Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 review – the best cheap tablet of 2013

Cheap tablets have had a bad reputation, and the prevailing belief of many in the tech industry has been the age-old ‘you get what you pay for’. Asus, masters of creating good quality computing equipment at highly affordable prices, may be about to change this prevailing attitude though. Their Asus MEMO pad HD 7 is a stellar cheap-tab and is well worthy of a deeper dive

Super quick lowdown

The Good

Powerful spec delivers high performance relative to the price

High Definition display has tremendous colour pick-up, delivering a sharp picture

The screen also has wide off-angle viewing, allowing people to gather around to view media

One of the best batteries that we’ve seen on a tablet

The Bad

The case feels cheaper, and doesn’t do this tablet justice

For a tablet with an awesome screen seemingly built for consuming media, this tablet has a terrible speaker

Something about the screen makes it suck up fingerprints. I’ve never had to clean a tablet so frequently!

Superior Specs for the Price

The Asus MeMo HD 7 boasts of a 1.2 GHz quad core processor, which matches the processor in the pricier Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. It’s not exactly an ipad processor, but nor is it a slouch either.

When it comes to tablet processors, its important to keep them in context with what people use them for. Most folks use their tablet for some light web browsing, emails, Social media and apps. For all of these purposes the processor on this Asus device offers an almost identical speed to the more expensive models.

If you are a tablet gamer – we’re talking the more graphics heavy games as opposed to say Angry Birds here – then you may need to look again at higher spec offerings, but otherwise, this is really no drama.

The key thing with the Asus MeMo is that it outranks its direct competitors on spec. It has a higher resolution display, a more powerful camera and with 16gb of storage, double the memory of the comparable a samsung tab.

The disappointing case

It’s always a shame when an internally well crafted device is let down by a really shoddy case, and sadly the MeMo has been affected. One of the mantras that served Steve Jobs so well was his obsession with product presentation. Jobs obsessed with making the experience great around his products and he knew that people really do judge the book by the cover.

This device has a horrible plastic lip, which besides being far from aesthetically pleasing, it also makes the MeMo a little uncomfortable to hold. It’s a minor point, but why did Asus overlook this?

Secondly, its staggering that they didn’t include a more thorough finger print protection coating. Every time I touch the screen I end up leaving a big smudge. When it comes to the finer details, there are some giveaways around the price.

The great screen

Where the Asus MeMo HD is not let down is its screen. The high-definition is a most welcome addition to a budget tablet, and it performs excellently. The colours are natural and the shapes really sharp.

Perhaps most pleasing is the wide-angle viewing. Increasingly people are using their tablet to catch a movie or to use an on demand service. I actually use my tablet for watching the football now on BT Sports, all of which are examples of when I may not be watching alone. It’s great to have the wider viewing pane, allowing folks to gather around and watch.

All of this makes it a shame that the speakers don’t match the quality of the screen. It’s another oversight by Asus, and one that slightly hinders my ability to call this a great media tablet. Instead, I’ll settle for a great budget media tablet, because the tinny sound coupled with a less than stellar sound range and volume mean this tablet is left wanting when you pop a movie on.

However, all things considered there is a lot to like about this Asus MeMo HD tablet. It’s cheaper, it has a better spec and a much better display than its neatest rivals. It’s battery is phenomenal, easily out performing more expensive devices.

If you can overlook the slightly lacking case and speakers, especially if you use your tablet for more everyday browsing, then this is an economical option to consider instead of the more expensive tablets. There was a time when we didn’t think we would be able to say that too…