Cost-conscious consumers looking for a low-priced, reliable Android tablet have a new choice in the ASUS MeMO Pad. With an MSRP of just $149, the 7-inch MeMO Pad is $10 less than the original Kindle Fire, but offers a full Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience without Amazon's store-like user interface or its "special offers."
The MeMO Pad's key features include a 1024 x 600, 350-nit screen 7-inch screen with 10-point multi-touch, a single-core 1-GHz VIA WM8950 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a 1-MP front-facing webcam and a microSD card slot that lets you expand the storage up to 32GB. The tablet comes preloaded with a number of ASUS applications, including MyPainter for image capture, MyBitCast for memo taking and 5GB of free cloud storage from ASUS WebStorage.
At 7.72 x 4.69 x 0.44 inches and 13.1 ounces, the MeMO Pad is a little bit smaller than the 7.44 x 4.72 x 0.45-inch, 14.1-ounce Fire, but bulkier than the 7.8 x 4.7 x .41-inch, 12-ounce Google Nexus 7. The tablet will ship in three colors: Sugar White, Titanium Gray and Cherry Pink, all with an attractive texture on the back. Users looking for a full-fledged Android experience for under $150 may find this tablet an ideal choice, but we'll have to see whether its single-core CPU provides enough power to make it useful as just $50 more buys the quad-core, HD-screened Nexus 7 while $10 more buys the dual-core Kindle Fire.