Asus Memo Pad 10 (ME102A) review

Despite the modest price and reasonable performance, the Asus Memo Pad 10 is sorely lacking in star quality

The Asus Memo Pad 10 joins devices such as the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 and HP Slate HD 10 HD among the burgeoning ranks of budget 10in Android tablets. However, despite being priced at only £180, the Memo Pad 10 finds itself struggling to really stand out from its budget contemporaries. See also the 11 best tablets of 2014

One area where the Memo Pad does manage to outdo its rivals is in performance. Inside is a quad-core 1.6GHz Rockchip RK3188 CPU and 1GB of RAM which, although a modest partnership, are good enough to turn in some decent benchmark scores. The Asus completed the SunSpider JavaScript test in 1,178ms, placing it just ahead of the Yoga Tablet 10’s time of 1,333ms and the Slate 10’s 1,229ms. The Memo Pad also acquitted itself well in the Peacekeeper browser test, managing a result of 790 to the Slate 10’s mediocre 463.

It’s still no performance heavyweight by modern standards, and we found the Memo Pad far less snappy and responsive than premium devices such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9in. but it’s serviceable for a budget model. There are occasional judders and hitches while navigating Android 4.2, but by far our biggest bugbear is the onscreen keyboard which exhibits frustrating amounts of lag.

The Memo Pad’s gaming capabilities are modest. In the GFXBench T-Rex benchmark the tablet achieved an average of 5.5fps, again narrowly ahead of the Yoga Tablet 10’s score of 4.8fps and the Slate 10’s score of 5.3fps. The Asus’ ARM Mali-400 GPU is no powerhouse, but it’s able to run Asphalt 8: Airborne smoothly at Medium detail settings, and there’s more than enough power for all but the most demanding Android titles.

Battery life is acceptable, but here the Memo Pad failed to outdo its rivals. With the screen calibrated to a brightness of 120cd/m², the Asus’ 19Wh lithium polymer battery lasted 9hrs 46mins in our looping video test. By contrast, the Yoga Tablet 10’s huge 9,000mAh battery helped it to last a herculean 15hrs 25mins in the same test.