Asus launches 7-inch MeMo Pad

Asus MeMO Pad

7” is the perfect size for reading and connecting with others.

Can we get a show of hands as to who’s interested in the upcoming budget-friendly ASUS MeMO Pad? Great. This post is for you

Asus has launched a new Android tablet: the 7-inch MeMo Pad. The Asus MeMo Pad was unveiled back in January, but until now we weren’t sure whether it would ever become available in SA. Thankfully, we’ve now learnt that both WiFi and 3G 7-inch versions of the MeMo Pad will be available to buy in South Africa from the end of March 2013 and we’ve given you some info on the WiFi version that we got to play with.

Despite being the manufacturer behind the remarkably successful Google Nexus 7, Asus has decided to go it alone with a new 7-inch tablet. The Asus MeMo Pad predictably runs Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS but rather than give the likes of the Apple iPad Mini or the Kindle Fire HD a run for its money, Asus has decided to go down the budget route.

Asus made it clear that the ME172V will not be a gaming or graphics powerhouse, stating “Our focus for this device is on delivering excellent performance per watt and a smooth and fluid user experience at an extremely affordable price, NOT on winning benchmarks.”

Asus MeMO Pad 7" Tablet

South Africa will only be getting the grey model

Naturally, ASUS is quick to point out how the MeMo Pad’s relatively small chassis “fits perfect in your palm,” as well as showing off how effortless it is to stay in the social loop with video calling capabilities.

The tablet is listed at R2,199.99 Incl VAT and, as you would expect, the on-board specs won’t have the other 7-inch models running for the hills just yet. There’s MicroSD storage (expandable by up to 32GB), but Asus has also thrown in 5GB of Life Time Webstorage Space – along with a barrage of pre-installed apps. The likes of Asus Studio photo editing, SuperNote Lite and BudyBuzz may note be the elite of Android tablets, but confirms this tablet’s place as a second or third string device.

The 7-inch screen has a 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution with 10-finger mult-touch and a 140-degree viewing angle. That’s an angle not up to IPS standards, so expect a less capable panel. Maxing out at about 350 candelas per square meters, the ME172V’s brightness does however get fairly high.

A few more details
The tablet includes a 1-megapixel camera on the front with a f/2.0 aperture and is capable of 720p HD video capture at 30fps. Other features include 1GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a headphone jack, microphone, a Micro-USB port, and a gyroscope. Asus puts battery life at 7 hours, and at 358 grams, the tablet should feel pretty light in your hands.

There will be no shortage of budget tablets in 2013 and it’s nice to see that one of the most capable Android tablet manufacturers won’t be left in the cold. At R2,199.99 Incl VAT for the WiFi model and R3,090.99 Incl VAT for the 3G model, the ME172V makes for a compelling alternative to the Nexus 7 as long as resolution and gaming aren’t high on your priority list. The MeMo Pad comes in a choice of white, grey or pink but for the time being, South Africa will only be getting the grey model.

The conclusion? It’s still pretty meh. But you know, it’s meant to be a budget device, and will compete wonderfully against poorer Chinese “No name” proposals.

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