As a part of Asus’ continued commitment to the tablet market today Asus is launching a new tablet for Verizon, called the ZenPad Z8. There’s really not too much needed in the way of introduction here, so we’ll jump into the spec sheet first and see where we can go from there.

  ZenPad Z8 for Verizon
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 650
2x Cortex A72 1.8 GHz
4x Cortex A53 1.44 GHz
NAND 16GB + microSD
Display 7.9” 2048x1536
Network 2G/3G/4G LTE (UE Category 6, CA)
Dimensions 205 x 136 x 7.62mm, 320g
Camera 8MP Rear Facing
2MP Front Facing
Battery 4680 mAh (18.01 Whr)
OS Android 6.0.1 w/ ZenUI
(At Launch)
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT ?, USB-C, GNSS

At a high level, right away the use of the Snapdragon 650 SoC is a fairly good sign given its 250 USD price point, as in general in devices we’ve seen that the Snapdragon 650 is a solid balance of performance and power for the mid-range, and in the case of this tablet means that Qualcomm’s modem expertise allows for good feature support, performance, and power on LTE.

Other than the basic specs, the ZenPad Z8 offers dual front-facing speakers which is great to see for media consumption, and VisualMaster display tweaks, which we investigated and found to be fairly disappointing in the ZenPad S, so hopefully there is some way to disable these display alterations.

Overall, the ZenPad Z8 could be an interesting tablet at the 250 USD price point, but without further investigation it would be hard to say. Regardless, the ZenPad Z8 in black is available for preorder today and will go on sale June 23 through Verizon only for 249.99 up-front or divided across 24 months on a payment plan.

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  • fanofanand - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Is there really a healthy market for LTE android tablets? I can understand for a Surface Pro where it's needed for business, contractors on site etc, but android tablets are consumption devices. Do people really use their tablet in such a way, when phones are far more portable and convenient?
  • retrospooty - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Carriers keep offering them, so they must make them at least a small amount of money. I doubt it would be considered "healthy sales" as far as tablet #'s though. We use a few here at work for people out in the filed with a particular custom app, but I doubt it would ever be more than a niche thing.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    My uncle ended up with a lower spec one ($100-150 class, not sure what the list price was) about 18mo ago as some sort of convoluted package deal along with several new phones for his kids. Apparently some sort of new line bonus or what have you made it marginally cheaper up front and month to month than just buying the phones. Just based on that pricing I assumed they were having trouble selling them normally.

    I suppose if you use it enough on the go the modem it might be worth it to avoid killing your phone battery tethering; but I can't see them ever being more than a niche item as long as they come with an extra monthly fee on your bill. Remove the $240 over 2 years connectivity surcharge and let me tap my normal data pool, and I could see paying a little extra up front just for a bit of extra flexibility; but probably no more than $25-50 (and if it got cheap enough eventually economies of scale would erode the extra cost for the LTE variant and narrow the gap even more).
  • icrf - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    I use my phone when I'm out and about, but when I'm at home on the couch or in the kitchen or in a meeting, it's my Nexus 7 (2013). Incidentally, I spent more time on the tablet than my phone by a pretty wide margin. You can do more on a larger device than a smaller one, but I only use it in places where the larger device's diminished portability isn't such a factor.

    I've never understood all the hate on Android tablets. It has all the apps my phone does but is generally far easier to use because of the increased size. If you're in the Android ecosystem, why not? I spend 90% of my non-video time in a browser, so the state of android tablet apps doesn't really bother me.
  • Spectrophobic - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Not exactly sure either, but one annoyance would be the consistent use of inferior SoCs.
    There's also the whole OS argument. Everyone in this site seems to believe that any other OS besides Windows renders any tablet unusable.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    "Everyone in this site seems to believe that any other OS besides Windows renders any tablet unusable."

    I don't feel that way at all. In a tablet form factor, I don't think Microsoft is offering a superior computing experience with Windows for non-business use cases. Apple products and Android-based tablets are reasonable alternatives for in-home media consumption. As Androids are less expensive, they're not a bad alternative.

    Had this been a couple years ago, I would have sided with Microsoft based on the fact that MS didn't appear to gather as much user data for marketing and mining purposes. However Windows 10 has certainly changed that perspective. With all devices being equally invasive and Linux not being particularly viable on a tablet device, my personal opinion has changed with regards to Microsoft offering a compelling alternative.
  • peterfares - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    But why use a tablet for in-home media consumption when a laptop (with a touch screen) is just better? Do you enjoy holding your tablet up for 30 minutes to two hours while watching a TV show or a movie? That gets tiring, a laptop has a built in base that holds itself up. Portability doesn't matter in-home, and when portability matters, why not just use your phone?
  • Spectrophobic - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

  • eek2121 - Saturday, June 18, 2016 - link

    When i fly southwest, I use my tablet (nexus 7 2013) to watch TV via their free cable offering.

    I also use my tablet when travelling in cases where i don't need to bring my laptop. Casual internet browsing, etc. I can also put on a kids show and set it on the stand for the kids to watch.

    I can cast shows and apps to my tv for easier viewing. I also have a controller to play games with.
  • pashhtk27 - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    I like to watch anime episodes while lying down on my bed. Tablet is the only solution :)

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