ZenPad 8.0 Z380C – Camera
With one or two exceptions, cameras on tablets aren’t great and budget tablets even less so. Featuring basic 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, the ZenPad 8.0 struggles to shoot even moderately decent photos and is all but useless for selfies.
Shooting using the ZenPad 8.0’s rear camera, we found the tablet’s autofocus is hit and miss. Even shooting static object, the camera would occasionally choose to not focus on my intended subject matter even after manually tapping to focus.
Shots also feature fairly average, or poor, contrast and colour balance. The 2-megapixel front camera was similarly poor and is only really useful for video calling purposes.
Being fair to Asus, this is an issue we see on most tablets and considering the fact we can’t see many people using it as their primary camera of choice is more than forgivable.
ZenPad 8.0 Z380C – Battery life
The ZenPad 8.0 is powered by a non-removable 15.2 Wh Li-Po battery Asus lists as offering eight hours of multimedia use.
Battery burning the tablet by looping a 720p video file stored on the tablet with its screen set to mid brightness, the ZenPad 8.0 generally matched Asus’ projection.
On our first test the ZenPad 8.0 only lasted seven hours, but creeped up two eight hours on our second and third.
The eight hours is slightly disappointing as competing tablets in the same size bracket, such as the Nexus 9 or iPad Mini 2, generally offer superior 10-hour battery lives.
Luckily for those that wish to Asus is selling a Power Case it claims will bring the ZenPad 8.0’s battery life up to a more robust 16 hours.
The case is a replacement backplate that physically attaches to the ZenPad 8.0. Running the same battery test with the plate attached, while we never got the full 16 hours listed by Asus, it did markedly improve the tablet’s life.
During our video tests, the ZenPad 8.0 generally lasted between 13 to 15 hours with the Power Case attached. While this is great, the power case does bump up the ZenPad 8.0’s upfront cost. Asus is currently selling the attachment for £34.99.
Should I buy the Asus ZenPad 8.0?
While Asus may have been the first company to create a truly great affordable tablet in 2012, it’s 2015 budget follow up is slightly disappointing.
It’s ok for basic tasks, like video streaming and web browsing, but a mix of low powered hardware and software bugs hamper its overall appeal.
As a result, while the ZenPad 8.0 will meet most user’s basic needs, we’d recommend those that can pay a little more and invest in something more powerful, like the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 or Tesco Hudl 2.
The ZenPad 8.0 is a functional, but uninspiring tablet that’s only capable of basic tasks.
Score in detail
Software & Apps 7
Sound Quality 6
Screen Quality 7
Battery Life 4
Build Quality 6