What $300 Gets You

By on July 25, 2013

So what does $300 get you nowadays?

PLEASE NOTE: THE NEXUS 7 2nd GENERATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF THIS REVIEW, COMING SOON THOUGH!

Smaller low cost Android tablets are becoming more and more popular in the marketplace everyday, and chances are if you’re in the market for one, you may be slightly confused. I don’t blame you, it’s a crazy world out there. Now we can’t review every low end tablet to tell you what to get, but we picked out three from different price points under $300. It all depends what works for you: do you want to spend less cash so you can pick up some accessories? Are you a power user who hates lag? Or are you an Android naturalist, who can’t stand skins? Whatever you are and whatever your needs may be there’s something out there for you. Id like to stress the fact that this is not a competition in the full sense of the word, there’s one that wins for everyone, this competition is more about what I chose in the end for my own needs your choice could very well be different so read on to find out…

 

Lets Start With Our Contenders:

  1. Weighing in at 150 dollars, straight from Taiwan the Asus Memopad 7
  2. At 209 dollars, coming from the same place the Asus/Google Nexus 7
  3. And our heavyweight at 300 dollars, From Korea the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0

 

Let The Spec Race Begin:

 

ASUS MEMO PAD 7 

Asus-Memopad

  • Software: Android 4.1 Jellybean
  • Display: 7” WSVGA (1024×600) 169ppi
  • CPU: VIA 1GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage as tested: 16GB
  • Camera: 1MP front facing
  • Features: Wifi, MicroSD slot
  • Battery: 4720 mAH 7 hours
  • Weight: 358 g
  • Boot: 41.41 sec

ASUS GOOGLE NEXUS 7

  • MemoPad2Software: Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • Display: 7” IPS display (1280×800) 216ppi
  • CPU:  NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core 1.2GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage as tested: 16GB
  • Camera: 1.2MP front facing
  • Features: Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Battery: 4,325 mAH 8 hours
  • Weight: 340 g
  • Boot: 29.04 sec

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 3 8.0

Samsung3

  • Software: Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • Display: 8” WXGA LCD display (1280×800) 189ppi
  • CPU:  1.5 GHz dual core Exynos
  • RAM: 1.5GB
  • Storage as tested: 16GB
  • Camera: 1.3 front facing, 5mp Back
  • Features: Wifi, Bluetooth, MicroSD slot, IR Remote control
  • Battery: 4,450 mAH 6 hours
  • Weight: 314 g
  • Boot: 21.20 sec

 

How Did They Stack Up:

The MemoPad 7 – Wasn’t for me, laggy swipes through home screens and pulling up the app drawer. Jellybean made it better than the first time I turned it on but not enough to live up to my daily usage. The screen was lacking immensely and you can see where the cost cutting efforts really went to work here. It’s alright for watching movies and browsing, but it doesn’t stack up to the competitors in any way.  To be honest it stuck out like a sore thumb, Quadrant and Antutu scores were low (1976 and 4652 Respectively) and 3D mark took so long to load, I gave up.

Bottom line: if you want an Android tablet to use as an e-reader and occasional media consumption device, the Asus memo pad isn’t a performance monster but it wont drain your pockets either.

The Nexus 7 – Nice sharp screen and colours, no discernible lag when moving through home screens or pulling up the app drawer. What puts the Nexus 7 ahead is the priority on software updates, since the Nexus comes directly from Google, you’ll never have to worry about carrier or handset manufacturer delayed updates. Be wary though, this is at the end of a product cycle and the 2nd generation has already been leaked on-line while I’m writing this, it may be best to wait until the end of July to see how the 2nd gen compares for what its worth.

Bottom line: spend the extra 50 bucks and get a tablet directly from Google with a quad core CPU, it games, it plays movies, and pretty much any other task you throw at it. Not to mention software updates are consistent rather than a mystery with most devices. But hold off until the end of July, if you can.

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 – This tablet blew me away, because the first thing that you see is the screen, its large and the colours are saturated just to my liking, although everyone has their preference. The Galaxy Tab looks a lot like an S3 with a huge screen, and functions a lot like one, they share the same TouchWiz overlay and basic layout. The thing with Samsung is, they release like 100 devices a year, by the time they’re done your lost on which one to choose. The Tab 3 is a competitor nonetheless but it doesn’t stack up to the Nexus 7 in terms of updates or Benchmarks. One annoyance that I came across, is trying to connect it to a PC, while the MemoPad and Nexus were plugged in and ready to go, I had to install Samsung’s Kies software just to transfer over a movie file. Get it together Sammy! Plug and play is where its at!

Bottom Line: If the bigger more vibrant screen and SD card slot are worth 100 bucks to you then this is the tab for you. I really did like this one to be honest but at $300 it put it at the top of our price range for this article, what’s worse is the Nexus really knocked it down a peg. One minor benefit the Samsung had over the other two tablets is that it lacks on screen buttons, while some people love these, I feel like they get in the way a lot and cut off screen size in certain situations. Since the Tab has physical and capacitive buttons, you wont have to worry about those pesky on screen buttons.

 

The Outcome:

While they all fill a necessary part of the price spectrum, id say you’re better off sticking with the 200+ range if you want something that’s going to last a while longer. The Memo pad is a great kids tablet and something for light gaming, reading and browsing. But If you’re a 3D gamer or watch a lot of HD video, the Galaxy Tab 3 and the Nexus 7 are what you would want to go with. It just depends what’s more important to you? The larger screen or the increased horsepower and pure google experience? Battery life or features such as NFC and SD storage? Or does it just come down to pure price?

The Nexus 7 Won the spec race all things said and done, but Samsung provided an overall experience that won my technology driven heart in the end. I was surprised too actually, considering I’m a big fan of the Nexus experience. The bigger screen is just so much more appealing and even that extra inch makes it so much more entertaining. There is an 8GB version that is 7.0 inches for 200, but at that price point I’m going with the Nexus all day.

For me, I’m going with the Galaxy Tab 8.0, while the specs aren’t quite as good as the Nexus 7, and the lack of software updates will piss me off. I just love that screen, and the screen is a big one for me. I think its safe to say the Asus Memo Pad 7 and the Nexus 7 have been ‘RE-BOXED!’

 

Get Your New Tablet Today!

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/ASUS_MeMO_Pad/#specifications
  2. https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_7_16gb&hl=en
  3. http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab/SM-T3100ZWYXAR-specs

 

Rohan

About Rohan

An upcoming independent hip hop artist and writer for egomagonline. Check my articles and write ups, feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Your Information will never be shared with any third party.