ASUS ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) Review
ASUS Philippines recently launched a slew of tablets and two of which cater to those that are looking for a decent slate with an affordable budget. The ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) is one of those and here’s our full review.
Note: We have the video version of this review that shows the ZenPad in more ways than the still photos could show. It also includes sample videos taken with the device as well as demonstration of the things that the device had problems with.
Design and Construction
The ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) has a 7-inch HD display with slightly thick bezels on the side. As we have mentioned during our first impressions, it shares some similarities with the more affordable ZenPad C 7.0 (Z170CG), but is 2mm wider and 0.3mm thicker a bit wider and thicker — which is almost unnoticeable even when you look at it up close.
For your selfie needs or for video-chatting, there’s the 2-megapixel front-facing camera along with the sensor and the earpiece. This earpiece also acts as the device’s speaker with DTS Premium Sound technology for clear audio performance.
The ZenPad 7.0 utilizes on-screen buttons and only the company’s logo occupies the panel at the base.
Turning it around, it has a textured panel that covers only about 80% of the device’s back, with the remaining 20% as part of the main body.
Tucked at the rightmost corner is its 8MP rear camera and audio jack for connecting your headphones. It’s impressive how ASUS was able to make the tablet as premium as possible without asking for a lot in return.
Power/lock screen button and volume rocker are also on the right side, just like the ZenPad C.
The bottom is where the microUSB port is located as it sits next to a pinhole for the microphone. The corners on this device are curved which is a bit more sophisticated and elegant than edgy ones and feels more comfortable to hold and use.
On the opposite side we have the 3.5mm audio jack positioned all alone at the top.
The very same textured panel pops off, revealing the chassis of the tablet as well as slots for single SIM and storage expansion via an additional microSD.
Display and Multimedia
Carrying a 7-inch WXGA display with HD resolution (1280 x 800), the tablet doesn’t have the nicest of the displays but it’s not actually bad since it still shows detailed and colorful 720p images when watching movies or playing games. Plus, the screen was made using an IPS panel for better viewing angles so people could gather around the tablet and view content like photos or videos.
When outdoors, glares are visible but not too obstructive. What we felt, though, was that with its screen brightness maxed out it was still too dim for our liking. We’ve compared it to other devices, and confirmed that the ZenPad’s display was noticeably dimmer.
As for its audio, we’ve mentioned earlier that the speaker for calls is also what doubles as the loudspeaker which was equipped with DTS HD Premium Sound technology. The volume is generally sufficient and clear for playing music, but when it comes to watching movies and gaming, we found it to be greatly lacking — of course, this wasn’t designed to be specializing in any of those so the performance was understandable.
OS, UI, and Apps
ASUS makes sure that its users get the latest Android experience by equipping the ZenPad with Android Lollipop and then layered it with the company’s ZenUI which adds a different look of circular icons and bluish hues on its quick settings and overall interface. Operating the phone, everything was smooth and transitions were fluid. Switching between apps was also done without any hiccups.
Out of its 16GB storage, users are left with 11GB of available memory out-of-the-box due to the space taken by its operating system. You will also have the usual pre-installed apps like MyASUS, Omlet Chat, and Power Saver.
The Z370CG has been given an ample 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel shooter up front. The rear camera produces satisfactory images, with lively colors. Here are some sample images:
[fancygallery id=”237″ album=”286″]
While we had no major gripes to its image quality, we experienced some faulty bugs on its Camera app that make some of its features useless. For one, whenever we switch the shooting mode to GIF creator and press the shutter button, the app hangs after taking the first photo and makes a repetitive shutter noise until you press the Back or Home button to reset the app. This way, we weren’t able to use that feature at all since it happens 100% of the time.
Call Quality and Connectivity
The ZenPad 7.0 supports a single SIM card that enables 3G connection. Using it for calls was clear enough for both lines, but you can use a headset rather than holding the tablet up against your face. Unfortunately, the headset is not included in the package. It also has Bluetooth for pairing with devices, as well as Miracast for mirroring content on a different screen, like a television, for example.
Performance and Benchmarks
Running on Intel’s Atom quad-core 64-bit processor, the tablet handled casual tasks easily and was capable of being a daily device as a media browser and even for productivity on-the-go. We didn’t encounter any major lags, although running some graphics-heavy games tend to show a little lag in animation, although not that bothersome. This just shows that the tablet is a decent performer, but reaches its limit when you make it run task-intensive apps which might require more than what it’s capable of doing.
Here are the benchmarks scores for the ZenPad Z370CG for you to be able to compare them with other devices:
- AnTuTu: 21,025
- Quadrant Standard: 7,916
- Vellamo: 733 (Multicore), 579 (Metal), 1,366 (Chrome Browser)
- 3DMark: 3,620 (Ice Storm Extreme)
- PCMark: 2,444 (Work performance)
Testing out its battery performance, we ran PCMark’s battery test that puts the device on a loop of function that imitates real-life usage. The tablet lasted 4 hours and 56 minutes of continuous task-processing — almost only half of the 8-hour battery life claimed by the company. On real-life usage, we also noticed its battery percentage tick faster than others while we use the device.
The ASUS ZenPad 7.0 Z370CG has a very attractive physique that can be used on casual and professional occasions alike. Navigation was also smooth and so were jumping from app to app. We also recommend the tablet for sharing media and watching videos if you don’t mind the slightly dim display.
For those who are always browsing photos or PDFs, having the tablet’s spacious 7-inch display provides ample screen real estate to do these things easier. It’s also no problem for the device to do these things, making it a handy gadget to have around if you just want to accomplish simple tasks or some light gaming when outdoors.
We’ve encountered some obstacles along the way like its buggy Camera app, but we’re hoping there will be a fix for it in an upcoming update from the company.
Priced affordably at Php7,995, it’s a good buy if the strengths that we’ve mentioned is what you’re looking for and if the cons we’ve listed isn’t a deal-breaker, but if you need a heavy-performing work tablet with no compromises then you might want to look somewhere else and be prepared to shell out a bit more.
ASUS ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) specs:
7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS display, 216ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass
Intel Atom x3-C3230 Quad-Core, 64bit processor
Mali-450 MP4 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 128GB via microSD
8MP rear camera
2MP front camera
3G HSPA+ (micro SIM)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
1 x Front Speaker with DTS HD Premium Sound
13Wh Li-polymer Battery, 8 hours
Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
Dimension: 189 x 110.9 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 272 g
What we liked about it:
- Elegant form factor
- Smooth UI
- Affordable price
What we didn’t like:
- Display brightness not as bright as others
- Buggy Camera app
- Sub-par battery life
Disclosure: The review unit was provided by ASUS Philippines. ASUS is an advertiser on this site.