As expected, Asus is introducing a new line of Android tablets under the ZenPad name. They’ll be available with 7, 8, or 10.1 inch displays, but Asus is only really providing details about two 8 inch models right now.
The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 is a WiFi-only model with an Intel Atom Z3580 Moorefield processor and premium specs including a high-resolution display and up to 4GB of RAM.
Like the company’s ZenBook laptops, these new models are positioned as premium devices… but I think Asus is using the Zen name pretty liberally these days, since the Asus ZenWatch and ZenFone aren’t exactly high-end devices.
Likewise, the ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL or Z380C) certainly seems like an entry level device: It has a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, supports 1GB or 2GB of RAM and 8GB or 16GB of storage. It has a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera.
The ZenPad S 8.0, on the other hand, has a 2048 x 1536 pixel IPS display, supports 16GB to 64GB of storage, and the ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA features a USB Type-C port (there’s also a Z580C model that has a micro USB port and 2GB of RAM).
The ZenPad S 8.0 is available with up to an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera.
Both tablets features 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 15.2 Wh batteries, and Android 5.0 software with the Asus ZenUI interface.
Asus hasn’t announced the price or release date for either tablet yet, but given that the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 basically has the specs of a $299 ZenFone 2 (but with a bigger, higher-resolution display, lower-resolution rear camera, and lack of 802.11ac WiFi), there’s every reason to think that even the higher-priced of the new tablets will be reasonably affordable.
Accessories (Z Stylus, Audio and Battery covers)
Asus also plans to offer an optional Z Stylus, which is a digital pen that allows you to write or draw on the screen with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Want better sound from your tablet? You can also remove the back cover of the ZenPad 8 tablets and replace them with alternate covers that change the look of the tablet thanks to different colors, textures, or materials… or which add functionality to the tablet.
For instance there’s an optional Audio Cover that adds 6 speakers 5.1 channel audio tot he tablet. There’s also a Power Case that has a built-in battery, extending your run time to up to 15 hours.
Other ZenPad tablets
Asus also plans to offer several 7 inch models and a 10 inch version which will be available with an optional keyboard.