(Pocket-lint) - Asus used Computex 2014 to launch the latest in its MeMO and Fonepad lines. Pocket-lint had the opportunity to get hands-on with the new devices.
The Fonepad 8 comes in four colours white, black, red, and gold. Before you dismiss the gold one as too bling, we hasten to add that a nicely texturised rear kept the feared ostentatiousness firmly at bay. It also felt extremely pleasant to the touch.
With a narrow bezel of 5.06mm it has a large viewing area on the HD 1280 x 800 IPS display with nice bright colours. The screen has an anti-fingerprint coating to keep it from getting too smeary although with the crowds on the Computex show floor, our pictures might not quite reflect that.
It's a dual SIM phablet running Android KitKat on Intel's Merrifield architecture and seemed to operate quite fluidly. There's 1GB of RAM and either 8 or 16GB internal storage. An SD slot allows for up to 128GB additional storage and it's also LTE capable.
There are dual speakers on the front as well as a 2-megapixel camera. A 5-megapixel camera brings up the rear.
It's fairly slim at just 8.9 mm and weighs in at 328g - which is about as good as you can expect from such a large device.
If you're shy of using an 8-incher as a phone then this probably isn't the device for you (maybe check out the MeMO pad below). On the other hand, the classy finish and the great display do counterbalance this.
The Fonepad 7 is pretty much a non-LTE smaller sized version of the 8.
The MeMO Pad 8 is said to be the "world's lightest LTE tablet" and at just 299g they might well be correct. It's pretty slim too at 7.45mm.
It features a full HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 and we found the viewing angles to be good and the screen to be bright. The casing was also quite bright and glossy especially on the blue model - however fingerprints did seem to be a bit more obvious on the blue rather than the white.
Again it's running KitKat on Merrifield, but with 2GB of RAM and 8 or 16GB of storage. Asus team members estimated the battery life at around 8 or 9 hours. There's an SD slot for additional storage too.
Both the MeMO 8 and 7 feature a 5-megapixel camera on the back, which took nice sharp images, and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.
The MeMO 7 is a smaller non-LTE version of its sibling running on a slightly less powerful processor.
All the devices run Asus' ZenUI (user interface) alongside Android KitKat which does have some nice features especially in terms of taking and handing photos.
Time Rewind Mode and Smart Remove for photo taking, plus Story Mode for organising your shots into a scrapbook style arrangement, and personal organisation apps such as "What's next?" and the procrastinator’s fave "Do it Later" are really nice. The ZenUI layout is attractive and uncluttered.
The Fonepad 7 and 8 will be released in their home country, Taiwan, in August. There's no firm release date for Europe. The MeMo pad 8 and 7 are due out on 19 June starting at £119 depending on specs.