ASUS ZenPad 3 review by

The new ASUS ZenPad 3 looks like a normal Android tablet but it is filled with top-spec hardware at a mid-range price. Check this out: it supports voice calls, 300 Mbps LTE mobile data, 2048 x 1536 2K IPS display, dual band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz for fast wireless network, runs on 6-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm S650 with 4GB RAM and Adreno 510 GPU. It has built-in 32GB storage with micro SD slot to expand to 128GB, and battery capacity of 4680 mAh.

ASUS ZenPad 3 review by

ASUS has thrown in plenty of tech to make the ZenPad 3 a compelling tablet for multimedia and gaming enjoyment. VisualMaster, Tru2Life+, TruVivid, intelligent contrast, sharpness optimisation, DTS Headphone:X are some of the jargon. The front-facing stereo speakers certainly make the sounds appear more stereo and direct. The audio processor supports Hi-Res audio formats, making the ZenPad 3 a worthy tablet for audio lovers.

Tech specs aside, here are some reasons why I enjoy using the ZenPad 3 for the past weeks.

Slim and Light

The Zenpad 3 is 320 grams but feels really slim and lightweight. It is actually smaller and thinner than an A5 paper notebook. Instead of using my smartphone or carrying a heavy ultrabook, I compose my blogs on the ZenPad 3 using a Bluetooth mini keyboard.

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Rugged Matt Back

Metal backs are sexy but honestly not practical and hard to maintain. I am a sucker for devices that are easy to maintain. The Samsung Galaxy series feature front and back glass surfaces with aluminium frames, which means one better not drop it, not even once.

ASUS ZenPad 3 review by

The ZenPad 3 rear is leather-patterned with thin silicone coating to give that leathery texture. The side frames are made of plastic with bronze gloss coating. The ZenPad 3 stays on surfaces easily without slipping and less prone to hairline damages, making it fuss-free to handle.

Sharp Text for Reading

This 8-inch tablet has a 2K resolution, which means text appear sharper when reading e-magazines with small columns.

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Front-facing Speakers

Speakers that face the front should be a de-facto design, just like all smartphones come with front camera. The ZenPad 3 speakers face the front so you do not have to put your ears against the speakers at the back of the device and look silly.

ASUS ZenPad 3 review by

As mentioned, the ZenPad 3 supports Hi-Res Audio, which includes 5.1-channel FLAC and DSD. If you don’t sound impressed, the latest Sony NW-A30 series digital audio player does not support 5.1-channel FLAC. Additionally, the DTS Headphone:X audio format creates a more hyped-up audio experience when watching movies, though audiophiles might not be pleased with the lack of authenticity. So overall, you can say that the ZenPad 3 is a better audio player.

Full Phone Functions

Consumers are making fewer phone calls. How about using a tablet instead as your main communication device? Besides, you probably use a wireless Bluetooth headset for voice calls. So having a compact tablet as a phone is not that far-fetched. Get a multiSIM for your phone and the ZenPad 3 so that you can easily make and receive calls in multiple devices.

The charging port is the new USB Type-C, which might irk many consumers. For me, since I already have a handful of USB Type-C devices, I bought a cheap USB adapter so that I can charge using existing micro USB cables. The ZenPad 3 requires about 3 hours to achieve full charge with a 2A adapter, more if your charger has a lower current.

ASUS ZenPad 3 review by


The ZenPad 3 8.0 Z581KL retails for S$499 in Singapore. It is a premium Android tablet with full phone functions, 2K IPS display, Hi-Res audio chip, 6-core processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage with external mSD slot, dual-band Wi-Fi, 300Mbps LTE (single SIM). It offers quality content for consumption, watching movies with surround sound, listening to music with Hi-Res audio, reading e-magazines in high resolution. And because it is lightweight, you can easily hold it at lengths without feeling strain.

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