy to type on. The picture quality in the photo looks great for a laptop like this too. x

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  15. Looks interesting as a travel companion ..

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  16. my friends have this. however, i am not planning on buying any tablets. im fine with a kindle. ^_^

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  17. I have heard a lot about the Asus brand. I am sure people will love the new zenpad too.

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