The Asus Memo Pad 8 is a Handy Travel Companion

I own three different full-sized tablets: one to manage my business; one to create – drawings, music, photos, videos, and podcasts; and one to read books, watch videos, play games, and listen to music. Although these tablets are great at what they do, they rarely leave my house.

When I have to travel for work, I typically carry a smaller tablet. What I give up in power and functionality, I gain in portability. My latest on-the-go tablet is the Asus Memo Pad 8. This device is thin and light enough to toss in my carry-on bag without worrying about extra bulk.

Although the Asus Memo Pad 8 is a budget-friendly tablet, it doesn’t look or feel cheap. The sturdy device fits comfortably in my hand and boasts an 8-inch display that offers a 30% larger display area over 7-inch tablets. The 8″ screen size is perfect for a bookworm like me. I can read for longer periods of time and consume more books (I read about one a week) without fatigue. The Asus Memo Pad 8’s HD 1280 x 800 display is sharp, clear, and easy on the eyes. You can also adjust the color temperature to make the screen more or less vivid depending on your personal preference.

I store a lot of data on my tablets because I don’t always have access to the cloud when I’m traveling (Asus offers HomeCloud). I need to be able to access my information quickly without having to find a Starbucks to log on. The Asus Memo Pad 8 has 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot that gives me the option to add an additional 64GB of storage (note: I don’t like the fact that the slot isn’t covered. It takes away from the tablet’s aesthetic and makes me worry about dust and moisture getting inside).

The device’s Intel Atom1.33 GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM make it relatively fast and responsive, but don’t expect to use this tablet to do heavy-duty work such as balancing spreadsheets or writing the great American novel. The Asus Memo Pad 8 is best used for consuming content. I’m a bit of an audiophile and I was impressed by the tablet’s capabilities. It has five customized audio modes (Music, Movies, Games, Speech, and Recording) that allow you to tailor the sound to suit your needs. To test the stereo speakers, played Lana Del Rey’s new song, “Ultraviolence,” because of it’s diverse tonal range. The highs were clear and the lows sounded full without becoming muffled even when I increased the volume to the max.

On a recent trip from Houston to Seattle, I was able to use the Asus Memo Pad 8 to listen to several songs, read a few magazines, and watch my favorite movie, “The Dark Knight.” When I landed, I still had enough battery life to check-in with Foursquare, send some e-mails, post a status on Facebook, check my Twitter feed, and make dinner plans with my Yelp app.

I won’t say much about the camera because tablet cameras are rarely worth mentioning. However, I will say that I do like the camera software features “Smart Remove” and “AllSmiles.”

With a bright screen, excellent battery life, and adequate storage space, the Asus Memo Pad 8 is a handy travel companion for road-warriors. However, it is just as useful for those who prefer to use their devices close to home.

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