When I first started here at ASUS, I asked coworkers, “Do we have any products that are supported by Verizon?” Since all of ASUS’ current phones and tablets are GSM, the answer was a flat-out “nope”. So, after wallowing at my desk, crying (metaphorically) that I’d never see the day a Zen product would be on a CDMA network, a bright holy light, we’ll call him Zenny, bestowed upon me the ZenPad Z8: the first Zen product to ever hit Verizon’s network. You can take a look at its full specs here.
Out of the box was I greeted by a very slim, lightweight tablet with an 8 inch screen. After letting it charge for a good hour, I turned the tablet on to see very vivid colors right off-the-bat. Setup using the Android-based ASUS ZenUI was relatively easy, and within minutes I was on the home screen. I was also immediately connected to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, which was refreshing because I am usually playing the “Find the Wi-Fi” game with most of my devices. As you can probably tell, I was stoked to have a Verizon-ASUS tablet in my hands.
I was really impressed with video playback and streaming on the ZenPad Z8. Because you have an IPS screen paired the VisualMaster set of technologies, you get a wide gamut of colors and superior contrast with realistic movements. Especially with Orange is the New Black releasing their newest season this past week, you can now take your binge-watching (and anger/sympathy towards Piper) to a whole new level. I tried some games on the ZenPad Z8 as well (DJ Max Technika Q and DBZ: Dokkan Battle) and now I’m finding it hard to go back and play these on a smartphone because of the beautiful picture quality and touch of the screen. Did I also mention how comfortable it is to hold the ZenPad? You will never find yourself trying to awkwardly place your hands on the tablet. I was able to hold it from the sides for a good hour or two without any issue.
You can also pair your Verizon smartphone with the tablet! By connecting your mobile devices to Integrated Messaging and HD Calling, you can have the comfort of making video calls or sending texts straight from your tablet without ever having to pick up your phone. So imagine you’re reading an article on Mashable and your coworker texts you, saying they’ll be late: you’ll get that pop-up on your tablet and respond to it without the hassle of putting your tablet down, taking your phone out of your pocket, and texting back. It’s definitely a feature that makes life more convenient rather than a hassle.
Some other features to note are things like the 8MP rear camera and the 2MP front camera. It’s definitely great if you’re on the go and you find something cool that you just have to take a picture of. The front camera also has a “beautification” feature, because, let’s face it, you’ll probably take one or two selfies with your ZenPad because well, why not, and you want to make sure you look good. Android M is already loaded onto the tablet, so you will be able to immediately take advantage of its new features such as Google Now on Tap and Doze, along with informative menus regarding your apps and overall memory usage.
So what can I say about this little tablet? It’s freakin’ amazing. You have a portable device that aims to be your partner-in-crime for your daily life by making it easier and spectacular. This tablet just came out so go grab it at Verizon Retail Stores or online here: https://www.verizonwireless.com/tablets/asus-zenpad-z8/
If you plan on getting this tablet, I’d highly recommend getting a case so it doesn’t get scratched up. The Zen Clutch accessory is a protective case for your ZenPad Z8 that allows you to not only prop your tablet in different ways, but also acts as a storage case for your credit cards and your ID. The Zen Clutch will retail for about $34.99 and you can grab it at your local Verizon Wireless store!