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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

Benchmark Performance, Imaging, Battery Life and Conclusion

Benchmark Performance

The ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 is powered by Intel's 64-bit quad-core Atom x3-C3200 SoFIA processor, which incidentally was designed and manufactured in Singapore. It has 1GB RAM. 

With its 7-inch display and super low price, the ZenPad C 7.0 doesn't actually have any direct competitors, but we'll be comparing it to the Xiaomi Mi Pad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (Wi-Fi) as these two tablets are the closest to it in terms of price. 

  ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 Xiaomi Mi Pad Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0-inch) Wi-Fi
  ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 Xiaomi Mi Pad Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0-inch) Wi-Fi
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • Android 4.4.4 with MIUI 6.3.1
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Processor
  • Intel Atom x3-C3200 Quad-Core, 64bit
  • NVIDIA Tegra K1 (ARM Cortex-A15, quad-core 2.2-GHz with fifth power-saver core)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.2GHz
Memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2GB
  • 2GB RAM
Display
  • 7-inch / 1,024 x 600 pixels (170ppi) / IPS LCD
  • 7.9-inch / 2,048 x 1,536 pixels (326ppi) / IPS LCD
  • 8.0-inch / 1,024 x 768 pixels / TFT
Camera
  • Rear: 2-megapixels
  • Front: 0.3-megapixels
  • Rear: 8-megapixel with back-illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Front: 5-megapixel
  • Rear: 5-megapixel
  • Front: 2-megapixel
Connectivity
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • 3G
  • Support Miracast
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Storage
  • 8GB Internal Storage
  • microSD card support up to 64GB
  • 16GB
  • microSD expandable up to 128GB
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 128GB
Battery
  • 13Wh 3450mAH Li-polymer Battery
  • 6700mAh
  • 4,200mAh
Dimensions
  • 189 x 108 x 8.4 mm
  • 135.4 x 202.1 x 8.5mm
  • 208.4 x 137.9 x 7.5mm
Weight
  • 265g
  • 360g
  • 334g

Sunspider JavaScript

SunSpider JavaScript helps measure the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. The ZenPad C 7.0 didn't fare that well here, but in actual usage, web browsing wasn't an issue and we didn't experience any significant lag. 

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance. We were unable to get a score for the Xiaomi Mi Pad as we kept encountering an error during testing. In this test, it was no surprise that the Tab A pulled ahead of the ZenPad C 7.0 as we experienced lag when switching between screens and launching apps during day-to-day usage of the ZenPad C 7.0. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's definitely something that should be taken into consideration. 

3DMark 2013

3DMark 2013 is a multi-platform benchmark based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 API and is designed for smartphones, mobile devices and ARM architecture compute devices. It includes two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU performance of your device and a physics test to stress its CPU performance.

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited uses off-screen rendering resolution at 1080p, higher quality textures and post-processing effects to create a more demanding load for the latest smartphones and tablets. It also disables vertical sync, display resolution scaling and other operating system factors that can affect the result, thus making it ideal for chip-to-chip comparisons of different chipsets.

Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A and the ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 were really close in this test, but as expected for a gaming benchmark, the Xiaomi Mi Pad's NVIDIA GeForce Kepler GPU pulled way ahead.

 

Imaging Performance

The rear camera on the ZenPad C 7.0 is only 2-megapixels, so while it does come with additional shooting modes and features such as HDR, Selfie, and Panorama to name a few, you shouldn't really get your hopes up. 

You can click on the image for the full resolution version, but it's good to manage expectations.

Battery Life

Our standard battery test for tablets includes the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

We did not manage to test the battery life on the Xiaomi Mi Pad and Samsung Galaxy Tab A, but the ZenPad C 7.0's 3,450 mAh capacity battery managed to last 330 minutes, or five and a half hours. With its low resolution screen and somewhat low-end hardware, we were expecting it to last a bit longer.

Conclusion

While it seems that the ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 doesn't really excel in our benchmark tests, it's unfair to judge it solely on how well it performs in these tests. After all, it is probably one of the most, if not the most affordable tablet you can get your hands on right now. Even its closest competitor, the Xiaomi Mi Pad, costs S$100 more. And, despite the ZenPad C 7.0's low asking price, build quality is still decent, and you get dual-SIM 3G connectivity too.

That being said, the ZenPad C 7.0's performance makes it only really suitable for those with basic usage requirements. Its compact footprint and 3G connectivity make it ideal for anyone on a budget who wants web browsing on the go, but it is not good for much more than that, and its display also isn't the best for watching movies or TV shows. Battery life could also be better.

All things considered, if you're after a cheap and portable tablet with 3G connectivity, the ZenPad C 7.0 is a great choice, and at S$199 you really can't go wrong. But if you have a more diverse usage pattern, and you can live with Wi-Fi only connectivity, the Xiaomi Mi Pad's larger screen, superior display and processor is worth paying an extra S$100 for.

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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
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