Among a veritable sandstorm of new product launches at Computex, Asus announced the very affordable MeMo Pad HD 7 and the 10-inch MeMo 10 FHD.
Both run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, feature the Asus trademark rounded contours, feel comfortable to hold and come with a TransCover to allow users to prop up the device for viewing video and such for, the similarities pretty much ended there.
The MeMo Pad HD 7
At just 10.8 mm thick, with a 7-inch screen and weighing a mere 302g (a shade lighter than the 308g iPad mini) the MeMo Pad HD 7 can just about slide into a jacket pocket and comes in four colours- white, dark blue, pink and (somewhat yellowish) green.
In our hands-on play of the new MeMo 7 (as we are calling it) we experienced a smooth and responsive interface, thanks to a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It comes in 8GB or 16GB options and the storage capacity can be increased though the use of a Micro SD card, plus both come with one year of 16GB Asus WebStorage.
The plastic reverse feels a tad inexpensive, and it seemed that after just a couple hours of being handled by the hoards of reporters the reverse was already looking a little worse for wear, with signs of minor scratching, but then again this is a low price point device and the available protective covers or sleeves would largely take care of this.
The 7-inch display with a 1280 x 800 native resolution looks bright and crisp and has a nice wide 170-degree viewing angle. The MeMo 7 also has a 1.2MP front-facing camera capable of recording video in 720p HD and there's an option for a model with a 5MP camera on the reverse.
Like the MeMo 10, Asus says that the MeMo 7 can handle up to 10 hours on 720p video playback. Although we weren’t able to test the sound - the gaggling hordes of journalists where really loud - it does also use Asus Sonic Master audio technology, which is promising.
The real beauty of the MeMo 7 lies in the pricing. The 8GB device goes for just $129 (£84) and the 16GB model for $149. Not at all bad when you consider what it is packing.
With its somewhat cheap and cheerful back, low price point and the ability to access the WebStorage Office for online handling of Microsoft Office docs, the MeMo 7 seems firmly aimed at emerging markets, students and perhaps those who tend to lose their device on a regular basis.
MeMo Pad FHD 10
The MeMo Pad FHD 10 feels classy. The contoured edges and the textured reverse give a reassuring sense of understated yet secure grip. The 10-inch screen is sharp and crisp with a 1920x 1200 Full High Definition display, and a 178-degree viewing angle - perfect for shared viewing of short videos or at a push watching a movie, although if you had multiple viewers you would probably want to take advantage of Asus Miracast to wirelessly connect the tablet to a Wi-Fi enabled TV or projector.
A quick test of the SonicMaster speakers revealed a nice clean sound, but the preloaded classical music didn’t give much indication of how it might handle bass or gaming soundtracks. But the Intel Atom processor and Hyper-threading Technology suggest that the MeMo pad 10 should be able to handle straightforward handheld gaming.
Unsurprisingly the MeMo 10 comes with a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and 1080p video recording. The controls were laid out fairly intuitively with the on-screen shutter and zoom on the right and the rest of the controls on the left. There is also a panorama option.
The MeMo 10 is 9.5 mm thick and weighs 580g. Asus reckons the battery can withstand 10 hours of 720p video playback, but of course we weren’t able to put that to the test. The MeMO 10 is available with 16 or 32 gigs of storage and both feature a microSD card slot for additional storage. The devices also come with 5 gigs of free lifetime ASUS WebStorage.
The models we saw today were the rather smart-looking Royal Blue and Silk White, the promised Vivid Pink option didn’t seem to be around.
Is the MeMo Pad FHD 10 enough to take on the Nexus 10? Probably not, but this shouldn't cost as much either.