- Insanely great performance
- Excellent value
- Nice design
- Awkward interface changes
- Poor camera
- Display is weak in bright light
Quick TakeThe Asus MeMO Pad 7 is an excellent basic tablet with great specs and experience for a low price.
The 2014 version of Asus’ MeMO Pad 7 crams an Intel processor and 16GB of storage into a tiny package with a suggested retail price of $149. Is it as good as it looks? TabletPCReview investigates.
Before we begin, though, a point of clarity: Asus has released more than one 7-inch MeMO Pad, and unfortunately as many manufacturers do these days, it’s not making it easy to tell them apart. The new release bears the model number ME176CX; if and where you see that, you’re looking at the latest and greatest.
Note September 2015: A year after its release, this model is widely available for under $100.
Build and Design
My first impression upon opening the box was that this thing didn’t seem large enough to be a 7-inch tablet. The MP7 looks and feels TINY. When you compare the specs, you’ll see that it’s actually not really any smaller than most of the other major brands, like the Google Nexus 7 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. But the design of the MeMO Pad 7 is not only about as efficient as you can get for a 7-inch tablet, it also looks and feels that small. I can comfortably hold it in one hand and still reach the power and volume buttons, and the device is only 0.7 lbs.
Overall, I really like the feel of the MeMO Pad 7. It’s solid, has great ergonomics, and looks good to boot. There are some devices that are just nice to use, and this is definitely one of them.
In a lot of budget tablets, the display is one of the corners that gets cut because it’s a high-priced component. The MP7 is definitely NOT one of those devices. Sure, the 1280 x 800 resolution isn’t anything special these days when the Nexus 7 boasts 1920 x 1200 … but that’s with a starting price $80 higher, and without some of the other perks the Asus device has. Even if it’s not “retina” territory, the MP7’s display is clear, crisp, and high quality. Colors are vivid, and the contrast is good.
The display’s one real weakness is very bright light. No LCD performs WELL in bright daylight or direct sun, but the MeMO Pad 7 is a little worse at it than normal, being essentially unreadable outdoors except in the shade. It’s not likely to be a problem for a lot of people, but if you need a device that can compete with direct sun, it isn’t this one.
Buttons and Ports
Asus placed this tablet’s power and volume buttons on an angle, halfway around the curve from the actual edge of the device toward the back. I thought this was rather strange at first, but it’s grown on me; this way makes it almost impossible to hit the power button by accident, even if you set the device on its side, while still making the buttons easily accessible.
The opposite side of the MeMO Pad 7 holds the microSD slot — just an open slot, without a door covering it like most devices have, so there’s the small risk of the card falling out if you drop the device. But that’s probably not a big issue unless you’re dropping things constantly. If you are, I suggest electrical tape. Either for covering the slot or covering your hands.
The headphone jack and micro-USB port round out the collection, sitting on the “top” of the device.
And that’s just the beginning — Page 2 covers the outstanding performance of the latest Asus MeMO Pad 7.