Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 07:21 PM EDT

Skip The iPad Mini 3 – Grab An Asus ZenPad S 8 Instead

Jul 12, 2015 11:08 PM EDT

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“Luxury on your terms.”

This is the tagline that Asus used for its new tablet offering, the ZenPad 8.

At 6.9mm in thickness, it’s 0.6mm thinner than the iPad Mini 3, and 14 grams lighter at 317g. With the dimensions 203.2 x 134.5 x 6.9 mm versus the iPad Mini’s 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm, the thinner and lighter Asus ZenPad S 8 promises to bite into Apple’s tablet sales, and with a vengeance.

The entry-level Asus ZenPad S 8 Z580C comes in at $199, while the higher-end Z580CA-C1 will be priced at $299. Still a far cry from the iPad Mini’s lowest-priced model, which has a price tag of $399.

At $199, the Android 5.0 Lollipop tablet is powered by a Quad-Core Intel Atom Z3530, boosted by 2GB of RAM. This entry-level offering is powerful enough, that Liliputing’s Mike Cane observes that Asus may well have “embarrassed” Samsung by creating a “far better” Android Tablet than the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 at a lower price.” The bang for the buck may well be this model’s selling point.

If you love taking pictures with your tablet, you’ll get 5MP from the main camera, as well as 2MP from the front camera – making for clear, well-defined photos and selfies. And if you want to view or edit your photos, its IMG PowerVR Series 6 - G6430 graphics chip, as well as its 1536 x 2048 pixel (~320 ppi pixel density) IPS panel will render your pictures with delightful clarity.

If you prefer a more souped-up version, however, the Asus ZenPad S8 Z580CA-C1 may be more your speed at $299: It’s powered by the Intel Atom Z3580 chipset, which also powers the Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML, the Zenfone Zoom ZX550, and the Memo Pad 8 ME581CL. It’s also boosted by 4GB of RAM, which promises to let you power through multitasking and resource-hog games. And at 64GB of storage space, you’ll practically have storage for all your favorite games—and more.

The Asus ZenPad S8 Z580CA-C1 also gets a megapixel boost on its cameras, with 8MP on the main camera, and 5MP on the front camera. How much clarity and definition do you want on your selfies?

Each Asus ZenPad S 8 will give you 8 hours of multimedia usage with its 15.2Wh (an estimated 3040 mAH) Lithium polymer Battery, giving you more than enough time to wallow in Facebook, YouTube videos, or even hours of games.

A user won’t need to worry about fingerprint marks dirtying their ZenPad S 8’s screen: It has an oleophobic coating, ensuring that the tablet’s display will be mark-free. So tap away at its 10-point multitouch panel.

Both entry-level and premium models will also work with the “Z Stylus,” which may come in handy for handwriting recognition, or for using the tablet to edit graphics. Finer aspects of an image will be taken care of, using this technology.

If you had plans to get an iPad Mini but couldn’t part with the Android ecosystem, this is a rather powerful alternative. Put your $200 towards stocks, mutual funds, or a Roth IRA account instead, and get the Android ZenPad S 8. Indeed, it’s luxury on YOUR terms.

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