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August 31, 2016

Asus ZenPad 3S 10: Hello iPad lookalike

by John_A

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a 9.7-inch tablet that could easily be mistaken for an iPad, certainly on first glance. The device, which was on display at the company’s event in Berlin in the run up to IFA, offers a lightweight design, with a premium, compact build.

Featuring an all metallic body, the ZenPad 3S 10 claims to offer the world’s thinnest bezel at 5.3mm, along with a “class-leading” screen-to-body ratio at 78 per cent and the result is a lovely looking device that is feels much lighter than it’s finish would suggest.

It offers a thickness of just 5.8mm, making it nice and slim, while the 0.8mm diamond-cut chamfers make for some great detailing. The rear, which has a smooth matte texture features a subtle Asus logo in the centre, while the edges are rounded, making it a delight to hold.

At the bottom of the ZenPad 3S 10, you’ll find a USB Type-C port, along with five-magnet stereo speakers. The tablet features smart amplifier technology that is said to allow the speakers to be driven at higher volumes without causing distortion, and it also supports Hi-Res Audio.

Additionally, Asus has included DTS Headphone:X that will automatically optimise and tune headphones to provide the effect of a 7.1-channel surround-sound home theatre system. We didn’t get a chance to test the sound out during our short amount of time with it, but we will do when we get it in for review.

The display on the ZenPad 3S 10 is 9.7-inches as we mentioned, and it sports a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. The slim bezel looks lovely and the colours appeared to be nice and vibrant, though the screen did pick up some serious fingerprints.

When it comes to watching video, Asus has included what it calls Tru2Life video-enhancement technology to the device. This is said to increase sharpness and contrast of videos, supporting the company’s aim to make the new tablet good for entertainment. Again, we weren’t able to test this during our hands on but we will look at that feature in more detail when it comes to our review.

Beneath the display is an oblong home button that features a built-in fingerprint sensor, the first tablet from Asus to do so. It allows users to lock and unlock the device, as you would expect, and it will also work with supported apps for authentication.

Under the hood, the ZenPad 3S 10 has a hexa-core MediaTek 8176 processor that is supported by 4GB of RAM. From our brief experience, everything seemed nice and smooth to operate, with no lag switching between various apps. There is 64GB of onboard storage with a microSD slot allowing for expansion up to 128GB.

A 5900mAh battery keeps the tablet ticking along for up to 10 hours when watching a film, or u to 12 hours when surfing the internet on Wi-Fi. The ZenPad 3S 10 also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology however, which means if you do run out of juice, it will be back to full in around three hours.

In terms of software, the ZenPad 3S 10 features a fully customised version of Android Marshmallow. Everything looks quite cartoony, but it’s nice and colourful and easy enough to navigate around.

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 will be priced at €379, but availability details have yet to be announced.

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