Like its 7-inch sibling, the Asus MeMO Pad 8 features an Intel Atom 73745 “Bay Trail” processor, rated at 1.33 GHz, with “bursts” up to 1.86 GHz. Unlike cheaper CPUs rated at similar speed, the Bay Trail means every single megahertz it has, and makes the most of all of them.
Running Quadrant benchmark, your typical sub-$200 tablet will earn a score of 4,000 to 5,000, and a really good one in this class will hit 8,000+. Cutting-edge $600 tablets will score 18,000+. The MeMO Pad 8, on the other hand, averages 20,080 across four runs of Quadrant.
Granted, this kind of speed really isn’t sustainable: Those 1.86 GHz “bursts” will get you high performance for a short while, but then drop back down to a more reasonable level when running something intensive for a long time, like an HD movie or high-end game. But even taking that into account, at 1.33 GHz, this thing has speed to burn.
With that kind of horsepower, a nice screen, and of course plenty of storage capacity (between the 11 GB available internally and the microSD card slot) I could definitely see this as a go-to tablet for people who want serious power without laying down a lot of money.
There’s just 1 GB of RAM, but one can’t have everything in a $200 device. And 1 GB is acceptable, if not ideal.
The MeMO Pad 8 debuts running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the most-recent version of Google’s mobile operating system.
Like on the MeMO Pad 7, a large number of the standard Google apps have been replaced with Asus equivalents: Calendar, Email, Calculator, Contacts, Image Gallery, and Keyboard. This seems kind of pointless, but they still hook into the original Google services, so it’s not going to significantly affect your usage.
Rounding out the app list (besides all the other Google apps they didn’t remove, like anything associated with Google Play), Asus also pre-loaded a file manager, a client for Asus Cloud Storage (which promises you 500 gigs of free cloud space for two years), and a few other bits.
For no readily apparent reason, the company’s developers doubled down on what I’d call the worst UI decision Android has made lately — the two notification shades, one on either “side” of the screen — and made it even a little more difficult to get the right one when you choose. Still, if that’s the most I have to worry about on a tablet, it’s not such a bad sign.
The camera is one of the other significant upgrades; unlike the rather weak one on its 7-inch sibling, the MP8 sports an improved 5-megapixel sensor along with an auto-focus, both of which significantly step up image quality. It’s still not great, and I wouldn’t recommend it over a decent smartphone, but “better” is certainly appreciated.
Asus promises about 9 hours of battery life in standard use, and I would call that a fair assessment. Admittedly, it doesn’t get quite as much life as the smaller MP7 (which scored around 9.5 hours); even with the larger available space for the battery, it’s also powering a significantly larger (and somewhat brighter) screen. But considering the amount of power represented by the processor, 9 hours is a very respectable battery life for an inexpensive device.
Price and Availability
Page 3 includes our final thoughts on this tablet from Asus.