ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL review - Energy-saving 8-inch tablet with 4G LTE
The bigger the tablet, the bigger the screen or display and because displays remain the biggest battery drainer on an Android tablet, tablets with bigger displays don't often last that long on a single charge. The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL not only has a bigger 8-inch 720p HD display, it also offers higher-end features like an 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and 4G LTE connectivity. As one of the few ASUS ZenPad tablets to not use an Intel processor, how does the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL perform? Find out in our review of the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL below.
Design, Tech Specs and Features - Like a larger clutch case
Just like the previously reviewed ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 and ZenPad 7.0, the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL looks like a thin and slim clutch case bag complete with leather-like plastic back and rounded grip. There are no changes to the front design either with slim bezels, a single but slightly larger front speaker and an interchangeable Zen Case backplate. In short, it is a slightly larger but still very attractive tablet, but you can check out the full tech specs and features below:
- 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB storage + up to 64GB microSD slot
- 8-inch display (IPS, 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, VisualMaster TruVivid)
- 8MP PixelMaster rear camera (autofocus) + 5MP front camera
- features dts-HD audio technology, single-SIM 4G LTE, GPS
- supports WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast
- 209 x 123 x 8.5mm | 350g
- Android 5.0.2 + ASUS ZenUI
Features-wise, the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL clearly brings a bit more to the ZenPad family with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor along with single SIM 4G LTE connectivity. This ZenPad can still make calls and answer SMS like a normal smartphone while the 8-inch display also offers 720p HD viewing with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution along with dts-HD Premium Sound audio technologies. It is however, thinner than the ZenPad 7.0 at 8.5mm but heavier at 350g.
The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL retains the same leather-like backplate that can be changed into a power case, clutch cover or audio cover
Since it has an interchangeable Zen Case backplate, this also means that you can attach a Power Case, Clutch Cover and Audio Cover as well, letting you customize the ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL as you want. Other features include an 8MP PixelMaster rear camera and 5MP front camera, both with no LED flash but the larger resolution does mean you can use the PixelMaster low-light feature for the rear camera.
Performance - powerful yet power-sipping
On our usual benchmarks, the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL got a respectable AnTuTu score of 21936. What is crucial to note here is that 3D performance is excellent for a tablet of this size with 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme at 2590 and Epic Citadel offering 57.4 fps on 720p HD pixel resolutions.
The ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL does well in Epic Citadel
While it runs similar hardware with the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser, the ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL can play Asphalt 8: Airborne on high quality visual settings with just a little lag here and there. Thankfully, this performance does not come at the cost of battery life as the power sipping ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL offered up a battery life of 2 to 3 days on normal usage and 1 and a half days on heavy usage. It also handles multitasking well, running multiple apps with no lag.
You can go quite fast in Asphalt 8: Airborne on the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL
While audio is clear and has good quality the single speaker isn't loud enough for Skype calls or as your personal boombox but you can attach an Audio Cover for that. Movie watching performance is also good and the tablet is also a lot more stable, perhaps thanks to the change in hardware and processor.
While built in audio isn't that loud, when combined with the Audio cover, the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL really shines as a mobile movie machine
The better balance between the processor and camera also ensures smoother overall performance, especially when it comes to functions that involve processing such as optimization or the interpolation of the super resolution shot. Video recording is also smoother but the slow motion feature still lags somewhat.
Auto 8MP (above) and Low-light mode (below)