PROS / At .66 pounds, this tablet is very light.
CONS / The tablet has a short battery life.
VERDICT / Although its battery life is mediocre, the ZenPad S 8.0 benefits from a high-resolution display and great build quality. It's a good option if you don't want to pay a premium for your tablet.
With so many tablets on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to know which one you should invest in. With the ZenPad S 8, ASUS makes a balanced bid for your wallet. This tablet has some appealing aspects like its 2.3-GHz Atom processor and its affordability and strong design.
The ZenPad S 8 only comes in an 8-inch model. It is impressive that ASUS managed to pack everything into those 8 inches and keep the weight down. At only .66 pounds, this is one of the lightest tablets in our review. Although the power button is oddly placed towards the middle of the tablet's right side, the tablet has a clean design and sturdy build quality. In particular, the back of the tablet has a small leather grip that makes it easy to hold in your hands.
Compared to other tablets we reviewed, the ZenPad's battery life leaves much to be desired. With six hours and 47 minutes of runtime, it's one of the weakest batteries we've seen. Ideally – especially for a non-budget tablet — batteries should last for nine hours or more.
One area in which the ZenPad shines is its display. The 2048 x 1536 screen doesn't have the highest resolution you can get in a tablet, but nevertheless, it displays crisp and clear images. This is an IPS screen, which means it has good color reproduction and excellent viewing angles. During our testing, onscreen text and images were displayed with stellar fidelity and sharpness.
For a non-premium-priced tablet, it also has a steady performance ceiling. In performance test Geekbench 3 and graphics test 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, the tablet had respective scores of 2,855 and 13,041 points. While its graphic performance is a step below the best tablets – which generally hit the 20,000 point range – its processor was still fast enough to handle tasks like web browsing and multitasking in our hands-on testing.
Overall, the ZenPad S 8.0 is a tablet that readily separates itself from the entry-level pack. While its modest battery life keeps it a noticeable step behind the best tablets, its strong build quality and high-resolution display are premium features offered at an accessible price point.