Channel 5

Asus MemoPad HD 7

Thursday 12 September 2013

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

Asus may be busy pumping out all the Google Nexus 7 tablets it can muster right now, but they're not the only Android-powered slates it's been working on. Enter the Asus MemoPad HD 7, an even cheaper seven-inch machine running Google's hit mobile operating system. Is it value for money though, or should you stretch a bit more for the Nexus 7's amazing full HD display? We fired one up to find out.

Read our full Wikipad review here

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The good

For some inexplicable reason, the industry has decided as a general rule that all tablets should look like a boring black plastic photo frame. Thankfully, Asus is going against convention with the Asus MemoPad HD 7, and injecting a bit of colour into its wares: it comes in white, pink, blue and green hues, and we were quite taken with the lime shade of our review unit. It's sturdily built, and at 10.8mm thick, actually not all that chunky for a cheap seven-inch tablet.

To our surprise, Android itself whizzed along on the quad-core 1.2GHz processor with no sign of lag: videos look great on the 1280x800 HD screen, even if the newer Nexus 7 now offers a much sharper full HD display that makes text look gorgeous too. Google's software itself meanwhile is app-packed (with more than a million now available to download on Google Play) and easy to use. While the MemoPad may only come with 16GB of storage, you can always add more with a memory card, and Asus provides another 16GB of cloud storage for free that you can access wherever there's Wi-Fi.

The bad

The Asus MemoPad 7 is built perfectly adequately - which is all you can ask for in the budget category - but it is let down slightly by its software. It's one version out of date, but more importantly, because it isn't a Google Nexus family member, it's not guaranteed to get prompt updates in the future when they do either. Some of Asus' additions to vanilla Android as well aren't entirely welcome: its BuddyBuzz app is a terrible way to view your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and its default keyboard is even worse. Be sure to install an alternative such as Google's own free keyboard or SwiftKey immediately.

As so often is the case however, cost is also an issue. The Asus MemoPad HD 7 sits in a narrow price band all of its own: priced at £129.99, it's only £20 cheaper than last year's Google Nexus 7, which runs a newer version of Android (4.3 Jelly Bean), and £70 less than the all-singing, all-dancing 2013 model, which you should really stretch to if you can. There are cheaper options on the table still too: the Nook HD runs an older version of Android (4.0), but packs a substantially sharper screen and £99 price tag. It's hard to justify the MemoPad between them.

Read our Lenovo Miix 10 review here

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The bottom line

There's not much to complain about with the Asus Memopad HD 7: it's affordable, app-packed and it gets the job done. But for now, it's not the best bargain out there: the going going gone Nook HD from Barnes & Noble can be had for just £99, with similar software and a superior screen, while Asus' own 2012 and 2013 editions of the Google Nexus 7 put the squeeze on it from the other side. Right now, it's sandwiched between two price brackets, both of which you're better off investigating.

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User comments (6)

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Just_My_Opinion

I have to disagree with this 'bottom line' verdict. The basic Nook may be a little cheaper at £99, but if you want the HD+ version you'll be paying £130 - £150 depending on storage, which is the same price point as the MemoPad HD7. Also, and crucially the nook runs on a dual-core processor where as the MemoPad HD7 uses a quad-core processor. The Nook also doesn't use the same version of Andriod O/S, it uses the slightly older Ice Cream Sandwich as opposed to the Asus MemoPad which uses Jelly Bean 4.3....and let's not forget the MemoPad HD7 is essentially an older Nexus 7, although unlike the latest Nexus, the MemoPad HD7 comes with a camera and an expandable micro SD slot for more storage capacity. Although the Nook does have a higher native screen resolution, with my eyes, along with many others, are too worn out to notice the difference! The Asus MemoPad HD7 is the better buy.

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Jonathan

I can't agree that the Nook HD is a better recommendation that the Asus! Just read your own review and it's saying as it's locked out of Google Play its only good a as an e-reader, which is true. If you want a full blown tablet for various purposes the Asus is miles ahead. It's better that he older Nexus 7 too as that doesn't have an SD card slot, it's restricted to whatever memory you buy it with.

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Xad

@Jonathan, Nook HD used to be locked out of Google Play, but that changed a while ago thanks to a firmware update from B&N, so the Nook HD has full access to the Google app store and the screen is indeed beautiful.

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Paul Ellis

I bought one of these for my mother and found the keyboard infuriatingly fiddly and the operating system to be slow, clumsy and ponderous when attempting simple tasks which surprised me considering its meant to have a quad core processor.. So much so I will be returning it and for a Nexus 7 mostly likely or the Advent Vega Tegra 7.

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STUART ROGERS

I would just like to say I have recently purchased the ASUS MEMO PAD HD 7 for my wife in Pink, she absolutely loves it, she soon got into and she has only been into tablets 9 months now. Absolutely hated anything to do with computers. This is an upgrade for her from the cheaper one she had to start her off. At first it felt a bit odd holding it, (It's what you are used to), but that soon went. From switch on for the first time it flew away loading updates really quickly. I have been looking at this tablet for a while to be honest. During one of my observations on the net I saw it for £99, so that was it deal done, I agree maybe some of the Asus Apps maybe odd, but that is about it. If you want a camera, buy a camera, and so on. Use what you like leave the rest be. I will not spend my money on a NEXUS, to me over rated and over priced, no expansion micro sd, just one of the things I need, my only problem is to sort all her music out to play on it as are wma and wav files. Up grade of Android would be nice but on my other older tablet am on Jelly Bean 4.1, which I think is great and it is a heavy old one too, will never part with it until it blows. Anyway, ASUS MEMO PAD HD7, buy one you will be amazed. Enjoy because my wife is, can't get a look in now!!!!!!!

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Captain Cretin

Having snapped my Acer B1 in half in frustration (the screen kept refusing to respond to certain commands), I did some research and went out and got the 2013 spec Memopad yesterday for the bargain price of £99 (from Argos). This doesnt look, feel or operate like a budget pad, I feel pixel counts are no better an indicator of screen quality than they are for camera quality, and everything else seems to work slickly. Connected via Wifi to my fibre router it updated everything in about 5 minutes

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