Review ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C (2014)
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C is one of the three new Intel-powered Android tablets and with a price tag of $199 for 16GB it is one of the most affordable 8-inch Android tablets. It offers the best bang for the buck and rivals in performance with Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0. With its beautiful display and a variety of pre-installed apps to keep the users busy, ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C offers premium features and performance of much more expensive tablets like Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and it is one of the best options in the category of small screen tablets.
Design and Features
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C is a beautiful device with modern design. It is a slim device with overall measurements 8.2 x 4.9 x 0.33 inches and weighs only 11.36 ounces. It is lighter and narrower than both Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830. ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C has matte plastic body with soft-touch finish and rounded corners. The device has solid build quality with no flexing and feels good in hand. Under pressure there are no creaks or sounds from the body. It is available in black, purple gold and white colors and thanks to the matte finish, the back doesn’t attract fingerprints. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port on top, a microSD card slot on the left and a volume rocker and power button on the right side of the device.
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C comes with an 8-inch screen with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and LED backlighting. The display features IPS technology, thanks to which the tablet gives wide viewing angles and bright and crisp colors. During benchmark test, MeMO Pad ME181C managed to produce 376 nits of brightness, while Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830 managed only 290 and 304 nits, respectively. The display of ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C manages to reproduce 72% of the sRGB spectrum. It comes equipped with Sonic Master stereo speakers situated at the bottom of the device. The speakers produce sharp and clear mid tones with weak bass, while the highs were of average quality. The audio quality is on par with most tablets, but there is some distortion at max volume. MeMO Pad scored 80 decibels on the Laptop Mag Audio Test, while Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830 managed 82dB and 70dB, respectively.
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C comes with Android 4.4 out of the box which is running ZenUI. With ZenUI ASUS brings modern designs and a plethora of new features and settings over stock android UI. It has a modern design and features like users can quickly switch between a list of quick settings and notifications tab. It also features a widget named What’s Next, which collects information from synced accounts and displays relevant information on the screen for users. It also includes a keyboard which is highly customized by ASUS. The keyboard has features like, adjustable height, additional language input, option to switch between lower and higher case by using flick gesture and additional settings for swipe based input. For some reason, ASUS has excluded the haptic feedback option.
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C is powered by a 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor with 1GB of memory and 16GB flash storage. The processor belongs to Intel’s latest Bay Trail series of processors. Thanks to the impressive hardware, it manages to play HD videos smoothly, but shows some sign of struggling while running graphically intensive games and applications. Even while running heavy and graphically intensive tasks, the tablet managed to keep its cool and the temperature never crossed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It features a 5-megapixel camera on the back, which captures 1080p full HD videos at 30fps and a 2-megapixel camera on the front for 720p video calls.
ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C aced most of the benchmark tests proving that it can perform better than most tablets. In GeekBench 3 it scored 2398 points while Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830 managed only 1176 and 1054 points, respectively. MeMO Pad ME181C was very quick at launching different apps and it launched N.O.V.A 3 in just 17 seconds, while Acer Iconia A-830 took 25 seconds to launch the same game. MeMO Pad ME181C trashed its rivals in the 3DMark Ice Storm test where it scored 13754 points while Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830 managed 2872 and 6121 points, respectively. The battery life of ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C is very impressive, it lasted 9 hours and 2 minutes in the Laptop Mag Battery test, while Lenovo A8 and Acer Iconia A1-830 lasted 8 hours 47 minutes and 8 hours 9 minutes, respectively.
There are not many tablets in the 8-inch category, but whatever competition ASUS MeMO Pad ME181C has, it manages to beat it fair and square. It comes at with a price tag of a cheap tablet, but comes with all the bells and whistles of premium tablets. Although Nexus 7 (2013) is more favorable option in this category, but MeMo Pad ME181C offers a bigger display with similar performance at a lower price.