As a part of Asus’ continued commitment to the tablet market today Asus is launching a new tablet for Verizon, called the ZenPad Z8. There’s really not too much needed in the way of introduction here, so we’ll jump into the spec sheet first and see where we can go from there.

  ZenPad Z8 for Verizon
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 650
2x Cortex A72 1.8 GHz
4x Cortex A53 1.44 GHz
RAM 2 GB
NAND 16GB + microSD
Display 7.9” 2048x1536
IPS LCD
Network 2G/3G/4G LTE (UE Category 6, CA)
Dimensions 205 x 136 x 7.62mm, 320g
Camera 8MP Rear Facing
2MP Front Facing
Battery 4680 mAh (18.01 Whr)
OS Android 6.0.1 w/ ZenUI
(At Launch)
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT ?, USB-C, GNSS

At a high level, right away the use of the Snapdragon 650 SoC is a fairly good sign given its 250 USD price point, as in general in devices we’ve seen that the Snapdragon 650 is a solid balance of performance and power for the mid-range, and in the case of this tablet means that Qualcomm’s modem expertise allows for good feature support, performance, and power on LTE.

Other than the basic specs, the ZenPad Z8 offers dual front-facing speakers which is great to see for media consumption, and VisualMaster display tweaks, which we investigated and found to be fairly disappointing in the ZenPad S, so hopefully there is some way to disable these display alterations.

Overall, the ZenPad Z8 could be an interesting tablet at the 250 USD price point, but without further investigation it would be hard to say. Regardless, the ZenPad Z8 in black is available for preorder today and will go on sale June 23 through Verizon only for 249.99 up-front or divided across 24 months on a payment plan.

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  • Diogenes5 - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    App support isn't the greatest even though Google pushed the Nexus 7 hard back in the day. Many apps are basically blown up phone apps. The biggest android tablet-maker also has a strategy where they throw everything against the wall and sees what sticks. Samsung has literally made like 20 different tablets in the last 2 or 3 years. I love my 12.2" Pro Note but sadly it didn't see a successor or updates past a year or so. And even so they don't have good vision on their products. The Tab S2 is inferior in battery life and pixel density to the S1; and the S1 is the better media consumption device with a 16:10 aspect ratio.

    That being said, I'm in the ecosystem for life. Android Tablets are still hugely versatile machines that can do more than an Ipad; you just have to tinker a lot with it to get there because of the huge fragmentation of devices.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    It's still very disappointing there is no 128GB or LTE option for the pixel C. Especially for the price. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    Well I suppose if you do things right, and is not very crazy, fragmentation problem is almost non-existent. Once you out of the comfort zone (eg. use native code), then it will be quite a nightmare.

    I used to do a couple of apps on Android, but right now I only do apps for my own uses (not even publish it to the store). I think I ran into problem once or twice at the time ActionBar was new and no support library provide that. After that it's pretty much a smooth sail. Of cause I don't use cutting edge things anymore....

    Oh well my ex-boss said he ran into Galaxy s7-specific problems. Poor you Samsung ....

    Also People don't like the 'enlarged phone apps' kind of thing. In contrast many developer just refuses to create separated layout for individual screens size for whatever reason I wish I can understand. I think if the app still looks good, and usable, then it's still a good tablet. If the app has 60% of waste space, then they should re-layout the app quite a bit. My app mostly have two layouts for small and large screens (regardless of resolution), and in worse case I'd have orientation-specific layout. That should cover most of the use-case out there.

    PS. Android version of Youtube does not play well with keyboard/remote style of input. It's almost unusable on settop-box devices. My conspiracy theory says Google wants us to buy Android TV instead ...
    Reply
  • HideOut - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    It has no where near all the apps. Many arn't usable on the tabs, and others are usable but even instagram can't rotate to landscape even now. I hate my samsung 10.1". Was a waste of money. Reply
  • peterfares - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    The hate is because tablets are basically useless. If you are on the couch or in a meeting, why not just use a laptop? With a larger screen, a keyboard that you can type quickly and comfortably on, and a mouse to easily select small items?

    Tablets are pretty useless overall. I think they have more use cases in commercial applications such as POS terminals.
    Reply
  • icrf - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    I have a laptop and prefer to use a tablet the vast majority of the time. The tablet sleeps and wakes instantly and has a vastly superior battery life with much easier recharging since the plug is ubiquitous.

    If I want to get work done, do something the tablet can't do or can't do well, I have a desktop, which is far superior to the laptop when it comes doing what I want. The laptop is the device I almost never use. I suppose one could spend enough money on one to be as fast as a decent desktop and it might work, but I want a real keyboard, real mouse, usefully sized display. I can hook all that up to my laptop, but then what's the point?

    I guess the spectrum goes phone -> tablet -> laptop -> desktop, and in that range, tablet and desktop see the most use for me. The phone I keep around because the portability is unmatched. The laptop, I honestly wouldn't have spent money on, but it's a hand-me-down, so I have it in the stack. It's used mostly for travel when I need more than tablet power, which the desktop isn't suitable for. That could be connecting to the work VPN to write some code from a hotel, or troubleshoot a neighbor's router. It just keeps me from borrowing a device, which is what I did prior to having the laptop.
    Reply
  • fanofanand - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    I think you misunderstand, I am not criticizing Android tablets, I am criticizing LTE Android Tablets. Reply
  • icrf - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    I did misunderstand the LTE part, and probably mostly agree with you with that considered. Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Is this even on-contract? This is a well-priced tablet if it's unlocked and no-contract. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    That seems to be the real price. I'm surprised too because AT usually puts only the contract price to help the carriers pretend phones don't have ludicrous $700 pricing.

    Turning over a new leaf AT?
    Reply

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