I think you have to use something for some time before you can make a proper assessment; you need to work out how to get the best out of a device, and explore the possibilities before making a final judgement. So this will be more of a first impression look at the Asus ZenPad 10.
The ZenPad is new into the UK market and it has a lot of competition from other established products. Of course, the iPad is five years old, and had set the standard to judge other products. Forget if you are Apple or PC; just look at the device and decide how easily it has set the standard for mobile devices. Over 250 million units sold worldwide in the five years since its launch; indeed in the first year when it was a new concept it sold nearly 20 million. (That is a lot of revenue for Apple just in iPad sales, let alone the iPhone!).
I think this is the problem the Asus faces; the ZenPad has to deliver something that is clearly better than the iPad and in my brief encounter with it I do not think it delivers more when set against the iPad. The interface is just not as smooth and, so to speak, effortless, as the iPad (I should declare that I use an iPad). The keypad however is a great addition, and enable typing to be accomplished in a traditional form and will appeal to touch typists (which I am not!). The new upgrade to iOS9 adds a significantly improved virtual keyboard for the iPad which might make a difference if you are making a choice on the Asus and iPad based of serious typing rather than a more casual use for email and internet browsing.
My first impressions were a bit negative; the charging adaptor is propriety and seems a little fragile, and you need to charge the keyboard and the tablet which is odd – could not the charging manage both from one socket. I left the keyboard switched on with the lid closed and the battery went flat over night, and the tablet went flat over a couple of days without using. This may be because I have not learnt how to get the best out of the Asus, or it may be a potential problem of short battery life. The screen is good, clear colour and sharp but I was looking for more vertical resolution (in the landscape mode) but I guess this is a limitation of the device.
The ZenPad is an Android device, and comes with the usual popular apps for the user to do all the things you might do on your phone, but with a larger screen and attached (or detached) proper keyboard (Mail, eBay, face book, twitter, web browsing, utube, iplayer and Music for starters) and this is on quite a light and user friendly package. There is a nice way to scroll your open apps, and switch or close as appropriate. I wonder if a user might get tired of carrying two device, and simply use the phone, and with the larger offerings from Apple, and strong competition from other Apple devices I suspect Asus is too late to the table with this one. I must add that this is with rather a short time with the ZenPad, and I might warm to it with prolonged use.
The ASUS ZenPad receives an official Dad Network star rating of 3.5 / 5
We’ve also had a look round and the best (cheapest) place to currently get the ZenPad 10 is right here!