Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Product Listing

ASUS ZenPad C 7.0: A 3G dual-SIM 7-inch tablet for just S$199?!

By Hafeez Sim - 21 Sep 2015
Launch SRP: S$199

Overview, Design & Features


Overview

Over the past year, ASUS has been busy beefing up its tablet and phablet offerings with the likes of the VivoTab Note 8 and the Fonepad 7. The latest addition to ASUS' tablet lineup is the entry-level ZenPad C 7.0.

With a slim and portable design and dual micro-SIM card slots with 3G connectivity, the ZenPad C 7.0 is one of the most affordable tablets around with an unheard-of price tag of S$199. Its closest competitor is probably the Xiaomi Mi Pad, which is Wi-Fi only, and costs S$100 more at S$299.

But price alone is not a good indicator of value, and it remains to be seen if the ZenPad C 7.0 brings a compelling package to the table. So join us as we put the ZenPad C 7.0 through its paces and find out if it is truly a good buy for those looking for an affordable tablet.

  ASUS ZenPad C 7.0
  ASUS ZenPad C 7.0
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
Processor
  • Intel Atom x3-C3200 Quad-Core, 64bit
Memory
  • 1GB RAM
Display
  • 7-inch / 1,024 x 600 pixels (170ppi) / IPS LCD
Camera
  • Rear: 2-megapixels
  • Front: 0.3-megapixels
Connectivity
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • 3G
  • Support Miracast
Storage
  • 8GB Internal Storage
  • microSD card support up to 64GB
Battery
  • 13Wh 3450mAH Li-polymer Battery
Dimensions
  • 189 x 108 x 8.4 mm
Weight
  • 265g

Design

With its 7-inch display, the ZenPad C 7.0 is noticeably smaller than most other mini tablets, as other manufacturers have generally abandoned that display size in favor of 8-inch displays. On the plus side, this does make it more portable than its competitors. 

The ZenPad C 7.0 is one of the last remaining new 7-inch tablet offerings in the market.

Despite its low price, the ZenPad C 7.0 feels well-made, and actually looks pretty good too. At 8.4mm thin the tablet isn't super slim, but it's not a brick either. It's also quite light at 265g. The edges of the tablet are slightly raised above the screen, and the back of the tablet has a textured white finish, with a sort of faux leather pattern, which results in a nice, secure grip.

The raised, textured rear surface makes it easier to hold on to the ZenPad C 7.0.

The speaker and the webcam sit on the front of the tablet, at the top bezel, with the 3.5mm headphone jack located on the top edge. Unfortunately, the positioning of the speaker means that using the tablet in landscape mode, for example when watching videos, results in audio only coming from one side.

The speaker sits on the front of the tablet, at the top when held in portrait orientation.

The power button and volume rocker sit on the right edge of the tablet, while the Micro-USB port is located at the bottom. Flipping the tablet over, there's a 2-megapixel camera at the top left corner and a plastic flap at the bottom left corner, which hides a MicroSD slot and two SIM card slots - both of which have 3G connectivity. And yes, you can make voice calls with the tablet too. Unfortunately, the flap is very thin and a bit fiddly and feels like it might snap off.

The flap covering the two SIM card slots and single SD Card slot is quite flimsy.

Display and Audio

The bad news is that the ZenPad C 7.0 has a rather low screen resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels (170ppi). While this makes it roughly the same as the Samsung Galaxy Tab A's 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution (160ppi as the screen is larger), it is noticeably worse than the Xiaomi Mi Pad, which has a 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution display (326 ppi).  

Surfing the web and watching videos on the tablet also reveals that the tablet's maximum brightness leaves much to be desired. Colors also look a bit washed out compared to both the Mi Pad and Tab A, lacking vibrancy and contrast.

The ZenPad C 7.0's display (top) appears less bright and colors are more muted compared to the Xiaomi Mi Pad (middle) and Samsung Galaxy Tab A (bottom).

On paper, audio on the the ZenPad C 7.0 looks pretty good thanks to built-in DTS-HD Premium Sound and SonicMaster technology. Unfortunately, the reality isn't as good, and audio quality is lacking overall, being both sharp and tinny at higher volumes. Volume-wise it's also a bit on the soft side.

User Interface

The ZenPad C 7.0 runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS' ZenUI skin on top of it. It's not that different from vanilla Android, so you shouldn't have any trouble using the ZenPad C 7.0.

One problem you'll encounter with this tablet is that, with only 8GB internal storage, the OS and ASUS' custom apps take up about half the available storage space. Fortunately there's a microSD card slot, but it only supports cards up to 64GB in capacity.

You get about 4GB worth of storage right out of the box.

The tablet does come with some useful apps such as PC Link, which mirrors the tablet's display on a PC through either Wi-FI or USB. There's also the Auto-start manager which lets you choose which apps run in the background when starting up the tablet, which can help extend your battery life. If you're interested in an extensive overview of ZenUI, click here.

The Auto-start Manager lets you control which apps run in the background when the tablet boots up.

7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 7
  • Performance 7
  • Value 8
The Good
Really cheap
Decent build quality
Dual SIM 3G connectivity
The Bad
Subpar display
Low battery life
Weak benchmark performance
Loading...