While it won't win many -- or any -- performance awards, the Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 (Est. $130) is a champ when it comes to the bottom line. It delivers a fully competent Android experience -- on a par with last year's Google Nexus 7 -- at a hard-to-beat price.
Terrific for its price class. In the past, getting a decent-performing tablet at less than $150 was pretty much impossible. The Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 changes that by delivering surprisingly robust performance. Though it benchmarks slightly slower, the MeMO Pad HD 7 delivers pretty much the same experience as last year's Nexus 7 -- which itself was astounding at its then-$200 selling price -- but at a significantly lower price tag. The display won't keep up with this year's high-res tablets, but at 1,280 by 800 pixels, it's sharp and clear enough for most tasks, including reading and watching videos. The glossy screen can be hard to use in bright lighting or direct sunlight, however. Battery life is okay, but other tablets run longer on a charge.
A nice lineup. While the MeMO Pad HD 7 is often compared to last year's Nexus 7, it actually outdoes that tablet some ways. First and most important, there's a microSD slot so you can add memory as needed. There's also a rear camera. The tablet is available in grey, green, blue and pink.
Useful customizations. Asus ships the MeMO Pad HD 7 with a custom Android skin. Some, like Laptop Magazine, say that it can bog things down a bit, but PCMag.com says that the Asus Android skin is actually one of the better and more useful ones, and allows for some practical multitasking. Build quality doesn't draw a lot of compliments. Lots of reviewers complain about the placement of the volume and power buttons on the rear of the tablet, making them a pain to locate.
The Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 draws a 4-star (Excellent) rating at PCMag.com. "The Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 is one of the most affordable tablets available, and offers solid features and performance for the price," Kim says.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7, Eugene Kim, Aug. 9, 2013
2. Laptop Magazine
Here, the Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 earns Editors' Choice honors. Performance, the display and battery life earn praise. The placement of the power and volume buttons, along with an interface that's "occasionally a little laggy" are the most significant negatives.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 Review, Avram Piltch, July 19, 2013
The Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 is one of the few cheap tablets to earn a recommendation at Trusted Reviews. Performance is decent, the display is strong and the value is excellent, Williams says.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 Review, Andrew Williams, Oct. 23, 2013
This is one of the most in-depth and highly technical reviews we spotted for the Asus MeMO Pad HD 7. Shimpi says that though it's just a touch slower, the tablet is "a 1st gen Nexus 7 in almost every sense, with a $50 lower price tag." That makes it a good option for those on a very strict budget.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 Review, Anand Lal Shimpi, July 29, 2013
The review title pretty much says it all when it comes to the Asus MeMO Pad 7. Though Fingas cautions not to expect miracles, he adds that the MeMO Pad 7 delivers more than some tablets that are considerably more expensive.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 Review: A Budget Tablet That Punches Above Its Weight, Jon Fingas, July 31, 2013
More than 280 owners have weighed in on the Asus MeMO Pad HD 7. Feedback runs strongly to the positive side, with an overall rating of 4.4 stars. A handful report tablets that appear to be defective or that fail prematurely, but many more seem completely or mostly pleased. Value is strongly commended.
Review: Asus MeMO Pad HD 7-Inch 16 GB Tablet, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013