ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Tablet Review – ME176C

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ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176C Tablet – Intel Bay Trail CPU w/ Android 4.4

ASUS MeMO Pad 7

Budget friendly Android tablets are a dime a dozen these days, but they all aren’t created equally and there are some very bad tablets out there. When you get into the sub $150 tablet market you need to be very careful with what tablet you go with as companies start cutting costs by reducing the hardware specifications and that can lead to subpar performance and an overall bad user experience. If you’ve ever purchased an inexpensive tablet thinking that they were all the same, you usually find out in under three minutes that you screwed up and will be running to return it. ASUS, the company behind the hardware of the Google Nexus 7, is still charging ahead in the tablet market and recently released the Memo Pad 7 for $149 (around £129 or AU$170). The ASUS Memo Pad 7 ME176C is similar to the original Nexus 7, but the housing is a tad bit larger and the hardware inside is very different. The ASUS Memo Pad 7 is powered by an Intel Bay Trail Atom processor and this is the very first Android tablet that we have seen powered by Intel in the United States.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME176C) Specifications:

  • Design
    • 7″ HD IPS Display (1280×800), 213PPI
    • Virtual QWERTY Keyboard with SWYPE technology
  • Dimensions
    • Dimensions: 113.7 x 189.3 x 9.6 mm (WxDxH)
    • Weight: 295 grams
  • Technology
    • Technology formats: 4G LTE (B13)
  • Operating System
    • Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • Memory / Processor
    • Memory: 16GB internal eMMC (formatted capacity is less) / 1GB RAM
    • Supports up to 32GB microSD card
  • Processor
    • Processor: Intel Atom Z3745 Quad-Core up to 1.86GHz
  • Battery
    • Standard Battery: 3,910 mAh
    • Usage Time: up to 9 hours/Standby: up to  days
  • Camera
    • 2MP Front Camera
    • 5MP Rear Camera with Auto Focus (1080P Video Recording)

The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 comes in black, yellow, red, blue or white. ASUS is clearly trying to appeal to everyone with the MeMO Pad 7 and companies have learned that people like particular colors!  The MeMO Pad 7 is also just 9.6mm thick and weighs just 295 grams, so it isn’t bulky, and it fits nicely in an average sized hand and won’t be taking up much room in your purse, hand bag or backpack.

 

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Inside the retail packaging the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 comes in a protective sleeve that highlights all the main features of the tablet. For starters, the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 features an IPS display with a 1280×800 screen resolution. Processing tasks are handled by the Intel Atom Z3745 64-bit quad-core SoC running with a base clock of 1.33GHz and able to hit 1.86GHz when it Turbo mode. The processor is paired with 1GB of memory (RAM) and 16GB of on-board storage.It should be noted that Intel has moved away from PowerVR graphics on Bay Trail and over to their own Intel HD Graphics solution. This actually means that the graphics performance improves and that Bay Trail tablets should be up to the task when it comes to gaming or GPGPU workloads.

baytrail-facts

We’ll talk about some of the other key features of this tablet in the more detailed images below.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7

 

 

The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176C comes with the wall power adapter and a USB charging cable, so everything you need to use the tablet is included. Tablets don’t really need a huge accessory kit, so this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Display

The screen on the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 tablet measures 7-inches and features a HD IPS display with a 1280×800 resolution. For more than obvious reasons, the MeMO Pad 7 tablet doesn’t have an actual keyboard, for that there is a Virtual QWERTY Keyboard with SWYPE technology. The front facing 2MP camera is located along the top bezel and can be seen in the image above. It isn’t centered, but that doesn’t really matter on a handheld device as you can always just twist it.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Speaker

The speaker on the MeMO Pad 7 is located along the bottom edge of the back of the tablet.  It does a fairly decent job for videos and the music that we listened to on the tablet. The back of the tablet features a smooth plastic back that has just a hint of softness.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Display USB Power Port

Along the top edge of the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 you’ll find the the micro-USB port for charging and syncing, the 3.5mm audio jack and finally the microphone hole that is is located off to the side. Having the USB charging port on top of the tablet may not be common, but you get used to it rather quickly.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Power Button

On the right side of the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 you’ll find the volume rocker button up top and then below that the power button. This is a very odd configuration and it takes some getting used to. The original Nexus 7 and Gen 2 Nexus 7 both had the power button on the top and the volume button below that. We aren’t sure why ASUS changed the positioning, but they did. Also on the back of the tablet is the 5MP rear facing camera. There is no camera flash, but keep in mind this is a sub $149 tablet and aimed to be price competitive.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 MicroSD Slot

On the left side of the ASUS MeMo Pad 7 you’ll find the microSD memory card slot. The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 comes with 16GB of internal storage, but the preloaded apps and OS use up 5GB of storage space. That leaves you with right about 11GB of usable storage space. If you wanted to expand the devices storage you can pop in up to a 32GB microSD card for a grand total of up to 48GB of storage space.

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 Display

Now that we have a pretty good overview of the tablet features we can take a closer look at the software on it and then move along to benchmarking!

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  • Mr_Ed987

    what about the Dell Venue 7? they are around 90 bucks on AMZN

  • roger

    I bought one for Xmas 2013. It froze and I got another one in March 2014. That one froze last week – August 2014. Don’t waste your time and money!

    • anon

      Asus MeMO Pad 7 (me176C) came out in July 2014… Exactly how did you buy it by December 2013???

    • Andy

      Obviously either a different model or an earlier version.

    • Nuno

      You should have bought the me170 previous version

  • Somethingwicked

    I’m looking for a tablet for my 82 year old mother. She describes herself as “computer hostile”, but her failing hearing and the fact that all her cousins (also her age) are whizzes on computers and are on Facebook has her admitting she’s willing to be “dragged kicking and screaming” into the age of technology. Would this be a good, easily understood first-time user tablet? She really won’t need more than Facebook access and email. Thanks for any input.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I’ve found people over 70 have a hard time getting used to tablets, but it is possible and some quickly get used to them. I handed a tablet to my 90+ year old grandfather and he was playing card games, angry bird and using the internet fairly quickly. I would certainly recommend a good quality tablet like this over an inexpensive one as I want to pull my hair out on some of the crappy tablets out there that are under $119.

      • Somethingwicked

        Thanks, Nathan! I appreciate hearing about your grandfather :) The women in my family usually live to be well over 90 so she’s probably got a few good years left. I’d like her to feel connected to the family even if her hearing deteriorates further. Colleen

  • T.

    Will there be a 2014 version of Nexus 7?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      One hasn’t been formally announced or leaked out, so I wouldn’t expect one.