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Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) 2GB $199 Version

Asus unveiled two great 8-inch Asus ZenPad S 8.0 versions at COMPUTEX on June 1. The cheapest of these, the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) with the lowest specs went on sale on BestBuy in July for $229, while the top end model of these, the 4GB RAM model Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580CA) started taking orders ahead of release a few days ago.

But now the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) have been released on Amazon too for $199, which is $30 less than on BestBuy at the moment: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-ZenPad-Z580C-B1-BK-32-Tablet/
(UPDATE: Asus ZenPad S 8.0 upgraded to Android 6.0)

$199 for an 8-inch tablet with 2048 x 1536 resolution sounds pretty sweet. The only catch is that it's not a complete tablet. Even the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580CA) isn't as complete as the 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 which pretty much has it all.

But if the cheapest possible high resolution 8-inch Android 6.0 tablet with a certain media consumption focus is what you are after, this tablet does a good job for the money. But if you think about pressing it, the top model of the two S 8 ZenPad's or the octa-core Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 will do a better job.

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C)
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C)

The 4:3 aspect ratio display offers technologies like 10 finger multi-touch support, Gorilla Glass, and a fully laminated IPS screen. The processor on this tablet is a quad-core Intel Atom Z3530 processor and IMG PowerVR G6430 graphics processor. Then it has 2GB of DDR3 RAM. So a different processor than the more powerful Zenpad (Z580CA) that features the Z3580 and 4GB of RAM.

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) otherwise has 32GB of storage, 128GB microSD card support, and 5GB cloud storage from Asus. Internet connections comes from single-band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support (ac support will be available in some regions) and Bluetooth 4.1, while it has a 2MP front camera, a 5MP rear camera, and DTS-HD Premium Sound from the two front speakers. So the sound is pretty good too, hence the media consumption focus.

It has GPS, GLONASS, G-sensor, E-compass, light-sensor, and hall sensors too, and a micro-USB 2.0 port. The Android 5.0 Lollipop it ships with has the Asus ZenUI user interface on top which offers a lot of features of its own.

The battery life of the 15.2Wh Li-polymer battery is 8 hours maximum. But the first users have said that their average battery life is an hour or two less than that.

With a weight of 317 grams, and a thickness of 6.9 mm it is lighter and thinner than the average 8-inch tablet, but still far from the dimensions of the 265 grams light class leading Samsung Tab S2.

So the greatest feature here is the high resolution display and DTS-HD sound system for $199, though it offers a little of everything. So for people who were originally thinking about an 8-inch entry level or budget tablet of some kind, stepping up to this tablet for not much more money, should be worth it.

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) 2GB RAM
Asus ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) 2GB RAM

– Jim Miller