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ASUS ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL) review: An affordable 8-inch tablet worth considering

By Liu Hongzuo - 2 Feb 2016
Launch SRP: S$299

Overview, Design & Features


ASUS ZenPad 8.0

ASUS is one of the biggest players in the Android tablet market, consistently putting out one tablet after another. Last year, we reviewed the entry-level ZenPad C 7.0 and now we're looking at the ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL). We’ll also take a look at the recently launched Audio Cover accessory for the ZenPad 8.0, which boasts six speakers for an immersive 5.1-channel surround sound setup and it has a built-in battery that ASUS claims will extend battery life by up to six hours.

Like the ZenPad C 7.0, the ZenPad 8.0 is quite affordable, costing just S$299, which is just $50 more than the Xiaomi Mi Pad. Despite the price point, it doesn’t intend to compromise on performance and design. So where exactly does the ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL) stand, and what makes it so affordable? Let's find out.

ASUS ZenPad 8.0 compared with ZenPad C 7.0
  ASUS Zenpad 8.0 (Z380KL) ASUS ZenPad C 7.0
  ASUS Zenpad 8.0 (Z380KL) ASUS ZenPad C 7.0
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • Qualcomm MSM8916 Processor (64-bit, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410)
  • Intel Atom x3-C3200 Quad-Core, 64bit
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8-inch / WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels resolution) / LED
  • 7-inch / 1,024 x 600 pixels (170ppi) / IPS LCD
  • Rear: 8.0 megapixels
  • Front: 2.0 megapixels
  • Rear: 2-megapixels
  • Front: 0.3-megapixels
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4G LTE
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • 3G
  • Support Miracast
  • 16GB Internal Storage
  • microSD card support up to 128GB
  • 5GB ASUS WebStorage
  • 8GB Internal Storage
  • microSD card support up to 64GB
  • 4,000mAh
  • 15.2W Li-polymer battery
  • 13Wh 3450mAH Li-polymer Battery
  • 209 x 123 x 8.5 mm
  • 189 x 108 x 8.4 mm
  • 350g
  • 265g



For a tablet that costs S$299, you wouldn’t expect the ZenPad 8.0 to be constructed out of high quality materials and, as expected, the entire tablet is plastic. Fortunately, it feels solid and well-made. A decorative metallic frame surrounds the body and adds a touch of class. The back of the tablet (as well as the optional Audio Cover) has an embossed faux leather finish that has a nice feel and gives the 8-inch tablet a comfortable grip.

Power and volume buttons on the side.

The standard micro-USB port and 3.5mm audio jack.

The microSD card slot (accepts up to 128GB capacity cards), and SIM card slot can be found under the rear cover. The contacts below the slots is for the optional Audio Cover (more about this later).

The tablet is 8.5mm thick, matching that of the Xiaomi Mi Pad rival. It doesn’t feel too thick, but obviously it falls short when compared to premium tablets like the 6.1mm Apple iPad Mini 4. It weighs 350g, making it just 10g lighter than the Mi Pad. The optional Audio Cover not only adds a bit of extra girth, but it also adds 255g of extra weight, which makes the entire setup somewhat bulky and hefty.

The power/lock button rests nicely on your thumb if you hold the device in your right hand, while the micro-USB port and headphone jack can be found on the top edge. If you take off the back cover, you’ll find a micro-SIM card slot that supports 4G LTE connectivity (on a $299 tablet, that's impressive), as well as a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB capacity memory cards. Internally, the tablet gets 16GB of storage. On the whole, the design isn’t something that will convince a user with a flagship Apple or Sony tablet to convert, but it certainly is attractive enough at its price point.


Display & Audio

Under room light, unaltered.

The display is an 8-inch WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels resolution) IPS LED screen, giving us a pixel density of 189ppi. That’s not as good as the 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution display (326ppi) found on the Mi Pad, which means that the ZenPad 8.0 doesn't boast an extremely sharp display that would render details down to the very hair strand. Having said that images, videos, and objects are still very presentable when you’re not scrutinizing the details.

The test image shows that the ZenPad 8.0’s display is actually very vibrant for its class. The color profile is quite warm, as evidenced by the whites found along the mountain range and the balloons. Detail is captured sufficiently but upon closer inspection, it’s not as sharp as we’d like it to be. Unlike most displays, the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 seems to lack a certain depth in this test image, and the darker colors bleed very slightly into its immediate surroundings.

Audio quality felt pretty standard on the ASUS ZenPad 8.0. It’s not particularly geared towards any sound signature or audio profile – it’s not loud at all, and its quality will tell you very clearly that it’s meant to support audio as a means to an end, and not something for pleasure.

To amp up the audio capabilities of the tablet, you can get the optional Audio Cover (sold separately at S$129).

Here she is with the audio cover attached.

The Audio Cover (sold separately at S$129) enhances the audio of the ZenPad 8.0 considerably, bringing the volume up to par with tennis ball-sized (in diameter) speakers, consisting of four satellite speakers, one center-channel speaker, and one subwoofer. The sound signature still doesn’t change much, and there’s little character added to the sound profile – bass still sounds as flat, but the mid-range frequencies do get a little more body, making the audio richer but not impactful.



Part of the ZenMotion feature is Touch Gestures.

The ZenPad 8.0 runs on Android 5.0 OS (Lollipop) out of the box, with a ZenUI skin. You’re probably familiar with the updated ZenUI, and frankly it’s not very different from the previous ASUS 7-inch tablet. Some features worth recapping are gesture shortcuts called ZenMotion, where painting alphabets on a screen that’s turned off can quickly take you to certain core apps on the tablet. Everything else on the ZenUI is close to vanilla Android OS.

Besides the add-on Audio Cover we’ve seen, the tablet itself is quite free from gimmicks or additional-use features. This makes the affordable tablet viable for people who want a simple Android tablet with minimal changes to its core functionalities.

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  • Design 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 7.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Decent performance for price
Good battery life
Gimmick-free interface
The Bad
Basic audio quality
Underwhelming camera performance
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