The Good The Asus MeMo Pad Smart 10 has a rear-facing camera, microSD and Micro-HDMI ports, and solid performance for a budget tablet.
The Bad Lacks a super-high-resolution display; overall plastic feel.
The Bottom Line Imagine a Nexus 7's innards expanded to a 10-inch tablet and you've got the Asus MeMo Pad Smart 10. Now ask yourself: why wouldn't you want something better?
Nexus 7, but with a 10-inch screen
If I were to imagine what makes a good tablet, I'd think along two lines: affordable 7- and 8-inch models, and more fully featured 10-inchers. Can there be a middle ground? The Asus MeMo Pad Smart 10 is a tablet that, really, is like a supersize version of Asus' Nexus 7 (formerly the MeMo, too). It costs more -- $299 -- and it's larger, too. But underneath, its specs are less than impressive: its Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 1,280x800-pixel display match what's in the Nexus 7. What you're getting here, for an extra $100, really amounts to a larger screen, extra camera, and a few more ports like Micro-HDMI and microSD. Those are sought after and not always easy to find on Android tablets, but you have to ask yourself whether those ports, essentially, are worth the price to be paid.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has a higher-resolution screen and a lower price. On the other hand, for just $100 more, you could also get the higher-res . Not far off from the MeMoPad's cost is a refurbished iPad, or a new ($30 more). That's what I don't get: who would find this tablet really helpful? It's in the middle zone.
The Asus MeMo Pad Smart TF301T feels lightweight, but at 1.3 pounds it's really only a tad lighter than a Retina Display iPad. A plastic back doesn't lend it the most premium in-hand feel, but it's reminiscent of the case design of the Asus Transformer Pad TF300. It's the same thickness, and nearly the same weight, and has the same plastic overall feel.
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