ASUS waited until after CES 2013 to take the wraps off its new budget 7-inch tablet. The new ASUS MeMO Pad looks a lot like the ASUS Google Nexus 7 but there have been a few of corners cut for the sake of affordability. The suggested retail price is US$149, that’s the same as the Acer Iconia B1 we looked at on Friday; the specs are pretty similar to that tablet too.
Here are the MeMO Pad specs, direct from ASUS:
Looking through the table above there are obvious similarities and differences to the Nexus 7. ASUS seems to have saved money on the CPU; the MeMO uses a VIA WM8950 (1GHz) / Mali-400 instead of a 1.3 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU. The screen isn’t as good; the resolution is lower and it’s not an IPS panel. The cheapest ASUS MeMO comes with 8GB storage whereas the $199 (£159 in UK) Nexus 7 has 16GB. Also the MeMO Pad lacks Bluetooth, is a little bit heavier and has a couple of hours less battery life.
It’s not all bad news though - the ASUS MeMO Pad has its positives. Of course there’s the price; the $149 should equate to £99 in the UK (like the Acer Iconia B1). The MeMO hasn’t cut the RAM, it still packs a decent 1GB to give Android room to breathe. ASUS has seen fit to provide a microSD card slot so the 8GB storage isn’t a brick wall. Another “advantage” over the Nexus 7 is the availability of more colours including cherry pink...
There is an important question concerning the performance of the VIA WM8950 (1GHz Cortex-A9) SoC equipped MeMO. If ASUS has got that balance right it may have trumped Acer’s effort at the same price target.
ASUS say that the MeMO Pad “will be available starting this January in selected markets”.