By Koray Hussein
A little while ago, with the help of our guest writer May from Red Velvet London (She’s also done a great review of the 8″ ASUS tablet), we were put in contact with the guys over at ASUS. We sent a couple of emails back and forth and before we knew it, they ended up sending over their ASUS Zenpad 10 tablet for us to review.
It may seem like an odd thing for a London-centric blog to write about but seeing as the Zenpad 10 comes with a detachable bluetooth keyboard which pretty much turns the tablet into a small netbook, there was one thing I really wanted to know… Was it possible to run a blog purely through a tablet?
It might seem like a silly question but you pretty much have all the tools you need in a tablet. You have an abundance of writing apps that you can use to actually write your reviews in, you have a camera for all the headers and social media and if you’re using WordPress you even have an app that you can use to post. It’s all there…
But is it a good experience? That’s what I wanted to find out.
When it came to actually writing on the Zenpad 10 and the detachable keyboard I was actually really surprised. I’ve never been a fan of typing on a touch screen (just ask anybody who has tried to decipher a typo filled Whatsapp message from me) and didn’t think that the tiny physical keyboard that comes with the Zenpad would be much help… but it was. The keyboard may be a hell of a lot smaller than almost any other keyboard I’d ever used before but it was astonishingly easy to use, allowing me to type even quicker than I do on my 15” laptop… although that could be a mixture of the ASUS keyboard being great and the HP keyboard on my laptop being terrible. I’m not exactly sure. Either way I was a happy blogger typing away on the Google Docs app and the physical keyboard attached to the tablet.
If that was all a little too glowing then here’s where one massive negative comes shining through… the camera.
Now, expecting a £130 tablet (£200 with the keyboard) to rival a £500+ smartphone let alone a full on DSLR is ridiculously unrealistic but I’m doing a comparison here so here I go…
Below are four images taken at Primrose Hill’s The Queens pub (beautiful place which I will get around to reviewing soon!). The interior was quite quite dark so I figured I’d take a shot to see how both the Zenpad and my DSLR handled taking an image with such little light…
No prizes for guessing which one was taken by the Zenpad. EVen with no editing whatsoever the DSLR image blows the Zenpad’s out of the water with hardly any noise and fairly accurate colours.
Seeing as it was quite a nice day outside, I also took a picture out of the window with both to test their dynamic range…
Again, the results are quite clear.
It gets even worse when you factor in the fact that with most DSLR cameras you can shoot in .RAW format which allows you to pull quite a lot more detail out of the image.
But like I said before, if you’re buying a £130 tablet with the expectation that it’s going to be taking stellar images then you’re going to be having a little bit of a problem. The thing is though, most smartphones nowadays take some extremely good photos which you could intern edit on either your phone or tablet using Snapseed, VSCO or (if you’ve got a subscription) Adobe Lightroom… And how many people nowadays don’t have a smartphone?
The camera really is the only negative I can think of. The Zenpad 10 is cheap, sturdy and not a bad looking device (I’m not exactly a fan of the pink version they sent us but there’s a decent looking white and a really nice looking black version too) which rarely sputters in performance. No, it’s not going to match up to an iPad Air 2 but that thing costs a hell of a lot more so why should it?
All in all, if you’re looking to start up a blog and you’re not too fussed about the camera, then you could absolutely run it from Zenpad and if you’re just looking for something to work on then it’s really a no brainer.
Is it ideal? No… But it’s more than doable. Afterall, I typed up and posted this entire article on mine.