Asus ZenPad Z8 is an affordable Android tablet on Verizon

If you think 7" tablets are just a tad too small and you'd like something a little bigger with a very sharp screen, Asus has just the thing for you. Meet the ZenPad Z8 and all of its 8 inches of goodness.

The 7.9", 2048×1536 IPS screen in the ZenPad Z8 exactly matches the display specs of the iPad mini 4. For horsepower, the ZenPad Z8 pairs 2GB of RAM with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 SoC. That part contains an Adreno 510 GPU and a total of six CPU cores—two Cortex A72s and four Cortex A53s. Software duties are handled by Android 6.0.1 with Asus' ZenUI overlaid on top.

Base storage on the Z8 is only 16GB, but unlike the fine folks at Cupertino, Asus actually think microSD card slots are cool. The ZenPad Z8 has such a slot, and it can take in cards with capacities as large as 128GB. There are a few other niceties on offer, too. The Z8's two speakers are front-facing (instead of the usual side or bottom placement), while a reversible USB Type-C connector should make charging and data transfer just a tad less annoying than usual.

Wireless connectivity on tap includes 4G comms, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. According to Asus, the 4680-mAh battery in the Z8 is good for 13 hours of usage. The tablet is quite slim, too, at only 7.6 mm thick. There's a tidbit of bad news, however. For now, the ZenPad Z8 is a Verizon exclusive. Interested buyers can pre-order it at Verizon's online shop for $250, or $150 with a 2-year contract. Come June 23, the Z8 will be available online and in Verizon retail locations.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    My experience with both my Google Nexus 7 2013 (made by Asus) and my Zenfone 6 is their structural rigidity seems to be quite fragile. My Nexus had a rear panel that feels like Tupperware™ and survived only a year, and my Zenfone 6 started having memory card disconnection issues just 8 months in. Some reviews of the Zenfone also noted the structural weakness which I thought wouldn’t be a problem with proper care. I don’t throw them around or put them in my pockets, and in fact my Samsung tablets get far more physical abuse. My experience with Sony was also very different in terms of the Xperia’s durability. Asus, please pay attention. Your devices need to be quite a bit more Lifeproof.

    • Rand
    • 4 years ago

    Not a fan of 4:3 aspect ratio on tablets. Tablets are at their best as media consumption devices imo, and 4:3 sucks for basically all forms of media.

      • NeelyCam
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]4:3 sucks[/quote<] It is against the Tech Report forum rules to make this statement. I'll let this one slide with just a warning, but next time I may have to use the banhammer.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        You work for TR already? What’s your pen name around here?

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    When are we going to get an updated Nexus 7? 🙁 I don’t trust anyone who isn’t Google to update their software.

      • designerfx
      • 4 years ago

      Supposedly later this year, it was supposed to come out at the big release but didn’t. I think 3q was speculated, “late summer”

    • Peter.Parker
    • 4 years ago

    It seems the specs are similar to the 1 yr old Zenpad 8 s 580C.
    You can haz it for much less, if you could live sans 4G and tolerate the Lolipop flavor of Android.
    US Amazon link here :
    [url<]https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-ZenPad-Z580C-B1-BK-32-Tablet/dp/B011TVF5QC[/url<] CAN Amazon link here: [url<]https://www.amazon.ca/ASUS-ZenPad-Z580C-B1-BK-32-Tablet/dp/B011TVF5QC[/url<] However, there are rumors that this old tablet will not get upgraded to Android 6.1 by Asus.

      • crsh1976
      • 4 years ago

      I own a Zenpad S 8.0, it’s great little tablet given the price; as long as you accept the mediocre Intel chip and the fact that it will likely forever be stuck with Android 5.0, for general purpose stuff it’s good enough when you can get it on sale for $150-170.

        • NeelyCam
        • 4 years ago

        Is the Intel chip really that mediocre? [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/9555/the-asus-zenpad-s-z580ca-review/3<]Anandtech[/url<] benchmarked Zenpad 580CA (with Z3580 instead of Z3530, though), and in many benchies it wasn't too far from iPad Air 2 and Google Nexus 9

          • boing
          • 4 years ago

          The benchmark look good. The technical specifications look good. The white papers look good. The various articles describing how efficiently Android runs on Atom x86 chips look good…

          My own IRL experience of the Atom-equipped ASUS Zenpad/MemoPads is the total opposite of all that. Slow, the batteries drain quickly and they suffer a significant lag during usage.

          I had to wait a long time before someone found a way to root them. I did so, hoping that the removal of all the bloated ASUS-apps that are otherwise unremovable would speed the damn tablet up. It didn’t.

          (my experiences are with the Z380, ME370/380 and ME581 running Android 4.x and 5.1, so please ignore this if the 580C by some miracle is heads and shoulders above the older siblings)

    • rechicero
    • 4 years ago

    I guess I’m a weird guy. In a world of 5,5″ phones, don’t see the point of sub 10 tablets. For me the ideal mix is 4,5″-5″ phone for using as a phone and casual using on the go and 9,7″ tablet for home use.

    • atticus14
    • 4 years ago

    if only it had 4GB of ram or at least 3, almost my perfect tablet. I also don’t necessarily trust Asus to get this to Android N, which may end up being substantial for tablets.

    • Laykun
    • 4 years ago

    Oh man, what a shame about the Verizon exclusive. Will this have an international version that’s not just offered by one carrier? The GFs Transformer TF101 is far too long in the tooth and could use a nice upgrade, and this looks perfect.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Pfft. Verizon. Relevant to 96M out of the 6.88B people with an internet connection on the planet.

    That’s 1.3%

    I get that TR is a US-owned website, but even in the US, Verizon only has like 30% of the market and everyone knows that Verizon are asshats so you never ever ever buy a Verizon-only device.

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    Actually looks like a decent tablet IMO. Just cut that VZW exclusive crap out and someone might buy it.

    • Voldenuit
    • 4 years ago

    Asus (“neat”) ZenPad Z8 (“cool”) is an affordable Android tablet (“woot”) on Verizon (“f___ that”).

      • swaaye
      • 4 years ago

      $250 doesn’t seem bad to me. It has solid specs for that segment especially with cellular included.

      I wonder when the WiFi-only model will appear elsewhere.

      • kvndoom
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, “affordable” and “verizon” in the same sentence… not so much.

      $30 a month for 2 lousy gigabytes data-only. They can keep it.

        • biffzinker
        • 4 years ago

        Sounds like your also describing AT&T. 😉

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          At least your AT&T device will still work in the rest of the world.

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 years ago

            Well, I’m on T-mobile so my device doesn’t even work in America (I get just under a bar in my own apartment).

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