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With the Memo Pad HD 10, Asus delivers a tablet with an appealingly low $329 price without making you feel like you're getting the short end of the stick. The tablet rocks a sharp IPS screen with great viewing angles and a comfortable design. It also packs a multitude of Asus' experience-enhancing apps.
The tablet isn't without it faults, though; it is slow to load large apps, and it lags when trying to wake up after long periods of time. That said, the Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 sits comfortably among affordable tablets that don't sacrifice too much quality for a low price.
The Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 isn't the most stylish, sleek, or thin tablet, but for its size, it's pretty darn comfortable and light. It weighs less than the Google Nexus 10, and the smooth matte finish on the back, combined with the grippy texture, make a comfortable handheld experience that melts the tablet into your hands. In addition to the soft tactile feel, its round edges don't protrude into your palms in an irritating or painful way.
|Asus Memo Pad FHD 10||Google Nexus 10||Toshiba Excite Pure||Asus Transformer Tab Infinity TF700|
|Weight in pounds||1.24||1.33||1.39||1.32|
|Width in inches (landscape)||10.1||10.4||10.3||10.4|
|Height in inches||7.2||6.9||7||7.1|
|Depth in inches||0.37||0.35||0.4||0.33|
|Side bezel width in inches (landscape)||0.9||0.9||0.7||0.8|
The tablet's bezels provide enough space for your fingers to rest on without blocking anything on the screen. Unsurprisingly, the glossy screen attracts a significant number of fingerprints and smudges, but they're easily removed with a microfiber cloth.
The left edge houses the Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB ports, with the microSD slot in between them, and the power button around the corner on the far left of the tablet's top edge. The speakers are located on the back, along with the 5-megapixel camera. The headphone jack is located right above the volume rocker, on the top of the right edge.
The only sign of weak build quality was unearthed while using the Folio Key; when removing the tablet from the cover, a small section of the back panel slightly snapped off, and -- although it took some pressure -- it snapped back into place without any further damage.
The tablet runs Android 4.2.2. and offers the option of Asus' Quick Setting notification panel as an alternative to the two traditional Android pull-down menus. The Quick Setting notification panel offers fast access to various settings, including all those on the pure Android menus and then some.
The Memo Pad FHD 10 comes stocked with various Asus goodies, including the handy floating dock, multimedia-experience-enhancing Audio Wizard, and Asus' Splendid screen calibration app.
The floating dock app is useful for multitasking or quickly executing small tasks; you can open a browser window, change Audio Wizard settings, check your calendar, and more -- all without having to close the app you're using.
Speakers on a tablet are an often neglected feature, and the Memo Pad FHD 10 doesn't house the most powerful pair, but it does offer its impressive Audio Wizard feature. Audio Wizard significantly enhances the quality of audio and is an essential tool for enjoying movies or music -- it just doesn't work with headphones.
It has six different settings and is easily accessible from the floating dock. In addition to increasing the overall volume -- the default power-saving mode is set very low -- the Audio Wizard enhances the soundscape and subtle noises during a movie, and makes music sound fuller. The sound quality, even when using the Audio Wizard feature isn't amazing, but it is good, and, when it comes to tablet speakers, good is great.
Thanks to the positioning of the speakers on the back, when the tablet is on a flat surface, the audio bounces off of it, creating a louder and fuller sound than when holding it. The highest volume setting isn't terribly loud, but it's decent for the small speakers -- any louder and the sound quality would suffer dramatically.
The Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 houses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460 dual-core CPU, PowerVR SGX 544MP single-core GPU, 2GB of RAM, and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage.
Other features on the tablet include a G-Sensor, ambient light sensor, E-compass, gyroscope, and Bluetooth 3.0.
Considering its starting price, one of the tablet's most impressive features is its 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution IPS screen. It's not the highest or sharpest resolution available on a 10-inch tablet, but HD content still looks sharp, and its wide viewing angles are great. In addition to wearing its high resolution well, the screen mostly responds quickly and accurately to touch.
|Tested spec||Asus Memo Pad FHD 10||Google Nexus 10||Toshiba Excite Pure||Asus Transformer Tab Infinity TF700|
|Maximum brightness IPS mode (Super IPS)||287 cd/m2||368 cd/m2||284 cd/m2||422 cd/m2 (644 cd/m2)|
|Maximum black level, IPS mode (Super IPS)||.22 cd/m2||0.44 cd/m2||0.06 cd/m2||0.34 cd/m2 (0.53 cd/m2)|
|Contrast ratio||1,304:1||836:1||47,33:1||1,241:1 (1,215:1)|
The smaller Memo Pad, the HD 7, has an impressive range of color that easily outperformed Google's Nexus 7, but the same can't be said for the larger Memo Pad. The FHD 10's color gamut is comparable with the Google Nexus 10's, but it still has a leg up thanks to its included calibration software, Asus Splendid.
The tablet performed without a hitch the majority of the time, but it wasn't without the occasional bug; apps sometimes randomly crashed, and accessing apps that were in the process of being downloaded via the drop-down menu gave an error, as seen below. In comparison with the Google Nexus 10, the Memo Pad FHD 10 was dramatically slower at loading larger apps.
The tablet consistently had a difficult time unlocking after being asleep for some time; power button response time lagged, and my swipes to unlock the screen were sometimes unrecognized or ignored.
Gaming performance was fast for simple mobile games; Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and Riptide GP all ran smoothly. Larger, graphics-heavy games ran smoothly, too -- after they eventually loaded. Large games suffered from the previously mentioned long load times, but otherwise performed well during gameplay.
Both cameras on the tablet were decent for what they are but -- like most cameras on a tablet -- they're not a huge selling point. The 5-megapixel rear camera takes relatively sharp photos and is impressively fast to autofocus and expose each frame.
For both photos and videos, you can manually choose what you want to focus on by using the touch screen -- even during filming. Low-light photos were grainy, but when taking photos in a well-lit environment, the rear camera was able to capture some sharp detail -- albeit a wee bit washed out. The front-facing camera isn't very sharp but still manages to well-expose photos and get the job done for video conferencing.
The Asus Memo Pad FHD 10 is a remarkably comfortable tablet with enough features to justify its price tag. It doesn't boast the most high-end specs, but compared with other tablets in it price range, its sharp screen, multimedia-enhancing features, useful floating dock, and comfortable, lightweight design make it a contender for best 10-inch budget tablet.
The most impressive 10-inch tablets are speedy powerhouses with razor-sharp screens, sleek designs, and -- unfortunately for some shoppers -- large price tags. The Google Nexus 10 is one of the best tablets in its category, but costs $80 more for a sharper screen, faster performance, thinner design, and consistent Android OS updates.
The Toshiba Excite Pure is another reasonably priced Android slate at $300, but it has a lower-resolution screen, is bigger, and has just as many -- if not more -- performance hangups as the Memo Pad FHD 10. If you're strapped for cash or don't need the best of the best, the 10-inch Asus slate is a worthy, low-priced alternative.