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Asus ZenPad 3S 10 review: This tablet is a fantastic portable video watcher

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The Good The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has a sharp, clear HD screen and its design is both comfy and cool. The fingerprint scanner adds extra security. Comes with a good amount of storage for its price.

The Bad The speakers are easy to block when holding in landscape orientation. Games take their time to load.

The Bottom Line The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a fantastic portable video watcher with enough storage to get you through long flights at a reasonable price.

7.7 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

The iPad Air 2 is one of the best tablets you can buy. And it's a better tablet than the Asus ZenPad 3S 10. But if the iPad Air 2's $399 (£379 or AU$719) starting price is too rich for your blood and you're a fan of the Android OS, you might want to give the Asus a try.

The $299 (£300) Asus is cheaper, great for watching video and comes with twice the amount of storage as the base level iPad Air 2. That means twice as many Netflix TV shows to download. It's not officially available in Australia but its price converts to about AU$535.

It also has a microSD card expansion slot to increase its storage and a sleek, compact feel that makes it pleasant to hold for long binge sessions. I'm not going to tell anyone to make the Asus their first choice, but if you have simple needs and are looking to save some cash, the ZenPad 3S 10 is a smart buy.

Here's what's good

  • Build is comfortable, compact and sleek
  • Smooth performance
  • Large, sharp HD screen
  • Expandable microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • Charges quickly via USB-C
  • 10.7 hour battery life
  • Comfortable to hold

An great screen for a great price.

Josh Miller/CNET

Here's what's bad

The stylish, compact design is one of its best feature.

Josh Miller/CNET

Screen screening

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has the same screen resolution as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and iPad Air 2, and while they all compare favorably in sharpness, there is notable difference in color.

The Samsung tablet's display is vividly saturated with rich colors and deep blacks. While that makes for a more dramatic image, it's almost too colorful-- like it went a little overboard with the Instagram filters. In comparison, the Asus's range of color is more subdued and lifelike, similar to the iPad Air 2's screen.

asus-zen-pad-5993-001.jpg

There's a USB-C port in-between the two speakers.

Josh Miller/CNET

Speaker trouble

The crisp HD screen on the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is perfect for HD video, but its speakers are a different story.

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