ASUS $149 7-inch MeMO Pad Headed to the US, Powered by VIA SoC & Android 4.1by Anand Lal Shimpi on January 13, 2013 9:03 PM EST
Just after we got back from CES, ASUS wrote to tell us that a cost reduced version of the 7-inch MeMO Pad was coming to the US. Starting at $149 for an 8GB model, the MeMO Pad features a VIA WM8950 SoC. We haven't seen the VIA name in a while but inside the SoC is a single ARM Cortex A9 CPU running at up to 1GHz and an ARM Mali-400 of unknown core configuration. The total DRAM size hasn't gone down compared to the Nexus 7, but display resolution has (1024 x 600 vs. 1280 x 800). ASUS is promising up to 140-degree max viewing angle and 350 nits max brightness for the MeMO Pad's 7-inch display.
Unlike the Nexus 7, the MeMO Pad does come with a microSD card slot to expand storage beyond its default 8/16GB configuration. The chassis looks very similar to the Nexus 7, but it is slightly thicker and does weigh a little more as well. Battery capacity hasn't been touched though. There's a 1MP front facing camera with f/2.0 lens. The MeMO Pad will ship with Android 4.1. ASUS was quick to point out that the device will ship with Google's Play Store and the US version will support Hulu Plus, Netflix and HBO Go.
|Tablet Specification Comparison|
|Apple iPad mini||ASUS MeMO Pad (ME172V)||Google Nexus 7|
|Dimensions||200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm||196.2 x 119.2 x 11.2mm||198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm|
|Display||7.85-inch 1024 x 768 IPS||7-inch 1024 x 600||7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS|
|Weight||308g (WiFi)||370g||340g (WiFi)|
|Processor||1GHz Apple A5 (2 x Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX543MP2)||
VIA WM8950 (1GHz Cortex A9 + Mali-400)
1.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30L - 4 x Cortex A9)
|Connectivity||WiFi , Optional 4G LTE||WiFi||WiFi, Optional 3G|
|Storage||16GB—64GB||8GB, 16GB + microSD slot||16GB, 32GB|
The cost reduction in the bill of materials translates to $50 savings in retail; the MeMO Pad will start at $149 compared to $199 for the Nexus 7. While I bet the latter will still be the 7-inch Android tablet of choice for discerning consumers, the MeMO Pad will be ASUS' attempt to gain a foothold in the ultra competitive, low cost tablet market. Availability is expected in the US starting in April.