Mobile devices have taken over the world.
According to research, as of 2016, people are now accessing the internet more on their mobile devices than on their laptops and desktops. The reason is simple, mobile devices are simple to use and, well, they are mobile. This means you can access, not only the internet but do a bit of work while on the go as well.
And that is why mobile device makers are scrambling to create the mobile devices that can afford users the best experience while they are on the go. Given, many of them are doing an excellent job, like the iPad, which is the benchmark for all tablets. Others, well, let’s just say they still need to go back to the drawing board. And we won’t name any names here.
But one tablet that seems to have gotten a lot right is the Asus ZenPad 3s 10.
What’s so special about this Taiwanese tablet?
Let’s get into our Asus ZenPad 3S 10 review and see exactly why Apple is running for their money (and why you should run and grab the Asus ZenPad 3S 10).
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Review – Apple Imitator or Real Threat?
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. But for Apple, there’s no flattery in the Asus’s imitation. This is one of the few tablets that are actually managing to make the iPad make a run for its money. What is Asus doing right (and wrong) in this innovative slate?
Let’s start by looking at the spec sheet first.
Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Spec Sheet
A brief look at the ZenPad’s spec sheet will give you a glimpse into what this must have (especially for Android fans) slate packs in its tiny frame.
- 9.7" 2K IPS Display (2048 x 1536) with ASUS TruVivid technology for better visual experience and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover glass for tougher and more damage resistant protection.
- Powerful dual Core ARM Cortex 2.1 GHz combined with quad Core ARM Cortex 1.7 GHz, 64 bit MediaTek processor.
- Easily handle games and speed up productivity with super-fast hexa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and IMG GX6250 graphics.
- 8M/5M Dual Camera; 1 x microSD Card slot, support up to 128GB SDXC
- Fast and accurate fingerprint sensor is the perfect blend of strong security and incredible convenience. Android 6.0 OS. Interfaces: 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in), Micro SD (SDXC)/ Max.128GB, Type C.Display: 400 nits
Dimensions: 9.47 x 6.44 x 0.23 inches
OS: Android Nougat
Screen size: 9.7-inch
Resolution: 1536 x 2048
CPU: Mediatek 8176 Turbo Dual CA72 2.1GHz + Quad CA53 1.7GHz
microSD slot: Yes, up to 256GB
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
For those who understand the acronyms and figures, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a pretty attractive tablet just by looking at the spec sheet.
But for those who don’t know what all that means, let me decipher the spec sheet so you can see what it all means when it comes to everyday use.
Design and Build Quality
One thing the iPad is known for is its exceptional build quality that few can dare match (and still make a profit). But the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 comes pretty close. Let’s see just how close.
Design-wise, it’s pretty obvious that Asus borrowed heavily from the iPad. But if you don’t mind a lookalike, you’ll definitely love this slate. One thing that Asus did better than Apple on this tablet is making it easier to handle and use by making it slimmer and lighter. Weighing a mere 15.2oz (its rival the Apple iPad Air 2 weighs 15.4oz) and width a super slim profile of 0.23 inches, this is one slate that will be comfortable to hold (even for prolonged periods of time).
When it comes to build quality, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 oozes of premium quality with its aluminum shell, metallic edges, and brilliant front glass panel. This is one of those few tablets on the market that actually feel as good as they look.
In the true essence of less is more, Asus kept the design of the ZenPad 3S 10 simple. The only thing to disrupt the uniformity of the back is an Asus logo and the rear camera. The front is a bit busier as it sports an oblong fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the tablet (when held portrait), and a back and recent app capacitive buttons flanking it.
The left edge features a micro SIM slot, while the right edge houses the power/lock button and the volume rocker. The top is clean save for a 3.5mm headphone jack while the bottom edge has a USB-C port nestled between 2 stereo speakers.
This is one design that was truly well executed. Kudos to Asus for such a simple, yet elegant design.
Display and Resolution
Speaking of the glass, the display is one of the best features on this tablet. The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 sports an impressively bright 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536-pixel (2K), IPS display that affords you crisp pictures and rich, vivid colors. The display is so gorgeous it actually swallows you into the images and videos you’ll be watching.
When put to the color gamut test, the ZenPad's panel managed to reproduce 113 percent of the sRGB gamut, beating the iPad Air 2 which scored 100 percent). It also beat the average for tablets, which stands at 94 percent. Compared to the Huawei MediaPad M3, however, it came trailing behind as the MediaPad scored an impressive 123 percent, meaning it emits even more colors than its rivals.
Sadly, though, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 didn’t do so well on the Delta-E test as it scored a 4.2 (closer to 1 is better). The Delta-E is a test of color accuracy, and Asus’ results show that the colors may be slightly off. The MediaPad fared better again as it scored a 2.6, which however is still not as good as the mainstream average of 2.3.
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 really shines in the display department as it emits 426 nits of brightness, way better than the mainstream average of 347 nits and also better than the iPad Air 2’s 368 nits. The Huawei MediaPad M3 slightly edged it to register 427 nits.
Whether you’re gaming, streaming, or simply admiring your photos, the display on the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is one display you won’t mind staring into for prolonged periods of time, especially with its blue light filter for night viewing.
Performance is everything when it comes to user experience. After all, a beautiful tablet with a poor engine is nothing short of a waste of money. Thankfully, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has both beauty and brains, making it worth every penny of its price around $400.
Equipped with a powerful MediaTek MT8176 Turbo CPU that packs both a dual-core 2.1-GHz processor and a quad-core 1.7-GHz processor, you can’t expect anything but smooth performance. That, coupled with 4GB of RAM helps the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 deliver fantastic speeds. Scrolling through websites and transition through apps is buttery smooth and snappy, even when you have multiple tabs open.
And for that quick game during your smoke break, you’ll find that the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 handles games quite well, with popular games like Asphalt 8 running without any stutter at all. This is all thanks to the PowerVR GX6250 GPU which is capable of reaching speeds of 700MHz.
The tablet earned 3,608 on the Geekbench 4 test, beating the category average of 2,994.
At no time will you feel the need for more processing power with this snappy tablet as booting it up, switching between apps, and doing whatever you love doing on a tablet is fast – there’s absolutely no lag at all. For example, when tasked to open a 5.8MB PDF file, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 took 7 seconds while its main contender, the Huawei MediaPad M3 took 3 seconds longer.
If you are looking for a premium looking tablet with powerful performance and yet at a fraction less than the category price, then the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is definitely a tablet to consider.
One of the biggest letdowns of the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is the average camera performance – both the 5MP front and 8MP rear cameras. Although a tablet is not primarily a memory-capturing device, people do use them to do so, and the times they do, a good camera would serve the occasion better.
Don’t get me wrong, the cameras are not horrible, they are just your average camera. The front one is good enough for making video calls while the rear one is good enough to take decent photos – as long as there is plenty of light. Yes, unfortunately, Asus forgot to include an LED flash.
However, the camera application tries to redeem the average camera performance as it has many features and settings that can help to improve the images.
For the audiophiles, however, the story is completely different as the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has quite an amazing pair of speakers. Featuring some pretty powerful speakers and support for high-res audio, the ZenPad is capable of pumping out enough volume to fill a large conference room without compromising the sound quality.
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 comes with a sound adjustment app aptly named the AudioWizard. This app definitely works some serious magic as far as sound is concerned with its several presets namely, Smart, Music, Movies, Gaming, and Vocal. AudioWizard also has extra settings for in-ear and over-ear headphones, a preset for the Asus EL33 earbuds, and support for the Hi-Res Audio (HRA) standard.
The audio experience on this tablet is pretty amazing, in fact, one of the best that can be found around $400 tablet.
When it comes to mobile devices, one feature that can make or break the deal is the battery life. You do want to move around with your device after all.
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 doesn’t offer the best battery a tablet of its caliber can have, but the 5900 mAh battery it comes with is decent enough to last you a good 10 hours (according to Asus). However, in real life with continuous web browsing, the battery managed to last 8 hours and 9 minutes.
That is actually a very good score, although it doesn’t beat the iPad Air 2’s 9:20 (a pretty hard battery life to beat) and the Huawei MediaPad’s 8 hours and 40 minutes run.
With all that being said, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has a battery life that won’t really let you down as 8 hours between charges is more than enough to see you through the day, especially since you probably won’t be browsing the web the whole day.
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 – Exceptional Value for Your Money. The bottom line – the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a great tablet.
If you are looking for a tablet that won’t let you down (except in the camera department), then this is it. this is a tablet that is well-able of delivering exceptional performance and a great looking design all at an affordable price point.
The proper definition of value for money.
So what are you waiting for? If you’ve been wondering which tablet you should go for, this is it.it will definitely serve you well whether you are looking for an extension of your office or simply looking to use it browse the web.