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ASUS is popularly known as a brand for laptops, gaming rigs etc. But these days ASUS is doing good in the smartphone and tablet market too. ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is an Android tablet that is targeted to the users who are looking for a great design, moderate performance at a competitive price.

We were trying our hands on the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL since last few days and in this article the detailed hands-on review of the device is shared for all readers of Geeky Stuffs.

The hands-on review of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is divided in multiple section considering pros and cons of each of them and also along with the hands-on videos to provide the first hand experience.


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL : Detailed Hands-on Review


Retail Box and Unboxing


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL comes in a beautiful and small white retail box. Inside the box, you will find the tablet

One interesting thing and highlighted feature of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is that it supports lots of accessories and in few market they are sold together with the device in a bundled pack. Our tablet came bundled with the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Power Case CB81 that works as an external battery and back panel. So if you are buying a bundled pack then, the retail box will be bigger obviously containing the separate retail box of both the tablet and the accessory.

You can watch our ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL unboxing video below.




Design


When it comes to design, ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is a winner. It is having a premium look all around it. The front is flat but the edges are beautifully rounded and having the metallic strip. So even though the material used is plastic, it feels like metal. There are no off-screen navigation keys and due to this, the screen-to-body ratio is an impressive 76.5%. But it also reduces a bit of real estate on the screen as the bottom of the screen will be used for the navigation keys.

The power and volume rockers are on the right side, while the USB and 3.5mm audio ports are at the top. The DTS HD Premium Sound speaker is provided at the top of the front side along with the 2 MP front camera and sensors, and it doubles up as the earpiece for making phone calls too.

The back panel is removable and you need to open it to insert the SIM, memory card and to connect an accesory. The back panel is having a nice rough finish that gives the impression of leather a bit. The 8 MP primary camera is provided at the top left corner of the back side and the ASUS branding at the center.

Screen and Display


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL comes with 8-inch 800p IPS LCD screen that is a bit poor as the PPI you will get with the resolution and screen is just 189 pixels per inch. So it would be better if the tablet had a 1080p full HD screen as it would really makes it much better.

But even though the resolution is low, ASUS tried to compensate it by using the ASUS VisualMaster which is a suite of exclusive visual enhancement technologies that combine hardware and software to optimize all aspects of the display. It consists of ASUS Tru2Life, ASUS TruVivid, ASUS Bluelight Filter and ASUS Splendid to improve the display quality. Though all these feature work perfectly and improve the visual experience, you will still feel a bit pixelated screen now and then.

The screen of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 1 to avoid the minor scratches and damage to the screen. The display is bright enough and having a very nice sunlight readability. The viewing angles are good too considering the big screen size.


Hardware Specs and OS


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is a 4G LTE device and it sports the various SoC depending on the model. The one we got comes with the 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 quad-core CPU and Adreno 306 GPU and they are supported by 2 GB of RAM.

Internal memory in ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is 16GB out of which 11.15 GB memory is user available. But it is expandable using the microSD card. You can use a memory card of up to 64 GB to expand the memory. You also get free 5 GB Life Time ASUS web-storage space and 100 GB of Google Drive space for 2 years. There is a SIM card slot provided as well that can be used for making calls.





In our benchmarking tests, ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL scored moderately because of its mid-range hardware specs. The real life performance is better than the benchmarking scores. We played some heavy graphics and high end games like N.O.V.A 3, Asphalt 8 : Airborne etc. on our ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL and the performance was good considering the hardware used. The one with the better hardware specs will perform better than our model of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL for sure.

ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS on top of ZenUI. The UI is feature rich and provides lots of customization that we will cover later in this review.


Camera and Imaging


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL sports the PixelMaster Camera app along with an 8 MP primary camera and a 2 MP camera on the front side to take selfies and video chatting. Unfortunately, there is no flash provided to take images in low light situation and to compensate it, a Low Light shooting mode is provided.

Primary camera is good enough and performs like the most of the 8 MP cameras available in the market. Images coming out of the primary camera are sharp and having good amount of details. But sometime you will feel it a bit washed out and that’s when the HDR mode comes handy. The impressive thing about the camera of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is the fast focus, shooting modes and options it provides to the user.

ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL : Hands-on Review, Features and Specs

The 8 MP primary camera comes with the HDR, Beautification, Night, Depth of Field, QR Code Scanner, Selfie, Low Light Mode, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Remove, All Smiles, Slow Motion and Time Lapse modes.

Smart Remove removes an unwanted moving object from the images. Time Rewind captures images before and after you press the shutter to capture the perfect moment. Miniature mode let you make the small scale version of a life-sized image. Effect mode let you apply lots of effects on the image and you can have the live preview as well. Selfie mode let you take selfies from the primary camera and using thee headcount method.

ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL : Hands-on Review, Features and Specs

Impressively, the camera detects the amount of light around and depending on amount of light it asks you to switch to Low Light or HDR mode etc if you are using any other shooting mode. Slow Motion mode let you go down only 1/4th of the original speed, so it would be great if more options were provided to select the speed. Time Lapse mode also goes as high as 5s only while you can see that most of the mid-range smartphone provide up to 10s time laps.

2 MP front camera is not good enough for good quality selfie and can be used only for the video chatting. But still, we should not expect from a 2 MP shooter. The front camera also comes with many shooting modes like the HDR, Beautification, Night, GIF Animation, Selfie Panorama, Slow Motion and Time Lapse modes.

The full HD 1080p video captured from primary camera is nice and provides good details. There is no effect that you can provide while using the video mode and the you get just record, pause and stop buttons. The front facing camera is capable of recording 720p HD videos and moderate in terms of quality.


Entertainment and Gaming


Here our ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL gives a mixed performance. The ASUS Music app is simple and having all the usual music player feature. Using the ZenUI Service, you can also stream the music stored on your cloud storage.

The DTS HD Premium Sound speaker provided on the top front is loud and produces good quality sound. And if you are looking for more then, you can use the ASUS Audio Cover. It is a 5.1-channel surround sound speaker accessory for ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL to provide a cinematic experience.

The 8-inch 800p HD screen provides good experience while watching videos on it and support most of the video and audio formats. But again it would be great if this tablet had the better screen resolution.

When it comes to gaming, the performance of our ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL was moderate. For most of the games, the performance was good without any frame drops and lags. Even a high end-game like Asphalt 8 :Airborne performed pretty well without any issue like lagging or much heating.



But while playing N.O.V.A 3, a high-end 3D game, we felt lagging and it was hard to play the game properly because of this. So for casual gaming, ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is good enough but if you are a hardcore gamer then, you will be disappointed.

But again if you opt for the high-end model of this tablet that comes with octa-core processor and better Adreno 405 GPU then, the gaming performance will be nice and much better.


Battery


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL comes with a 4,000 mAh battery and lasts long. Since a tablet is not used like a smartphone, you will find its battery surviving for days. The standby time is also very nice and it contributes in overall battery performance.

There is also a Power Management tool provided under which you can use the Power Saver mode when the battery is low. You can also use the Auto Start Manager to control the apps that start by themselves after botting up the device.

Overall the battery performance of ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is nice but if you want more juice then you can use the ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Power Case CB81. It is a back panel actually instead of case and comes with 2150mAh battery and provides 6 hours of battery life.




Productivity


Thanks to ZenUI, ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is a really productive device. It uses the ZenUI Launcher which is also available for other Android devices in Google Play Store and it is the top-rated launcher in the store.

Applications get auto-categorized for easy access, thanks to the Smart Group feature. You can hide or unhide applications from the app drawer itself. You can also lock the gallery, apps, hide albums in the gallery and can perform lots of such task.



ZenUI Service let you connect with your social network and cloud storage and see your multimedia files in the device gallery. Also in the device file manager, you will find the files stored on your cloud storage accounts for direct access. It also let you integrate the Facebook Events with the events in the calendar of your ASUS tablet.


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL : Hands-on Review, Features and Specs

Under the ZenMotion, you will find some touch and gesture based productivity options. Easy Mode let you use the ASUS tablet with a more user friendly UI. ASUS MiniMovie let you create nice theme based movies from the images in the gallery.


Conclusion


ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is a nice Android tablet overall in its price range. It is having a nice, premium and very easy to handle design. The performance is moderate for the Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 version but the high-end version comes with better performance. The screen is average in terms of quality.

The primary camera is good and comes with lots of nice options. The front camera is good enough for video chatting but not recommended for selfie lovers. Battery life is very nice and you can also use the external battery case. The UI is very nice, productive and very feature rich. Plus, you get the calling functionality and nice accessories as well.

Overall, ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL is one of the best Android tablet in its price range and if you can ignore the average screen then, it is a must buy device in every sense.

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