ASUS Memo Pad HD 7 Hands-On: $149 Tablet Could Be Nexus 7 Killer

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Up until now, if you wanted a sub-$200 tablet, you had a few mediocre choices. You could buy a first-gen Kindle Fire for $159 and get an OS that isn’t real Android or you could take your chances with a low-quality device with a low-res screen that’s probably from a no-name brand. Enter ASUS’s Memo Pad HD 7, which costs just $149 and doesn’t skimp on specs, offering a colorful 1280 x 800 screen, a quad-core MediaTek processor, a microSD expansion slot and both front and rear-facing cameras. 

We had a chance to spend a few moments with the Memo Pad HD7 and were taken with its vibrant screen, light weight chassis and host of ASUS apps and improvements to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The tablet comes in a series of fashion colors including white, black, hot pink and lime green. We preferred the tastefulness of the black back but some will prefer the more exciting pastels. The white is too bland and too reminiscent of competitive products for our taste.

ASUS Memo Pad HD 7 Back

We were impressed with just how light the Memo Pad HD 7 felt in our hand and, at just .66 pounds, the Memo Pad HD 7 is even lighter than the .75-pound Nexus 7. In addition to its lighter weight, the new ASUS tablet has several advantages over Google’s similarly-sized slate as the Nexus 7 does not include a microSD card slot or rear-facing camera. 

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We didn’t have a Nexus 7 with us to compare side-by-side with the Memo Pad HD 7, but the 1280 x 800 screen on the new tablet seemed more vibrant than the Nexus’s. An app called ASUS Splendid gives you fine control over the color temperature and saturation, something we haven’t seen on any Android or Windows tablet to date.

ASUS Memo Pad HD 7

In addition to ASUS Splendid, the Memo Pad HD 7 comes with ASUS’s standard suite of Android apps including App Locker, which password protects certain apps, App Backup for back up and Super Note Light for note taking. The unit on display also had an app called ASUS Studio which helps you organize and edit your pictures.

Though the device runs a fairly pure version of Android 4.2, ASUS has added its usual light touches to the UI, including a notification drawer with some controls in it and slightly different home, back and menu buttons on the bottom of the screen. Users hoping for stock Android will still want Google’s Nexus 7.

For just $149 for the 16GB version, the Memo Pad HD 7 is poised to become the best budget tablet on the market. ASUS also plans to offer a $129 version with 8GB of storage in developing countries. We look forward to testing the Memo Pad HD 7 in the near future and seeing how it performs compared to the competition.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Aston Says:

    The new Novo 8 Discovery Android tablet by Ainol Electronics also launches this week, and is priced at $169 at a site called T abletSprint – and this reseller offers some of the newest and most competitively priced Android tablets available.

    The Novo 8 Discovery compares in size to the current 8″ iPad mini, providing a compact size, yet has 67% more screen space than a traditional 7 inch tablet — and this new model matches most features of the upcoming Acer Iconia A1 but at a better price, and with a more powerful battery (5000 mAh) as well as twice the Memory. It also offers Bluetooth to connect to printers and headsets which is a feature not offered on the Asus MemoPad.

    The Novo 8 Discovery features a Quad Core processor, a MicroSD slot, WiFi, and is also one of the first Android tablets to offer Miracast HD Wireless capability, similar to Apple’s AirPlay system to provide wireless connection to any HDTV with high resolution 1080p HD — ideal for streaming movies (including NetFlix), and to play 3G games on a Big Screen TV using the tablet as a motion control device, as well as to display any other tablet and web content in HD… essentially turning an HDTV into a multimedia computer console —

    T abletSprint also offers the new CloudNetGo Miracast adapter ($45) which became available last week, which is less than half the price of most other Miracast HD Wireless systems on the market, which are priced around $100.

  2. Amir Says:

    Already using Asus Memopad me172v. Cant wait for this one.

  3. Mike Says:

    Aston – the Asus 7 HD does indeed have Bluetooth, according to its published specs.

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