Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA Notes

I’ve been looking anew at this tablet because of the B&H sale price:


Despite some earlier testing (see this post), I went at it again with a real torture test. I was especially interested in trying that due to another earlier post.

Here’s what I downloaded and tested with SmartQ Reader (the items below that app listing weren’t put there by me):


Yes, the full 290MB version of The American Magazine.

I did this test a week earlier on the iPad Mini 2, which was on sale for US$199. It was basically a disaster. I think iOS 10 takes up more RAM than past versions. iBooks kept crashing. Safari tabs kept having to be reloaded. It was just a miserable experience for an iPad Mini and I knew that I’d be buying nothing but frustration for the price.

Some screensnaps from the Asus for proof:










What was the verdict? It didn’t suck. It performed better than the iPad Mini 2.

The gold standard, for me, for a tablet this size is the iPad Mini 4. But even with its sale price, I’d be very nervous about taking it around with me in the outside world.

But what about the Insignia Flex Elite 7.85, regular readers might wonder. It’s junk. It’s being unloaded on eBay for, in most cases, below US$50. Even at that price, I’d be wasting the money because the battery is probably already nearing its end of life, meaning screen on time would be decreasing rapidly. And I’m not about to open up that tablet and wrestle with adhesive that could damage the innards to replace the battery.

The Asus UI has its own points too. On and off for the past few months I’ve been checking in to Twitter with a seven-inch Asus tablet the person got for free from AT&T (for upgrading from an S3 to an S7).

It’s a very basic tablet but it has features the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 — which I’ve also had chances to borrow — doesn’t. I can, for instance, tweet by voice with the Asus. I can’t with the Samsung. There’s no microphone button on the keyboard!

Also, at least on the seven-inch Asus, autocorrect makes some kind of sense. I’ve used the term “Borrowed Asus craptab” on Twitter so many times that when I type the initial letter for each, those words appear first in autocorrect. No such thing with Samsung’s autocorrect.

Of course, to frustrate me, during the test of this tablet, autocorrect wasn’t at its best:



While Samsung has palmswipe to create a screensnap, Asus offers a press-and-hold of the recent apps button:


At least I wouldn’t have to wrestle with the physical Volume and Power buttons for a screensnap.

There’s one bit of jankiness in the UI and it’s this dialog:


It doesn’t neatly appear at the bottom like that. It briefly pops up near the middle of the screen and then “falls” to its proper place. Eh.

Sample photos:



And when I did this test, the price was actually US$10 higher:


There’s word of it having an update to Android 6.x. It doesn’t seem to be either a smooth or trouble-free experience (see Comments there). It might not even be the firmware for the American market! But there’s a video about updating:

How to Install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow On ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580CA and Z580C)

And there’s a video showing Android 6.x on the tablet itself:

Asus Zenpad S 8.0 z580C Marshmallow Update (Official)

If anyone owns and has been using this tablet, have there been any Gotchas? Leave a Comment.

This entry was posted in iPad Format Clones, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

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