Product Listing

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) - Compact and Speedy Intel Tablet

By Cookie Monster - 11 Feb 2015
Launch SRP: S$499

Overview, Design & Features


The ASUS MeMO Pad 8 is one of the few tablets in the market to be powered by a 64-bit processor.

The MeMO Pad series was first introduced in 2013 as a differentiated lineup from the more premium Transformer Pad tablets. They were meant to cater to the budget-conscious consumers who want a balance of features, performance and value.

As this category of affordable tablets became increasingly popular in 2014, ASUS took the chance to boost its offerings at Computex with 7 new tablet devices - with both affordable and premium models. Back then, one of the key highlights touted of the MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) was that it's the world's lightest 8-inch LTE tablet. However, with the late local launch in October, it has lost that claim to other competitive 8-inch tablets. Despite that, can ASUS still have a piece of the 8-inch tablet market with their latest MeMO Pad 8? We find out in this review. Before we start, here's an overview of the MeMO Pad 8's specs:

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL
  ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL)
  ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL)
Launch SRP
  • From S$499
  • 4G LTE CAT 4
Operating system
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with ASUS ZenUI
  • Intel Atom Z3560 64-bit quad-core 1.83GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8-inch / 1,920 x 1,200 pixels / IPS
  • Rear: 5-megapixel with PixelMaster technology, f/2.8 and autofocus
  • Front: 1.2-megapixel
I/O Ports
  • micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio output jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/m/ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0 (LE), Miracast, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 32GB
  • 4,000mAh
  • 213 x 123 x 7.45mm
  • 299g


Design & Handling

Compact is the design mantra adopted by ASUS for the MeMO Pad 8; it trumps the Apple iPad Mini 3 in both weight (299g vs 341g) and thinness (7.45mm vs 7.5mm). When it was announced, ASUS could lay claim to being the lightest 8-inch LTE tablet, but the MeMO Pad 8 has since lost out to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (298g, 6.6mm) and the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (270g, 6.4mm). Nonetheless, ASUS can hold its own against the competition with the MeMO Pad 8.

Thanks to a combination of compact form factor and sturdy magnesium chassis, the MeMO Pad 8 really feels comfortable in the hands. You can easily use it in one hand and its 7.8mm thin bezels ensure that there is sufficient space for your thumb to rest while holding it without interfering with whatever you are doing on the tablet.

On the right profile of the tablet, you will find the volume controls and power button near the middle, while the micro-SIM card slot is located at the bottom right. Yes, this particular model of MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) supports mobile connectivity, particularly LTE CAT 4 speeds of up to 150Mbps. On the other side is the microSD card slot on the upper section. We find it strange that the microSD card slot is left exposed without a flap or plastic cover, which leaves it vulnerable to water and dust ingression. 

The volume controls and power button are accessible on the right and easy to press. Located at the bottom right is the micro-SIM card slot.

You can find the microSD card slot at the top left corner of the tablet. It does not have a plastic cover or flap, hence it is exposed to water and dust.

Over at the back, the MeMO Pad 8 sports dual stereo speakers at the top and bottom. The placement of the speakers at the rear does not affect the audio output in portrait mode, but when you switch to landscape mode for watching videos in full screen, your hand(s) are likely to block either or both sides of the speakers. The audio output is decent and loud, although it is directed away from the user and not as immersive as it would be if the speakers are located on the front.

The rear of the ASUS MeMO Pad 8 has a non-conductive vacuum metallization (NVCM) layer, which makes it easy to clean.


8-inch IPS Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 

The MeMO Pad 8 sports an 8-inch Full-HD (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for improved resistance to scratches. It also has a layer of anti-fingerprint treatment on the glass panel to make fingerprints less visible and easier to clean. We put it to test and after 10 minutes of using the tablet, fingerprints are still visible although it isn't as bad as the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Reading articles and watching videos on the MeMO Pad 8 is a pleasant experience as colors are bright and vivid with accurate reproduction. 

You can adjust the display's color temperature, hue and saturation through the dedicated ASUS Splendid app. The Vivid mode bumps up the contrast for a brighter, sharper and more life-like viewing experience.



ZenUI with Dual-App Multitasking Support  

Preloaded on the MeMO Pad 8 is ZenUI, its own interface which was introduced in the ZenFone series last year. We've covered the ZenUI extensively previously, many of which are common across all the ASUS devices in 2014. What's new on the MeMO Pad 8 is dual-app multitasking support, a feature which makes full use of the 8-inch display. The implementation is similar to Samsung's Multi-Window feature, but lacks the extensive support for apps.

Dual-App Multitasking

As the name suggests, you can open two app windows side by side on the ASUS MeMO Pad 8. You have to enable the feature by swiping down the Quick Settings tab and tap on Dual apps at the bottom right corner. Alternatively, you can enable Dual-App by tapping the Recent key, long press a specific supporting app and drag to the top or bottom of the screen.

At the moment, Dual-App multitasking only supports a handful of apps. The list includes ASUS and Google apps such as Backup, Browser, Calculator, Calendar, Dictionary, Do It Later, Downloads, Email, File Manager, Gallery, Gmail, Maps, Messaging, Music, Power Saver, Sound Recorder, Weather and Youtube. As you can see, there is no support for third party apps such as Facebook or Twitter. This severely limits the usefulness of the feature.

 This is how Dual-App will look on the ASUS MeMO Pad 8. While you can switch the location of each app window (up or down), you can't adjust the size of each app window.

Dual-App feature allows you to pair apps so that you can open them together. As there is no support for third party apps, this feature is only limited to ASUS and Google apps.

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  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 7
  • Value 8
The Good
Decent build quality
Good handling
Smooth navigation
4G LTE support
The Bad
Poor battery life
Dual-App feature needs polish
Speaker placement could hinder output
Imaging quality could be better
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