back to article You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad

What’s the best affordable 7-inch tablet? Surely it’s got to be either the Nexus 7 or the LG G Pad 8.3 or if the pair of them are too dear, the Hudl – right? Wrong. Asus MeMO Pad 7 Android tablet Asus MeMO Pad 7 Android tablet Asus’s new £120 MeMO Pad 7 may not be better than the Google, LG and Tesco devices in all areas …

  1. Chicken Marengo

    Tough judge

    Jeez, what does a tablet have to do to get 2%? In built fellatio unit perhaps?

    1. Chicken Marengo
      Unhappy

      Re: Tough judge

      You fiends El Reg!

      Hiding the the 1% rating you gave it, thus totally invalidating the context of my post.

      Bad form, simply not cricket, I shall write to my MP to complain.

      Wanders off muttering, possbily something about taking my stapler.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tough judge

      Nah, that's only available on iPads.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/27/slab_fondling_becomes_xrated/

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    That Intel subsidy

    I wonder how much it was per unit...

    1. P0l0nium

      Re: That Intel subsidy

      Don't lecture on "The Ethics of Cross Subsidy" when your Tablet SOC is fabbed using the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi's oil billions.

      http://www.mubadala.com/en/who-we-are/businessunit/mubadala-technology

  3. Ol' Grumpy

    I'm sure this is an excellent processor but an Intel CPU running Android just doesn't seem quite right. I guess I'm a victim of Intel's Core CPU marketing machine :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Intel Android

      an Intel CPU running Android just doesn't seem quite right

      Last time I used an Intel Android device quite a lot of the popular apps just didn't work because of the architecture difference. They were only coded to call certain ARM only APIs. Unless that is sorted it is something to be aware of. Netflix for example was one

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intel Android

        How do you know they were "coded to call certain ARM only APIs"?

        Netflix isn't, looking at this;

        http://www.techlivewire.com/3406/netflix-on-intel-atom-android-tablets-and-devices.html

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Intel Android

          How do you know they were "coded to call certain ARM only APIs"?

          Well it doesn't take an Intel Engineer to work out that pretty much a good chunk of Devices (I'd dare estimate it 'round 99% of it), all use ARM Tech. Sure some of its likely proprietary over the standard design. But, AFAIK this is like the Second, possibly Third Android Device to host an Atom. The other Two being from Samsung. (i.e. Variations of the Tab 3.0)...

          So it would make sense to think, and furthermore expect certain incompatibilities with a huge swath of Apps, that were very likely compiled to run on ARM, and NOT x86....

      2. Tim Jenkins

        Re: Intel Android

        Netflix works fine on my Atom-chipped San Diego phone running ICS, but the iPlayer client still doesn't (some issue between 'droid on Atom and the underlying BBC media database thingy, apparently). Even Chrome was broken for ages on Android-Atom, then fixed, and now works OK except that the latest update from the Play store won't install (again). Some popular games also aren't compatible with this hardware/OS combination (Minion Rush, for example), and neither was Firefox last time I tried it. Hopefully as more Atom devices appear with Android on board, developers will start testing on them too.

    2. Indolent Wretch

      I've actually got the very similar Asus FonePad 7. The second gen one.

      Which is similar hardware (a bit behind but not by much) and design but with a 3G sim slot and full phone functions. It's only £155 quid and I "advocate it's use".

      Personally I haven't had trouble with any apps due to Intel CPU, including Netflix, and it's running nicely on Android 4.4 which turned up a few weeks ago.

      It's very nice. Partnered with a giff gaff unlimited internet SIM at £12.50 a month I use it as my only phone and I think that's a pretty amazing deal.

  4. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
    Trollface

    "I took a quick snap inside the low-light interior of a private jet en-route to the BMW i8 launch and was pleasantly surprised how good the result was."

    It's a tough gig for a multitasking Vulture correspondent. But glad you can multi-task.

  5. Steve Graham

    Auto brightness

    Um... doesn't it have TWO "ambient light sensors"? I call them cameras.

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Auto brightness

      The only issue being that the auto-brightness has to be on all the time to work, and the camera's are generally battery killers. Whereas a dedicated light sensor hardly uses any power at all.

  6. spencer

    Compatability

    Presumably some things have to be compiled especially for intel chips?

    Is there a definitive list of what can be run and what can't be on Intel Android devices? Since the review didn't even mention it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would steer clear of anything that's not ARM

    as still too many apps have NDK components that don't have intel, MIPS or whatever modules.

    £120 is a waste of cash if your favorite app doesn't run.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would steer clear of anything that's not ARM

      I would even if there wasn't a downside. Nobody wants Intel to screw over the mobile market in the same way they have with the desktop market.

      ARM licences their tech to anyone that wants it. This is a fair situation, they don't force people to use their technology by monopolistic practices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would steer clear of anything that's not ARM

      But Android apps run in a vritual machine, why would the processor make a difference?

      1. Jason Ozolins

        Re: I would steer clear of anything that's not ARM

        For a few years Android devs have had the option of coding performance-critical parts of their code to the bare metal instruction set with the Native Development Kit:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_software_development#Native_development_kit

        In that case, a new tablet architecture might not ever get support for an NDK app that is no longer in active development.

  8. Haku
    Happy

    I sure got the MeMo

    Typing this out on my Asus MeMo Pad HD 7 right now, got it a few weeks ago from Ebuyer when I spotted them selling it for just £80.

    A nice upgrade from my ageing Nook Tablet (pre HD version).

    I reccomend getting the official Asus TransCover for it, auto standby when the cover closes which also doubles as a stand, only real gripe is that it makes the micro SD slot difficult to get to. I got mine from a Taiwanese eBay seller (see item 321447809258) because it costs $40 including postage instead of £40 in the UK! and postage was only about a week.

    1. Alan Gauton

      Re: I sure got the MeMo

      I'm sure you have the previous version. I suspect you got the ME173X (which is also excellent imho), and this review is the ME176X(?)...

      1. Haku

        Re: I sure got the MeMo

        Yes you're right I have the ME173X whereas the Alun Taylor is reviewing the ME176CX. I thought something was not quite right when I saw the front facing camera of Alun's MeMo Pad was offset where as mine is centered.

        The review should be updated to show model numbers so you don't accidentally buy the version you don't want, especially as retailers love to use stock photos and don't always put the model number in the title but buried in the specs section.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone buying a tablet from Tesco, Amazon or other non-tech companies are just buying a device that follows the Gillette model or printer ink model.

    They're devices that are branded and tailored to shift more stuff from the company who sold it to you. It's their device more than it is yours.

    1. Oneman2Many

      while that may be true for the Fire, have you seen the hudl ?

    2. Haku

      When I saw Tesco's Hudl I was curious as my Nook Tablet was starting to show its age (and dying battery), but when I actually got to see one in person in a store I was not impressed with the screen at all, low brightness and poor viewing angles compared to a tablet about 2 years older than it.

      1. Marcus Aurelius

        Hudl

        I'm surprised. I bought a Nexus 7 which I unfortunately cracked the screen on (apparently they're prone to break if subject to flexing)

        I then bought a set of 3 Hudls for the family. Two were only £60 in real cash due to a Tesco voucher splurge. Apart from the screen calibration issue (keep your fingers off the display when turning on) they've been astoundlingly good value for money, even more so as they take High capacity MicroSD cards (I have a 64GB card in mine). I think the only way you'll get my daughters Hudl off her is by prying it out of her cold dead hands! :-/

        The only issues I've found are I'm not certain about the wisdom of placing the micro USB connector on an edge it rests on when on a stand, and a few apps (I'm talking to you Feedly) get caught out by the 1440x900 display.

    3. donguevas

      How quaint, you call Amazon a non tech company. A company that has been around almost since the dawn of the internet and virtually defined e-commerce as we know it, not to mention on the forefront with it's cloud offerings.

      NEWSFLASH, companies exist to make money.

      I mean, I guess Apple is the only tablet maker out there that you approve of? Because you can always buy software from third parties on the Ipad or flash different roms onto them...

    4. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Thus why you...

      a) Root it.... and

      b) Install as generic as possible Android onto said Device.... Assuming that you don't like the Interface. (e.g. Samsung's latest TouchWiz...)

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Similar experience to the above with Hudl's - got a pair for my daughters and both storm along (certainly quicker than my old 2012 Nexus 7). The only problem we had with them was one ended up with a dodgy micro-USB connector (due to the kids inexperience with plugging/unplugging the cable I think and generally insisting on using them with cables plugged in but forgetting they've done so). And even then one call to the support line had them immediately replaced under warranty, after a quick back-up/restore via ADB onto my laptop they were back up and running almost immediately.

        The other thing I was extremely pleasantly surprised at is that the Hudl supports dual-band wifi (not sure if it's at 802.11n or 802.11ac speed offhand, I suspect the former). Both the kids ones are happily connected to the 5GHz network on my Netgear 6200 along with my HTC 8X phone, whereas both my N7-2012 and the boss's MotoG are still stuck on the 2.4GHz network.

        Overall rather happy with them, albeit with the same caveat as above about the micro-USB port positioning when the device is used in a stand-case.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ASUS Intel Tablet Android App compatability

    Not directly related to this tablet but a warning from a related one from the same stable.

    I had real problems with Skype last year on an ASUS FonePad 7 (needed 3G rather than Wifi connectivity) - ended up having to install a back-level version and have tried to avoid upgrades since.

    Wouldn't be a big problem, save that the whole purpose of buying the thing in the first place was to give to my father-in-law as a more or less dedicated Skype device to keep my wife in touch with hime and her mother.

    Otherwise - pretty reasonable device, accepting its limitations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ASUS Intel Tablet Android App compatability

      I have 2 of these, albeit the previous iteration, both of which have Skype and run without any problems over WiFi, even my parents rather flaky BT connection!!

      A good value tablet which I use mainly as a media player and we have the second for my daughter for much the same reason. Far easier than lugging a portable DVD player and DVDs with us when we go anywhere.

      Peronally I've never had any problems other than running certain branded apps on my daughter's tablet, the House of Mouse ones are terrible for draining the battery life if you don't shut them down properly.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    Doomed

    Wrong CPU. Probably subsidised. Intel has seen 85% drop in Mobile division revenue.

    But sadly Tesco here has only ever sold Hudl sleeves. They sell Samsung and Apple though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop the screen resolution madness

    Please, 1280x800 is more than good enough on this screen size. True, you could cram more pixels and retina blah blah... but for its intended usage, the resolution is good enough. Which is what counts. Anyone remembers a few years ago when that resolution was "high res" on a desktop computer?

    In my personal experience: wife has a retina resolution Apple device and I can't tell the difference from the kid's lower screen res phones. Well, only with a magnifying glass. Which is not something I usually use to glance at my tablet or phone.

  13. Al Taylor

    App compatability

    For what it's worth I loaded up the same sixty-odd apps that I have on my Moto G onto the MeMO Pad 7 and they all ran perfectly.

    Of course the 61st or 62nd app may have decided to play silly buggers...

  14. David Bilsby
    Happy

    Better alternatives

    Granted the spec of the MeMo Pad 7 is good, but actually not as good as the Advent Vega Tegra Note 7. I picked up one of these before last Christmas for under £100. It's got the excellent Tegra 4 processor from Nvidia which can churn out > 35000 on the AnTuTu benchmark. The screen is the same resolution and quite excellent. Stereo front facing speakers really improve the audio when watching videos, etc. It also has a really neat stylus for navigating or drawing if you fancy. Support from Nvidia with updates is also excellent.

    Sadly it does not seem to be available from Currys or PC World at the moment otherwise I would definitely buy another.

  15. K Silver badge

    Atom based..

    So how hard will it be to put Windows on it? and Dual boot?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Surely you mean...

      ..can I wipe it and put a PROPER linux on there!!!

      1. captain veg

        PROPER linux

        I might well be interested if that were indeed possible. Anyone know? And would the touch screen work?

        -A.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: PROPER linux

          Ubuntu are.... (or were) creating a TabletOS that could be installed on a select few Devices. How far along it it got I lost touch... Kinda makes me suspect that they deep-sixed the project. But, there are some Betas flying 'round the Net... Sadly nothing ever really worked in them though...

  16. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Meh

    Dated base with a faster CPU

    I can forgive the bottom end 1GB RAM, but it only has a feeble 16GB (actually 12G free) Flash, no support for SDXC (exFAT), so max. 44GB local storage, a dated Android version and only a 1280 x 800 display resolution on a 7" device (215dpi). IMHO it's still landfill tablet junk even with the faster CPU.

    I'd like to see a minimum 300dpi pixel density on /all/ handheld pixel display devices displaying text and graphics *; 1920 x 1080 should be the new minimum for 7" tablets and even higher for larger tablets, because tablets are used for more than just video; there is only so much you can do with anti-aliasing, a visual shading trick, of which Clear-Type is a variant.

    * GPS and bicycle computers included!

    1. AIBailey

      Re: Dated base with a faster CPU

      Just a few flaws in your arguments...

      According to Asus themselves, it supports up to 64GB uSD, not 32GB.

      As far as I can tell online, its android version is 4.4.2. Considering that 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 were released less than 2 months ago, I'd hardly call that "dated", and certainly not junk.

      As for expecting 300dpi on everything. For starters, expect the cost to go up a fair bit, both for the higher density screen, and for the CPU/GPU/RAM to store and drive all those extra pixels.

      Finally, why would you need such high density on something like a GPS or cycle computer, when for 99% of the time that you're looking at it you'll be quickly glancing at it while watching the road? Pointless!

      Personally, it seems to have 99%+ compatibility with an ARM Android tablet with a performance boost as well. Build quality appears pretty solid too, and I'm quite tempted!

  17. cybernetpunk

    So a bit of advice please. Is this really any good for development/coding or is the form factor (of all tablets) just a no go? Should I stump up a bit more and get a cheap £200ish laptop?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I purchased an 7 inch tablet quad core Ainol Numy3G AX1 last year from a company called Ebellking.

    2 sim slots plus sd card slot, hdmi and usb ports gps enabled for just £84.

    Its very very good,Ive just returned from a trip to Belgium where I used it as a very accurate sat nav.

    I run it through a spare 21" monitor via the HDMI port to watch netflix etc with amazing clarity and the sound via the monitor speakers is good too, yet Ive never seen a mention of this make in reviews,is that because you only review samples sent to you ?

    During the time Ive had it Ive also purchased and sold on a Sony Xperia tablet, a Motorola Xoom a blackberry playbook and an HP tablet,all found wanting .

    The Numy is here to stay

    And no,Ive no tie with the company,Im just happy with my purchase.

  19. Michael Habel Silver badge

    One thing bugs me about Intel Atom Chips living in a ARM World....

    That of App comparability? The Numbers such as they are seem impressive.... But, what use is it to me when 99.99999% of everything was written and compiled on ARM, and Atom is simply a low-power x86 part?

  20. thomaskwscott

    Not the first budget quad core...

    I bought an Advent Tegra Note 7 months ago now. Similar benchmarks from quad core (ARM) tegra 4 chipset, similar 1 Gb memory, similar low end screen and similar price (£130). I love it but i have to say that if this had been around back then the decision would have been a lot tougher.

  21. Steven Marsh

    Wow! x86 tab but not a single ...

    ...comment on the battery life? What gives?

    Is El Reg taking money under the table from Intel to keep this quiet?

    I demand a REDO ... NOW!

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