Review: ASUS MeMO Pad 7 is a decent tablet…for children

asus memo pad 7 yellow unboxed

Today’s version of parenting? Shutting your crying kid up with a tablet and a library of mobile game apps.

Whether you agree with this sort of parenting style or not, you have to admit that it’s an effective method. I’ve seen it employed from people I’m friends with to parents walking around Disneyland with their gigantic strollers. And if you are such a parent, then you will probably enjoy the ASUS MeMO Pad 7. It’s small, it’s inexpensive, and it simply works.

However, if you are a working, productive adult who demands tools to fit their busy lifestyle, then this tablet isn’t for you.

Now, before I get deep into the review, let me clarify a point: The tablet doesn’t pretend to be anything more than just that–a tablet. Coming in a variety of color choices, minimal packaging and with a super-light user guide, ASUS knows that being pretentious isn’t going to do this tablet any good. And it is precisely why the device is priced at $129, one of the lower prices you’ll find online for any tablet (especially one produced by a well-known brand.)

asus memo pad 7 up viewForm and style

Coming in at 7 inches and weighing less than a pound, the tablet is simple to hold with minimal fatigue. The curved edges with a smooth backing is a nice touch, although the protruding camera is a bit unsightly.

I received the yellow tablet for review, and the color didn’t fade over three weeks. Granted, I’m not using it in the sun all that often, but there is no noticeable sign of wear, especially from the coloring. By the way, the yellow is fun, gorgeous and easy on the eye.

Aside from the protruding camera on the back, my only real complaint is how easy it is to confuse the volume and power buttons on the side. Looking at it, the buttons are obviously marked, but as I’m watching videos and want to turn down the volume, I find that I sometimes accidentally click the power button.

Last note on appearance: the screen gets dirty quickly. While I did mention beforehand that this is a good tablet for children, you may find yourself cleaning up the screen often. However, the screen is easy to clean, and I haven’t found any scratch marks even after using the worst towel or napkin to clean it with (I don’t recommend doing that, of course.)

asus memo pad 7 yellow backside with volume buttonFunction and Sound

This is where it gets disappointing. Running with an Intel Atom 1.33 GHz processor and with only 1 GB DDR3 of memory, it’s definitely not the Speedy Gonzales of tablets. Of course, if you’re a six-year-old child, you’re not so concerned about how efficiently you can switch between apps, so this may be a moot point.

But let’s say you are a college student taking notes. Don’t expect to get through lecture switching between the notes app, Chrome and Facebook with ease on this. Everything re-loads so slowly, that I almost felt like I was back in the dial-up days (and I was connected to really fast WiFi.)

The ASUS pad runs the most current Android system, but it doesn’t really feel like it. It is slow, and a lot of apps I’ve used so far crashed consistently. I’ve reserved this tablet mainly for social media, fantasy football, mobile games and TV; Facebook, myVEGAS (don’t ask), and Hulu have all crashed on me multiple times.

Speaking of TV, if you’re expecting to use this tablet for catching up on your shows, get some headphones. The built-in speaker is subpar; I find myself subconsciously cupping the side with my palm where the speakers are to create a make-shift echo chamber just so I can hear the videos.

Here’s a solid scenario: You’re traveling, and not big on doing work while up in the air. You’ve loaded a few movies onto the tablet, and maybe more on your microSD card (the slot supports microSD, microSDHC and microSDCX formats). You plug in your headphones and enjoy a few digital movies while sipping on overpriced liquor in a plastic cup, squished between the fat guy next to you and the lady who reclines way too far back, and a child behind you who’s kicking the chair like a little brat with a mother who clearly gives no f*cks at all about life. (Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.)

asus memo pad 7 in hand

The Camera

It’s always a topic of conversation, comparing devices with the best built-in camera and all. Well, I’m here to tell you now, this is not the best. It doesn’t try to sell the idea that this tablet is for photo-enthusiasts, though its slew of different camera functions might beg to differ.

The rear sports a 2MP camera while the front is a measly 0.3MP. I find it quite unfortunate that there aren’t better quality cameras because there are actually some really cool camera features in the tablet, like

  • Time Rewind (where the camera saves a few frames before and after you click the shutter, allowing you to choose the best one)
  • Smart Remove (the camera takes several photos and will find whatever objects were in motion and remove them)
  • and GIF animation.

Sadly, most of the features disappear when you use the front camera. And the features not accessible I feel are the ones you’d want to most, like Selfie (you select number of faces, camera detects, and will shoot when everyone is smiling and looking). Don’t you normally take selfies with the front camera?

Time Rewind, Smart Remove, Selfie and All Smiles are all unavailable with the front camera.

Luckily, the Beautification feature is still available, so you can continue to fool the world into thinking you’re some model with clear skin and a skinny neck. (Listen, you’re beautiful, no matter what app you think you need to use! Hashtag empowerment.)

Here’s a side by side comparison to the camera on the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 to the camera on the iPhone 4s. No pictures were edited and no filter was used.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (actually I lied about the “filter:” The HDR mode on this was on when I took it. But, you get the idea):

my stupid face with the asus memo pad 7 camera

iPhone 4s:

my stupid face with an iphone 4s camera outside

Don’t mind that I look confused. I just hate talking selfies, but I’ll do it for a review. 😉

Now in low-light conditions, taken at a local Starbucks in the evening.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7:

starbucks in the evening with asus memo pad 7 camera

iPhone 4s:

starbucks in the evening with the iphone 4s

There are some obvious differences between the two cameras. Again, if you’re not a photo-enthusiast, then it may not pose much of an issue.

Cool feature: Party Link, where you can connect with multiple devices and automatically share photos. I feel like this is another nude leak waiting to happen, so not sure if it’s actually that cool.

General Perception

If you’re unsure you even need a tablet, this is a good device to test out the waters before investing in something more powerful. $129 is not exactly throw-away money, but you get a decent tablet that is versatile and can last you a while (at least until wearables become a thing.)

I’ve gathered up a few scenarios that may benefit (or not) from owning the ASUS MeMO Pad 7:

  • Entertaining children in the backseat of a car (yes)
  • Entertaining your spoiled, bratty, millennial nephew who only visits with family once a year (no)
  • Watching a few shows on a tight airplane ride (yes)
  • Watching [something erotic] while lying in bed (no) — the one-handed holding over-heard is uncomfortable… I would assume, of course.
  • Running errands around town with the built-in notes app and Evernote (yes)
  • Running (no) — though, funny enough, the tablet actually fit into the front pocket of one of my jeans. Still, wouldn’t recommend running with it.

Again, ASUS is not pulling the wool over your head on this, so you’re getting a device that you expect to work a certain way. You’re getting a low-end device from a popular manufacturer for only $129. If you can find a scenario where this tablet may come in handy, then go for it.

If anything, it would make a good Christmas present for that mom with a child who never seems to shut up.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

 

 

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Rocky Vy
Rocky Vy 101 posts

<a href="http://www.artofonline.com">Digital marketing consultant</a> by trade, a freelance writer by passion. Also, anything that involves innovative tech, fashion, entrepreneurialism, Pantone 021C and pandas are cool, too. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/rockyvy">@rockyvy</a>.