Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Intel Android Handhelds Hardware

iPad Mini-Style Specs, On the Cheap, In Android-Based ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 87

MojoKid writes: The ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 is a well-designed Android tablet based on an Intel X86 platform that boasts better specs than the iPad mini 3 in many areas and is also less expensive. As configured, the ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA has an MSRP of $299, which is $99 less than the 16GB iPad mini 3, and $199 less than 64GB model. However, it's based on a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and modern amenities like 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a USB Type-C port and a 2048X1536 IPS display. A 2GB RAM and 32GB variant can be found for $199 as well. In the benchmarks, the ZenPad S 8.0 handles pretty well, offering middle-of-the-pack performance in both standard CPU tests as well as gaming, in addition to running the latest version of Android Lollipop.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

iPad Mini-Style Specs, On the Cheap, In Android-Based ASUS ZenPad S 8.0

Comments Filter:
  • Dear slashdot, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:05AM (#50539961)

    If you're doing product presentations in this venues, the least I expect is an assessment on how easily a device can be rooted. Otherwise I can go to the abundant shiny press release regurgitators out there.

    • Specs Specs Specs (Score:2, Insightful)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 )

      Why is it people insist on comparing apples to oranges with specs. People buy apple because they are easy to use, highly productive, platforms with a balance of specs. You can always buy something cheaper-- always-- if you cherry pick the specs as your comparison point. This makes sense if you are running a headless server in the dark or running an optimized gaming machine or treating the device as an appliance to control your robot or home securilty system. Otherwise it makes no sense. Apple is very c

      • by Anonymous Coward

        no people buy apple junk because they're drinking the koolaid and/or want a fashion accessory.

        apple specs are only decent in mobile. in notebooks and desktops they're ripoff artists for such incredibly anemic specs. only the topend pro was a very slight value when it first came out(most recent iteration) now it's just like the rest of their lineup of yawners. even worse as they turned the pro into a fashion accessory as well, making it difficult at best to upgrade simple things and impossible for gfx.

        havin

        • no people buy apple junk because they're drinking the koolaid and/or want a fashion accessory.

          You're absolutely right! You said:

          NO people buy apple "junk" because they're drinking the koolaid and/or want a fashion accessory.

          Oh, what a difference a comma WOULD have made; but you're too filled with Apple hate to even compose a grammatically-correct insult, slashtard!

      • Interestingly in the area of processors is where Apple has the opposite approach of commodity. They design their processors specifically for their devices rather than use off-the-shelf ones.
    • On top of that, can we avoid reviews that appear to be willfully inaccurate? Their comparisons only work if you ignore that they're comparing the year-old, not-even-for-sale-any-longer iPad Mini 3 against their product. Apple announced the iPad Mini 4, it's tech specs, its pricing, and made it available for purchase on the 9th, a full week before this review was published, and pulled the iPad Mini 3 from sale at the same time. Given that Apple keynotes are all over the tech blogosphere whenever they happen

  • Why x86? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:14AM (#50540015) Homepage

    Why are we so slavishly stuck with x86?

    When tablets first came out they threw away all the baggage, ans started fresh with a smaller and leaner platform. This gave us battery life, and finally gave us apps which were small, functional, and didn't take gigs of space.

    I worry that everybody is going to try to turn these damned things back into x86 based dinosaurs, and start spec'ing out the damned things like desktops, and then we're back to the damned bloatware of old.

    The x86 architecture is very old, full of stuff it probably doesn't need anymore, and is just going to encourage people to essentially treat tablets like they're desktops. And while I'm sure it's come a long way in terms of power, I just don't see why we can't keep tablets smaller and less tied to this damned architecture.

    But, then again, I guess this allows everybody to be lazy and just reuse the same architecture they've had for decades and slowly turn the tablets back into low end desktops for no good reason.

    • But, then again, I guess this allows everybody to be lazy and just reuse the same architecture they've had for decades and slowly turn the tablets back into low end desktops for no good reason.

      Asus could have used ARM just as easily. They chose Intel because they thought it was the best SoC for their needs, not because of the legacy x86 compatibility. Nobody is going to install DOS or Windows on these.

      • Asus used Intel because they got the SoC for practically free, thanks to Intels contra-revenue scheme.

      • Actually, one of the things I really like about my ASUS tablet is that I was able copy an existing x86 Linux into a chroot on the microsd card. And then sling binaries back and forth between that and my x86 servers and VMs.

        • While it's a cool feature for you, you are in that 0.001% of the users doing that. I don't think Asus even considered this use case when they designed the tablet.

          • You don't think the engineers and software developers who designed ASUS' android tablets considered running general-purpose Linux on them? It never crossed the minds of that particular subset of the general population?

      • Asus could have used ARM just as easily. They chose Intel because they thought it was the best SoC for their needs, not because of the legacy x86 compatibility. Nobody is going to install DOS or Windows on these.

        Then, pray tell, what the FUCK ARE they going to install? Linux? Yeahrightsure.

        And does Android even run on x86? How many APPS are there for that variant?

        This actually seems like a VERY lame product. Who cares about hardware specs if there is no App-support?

        • I wasn't expecting someone who's username is mac4all to know that, but yes, Android does run on x86 and all java apps should work. Only some apps are written in C and compiled for ARM.
          So app-support is a non-issue.

          • I wasn't expecting someone who's username is mac4all to know that, but yes, Android does run on x86 and all java apps should work. Only some apps are written in C and compiled for ARM. So app-support is a non-issue.

            I wasn't expecting someone who's username is mac4all to know that, but yes, Android does run on x86 and all java apps should work. Only some apps are written in C and compiled for ARM. So app-support is a non-issue.

            Ad hominem bullshit aside, I am sure I can spout plenty of OS X and iOS facts that would "stump" a Fandroid; but I thought that Dalvik != Java; but now you're saying that there is magical App compatibility between Dalvik Apps and Java Apps? So there is the concept of "Black Box Dalvik" (pure Dalvik), just like "Black Box Java" (pure Java)? If so, how many times does THAT happen?!?

            So, why can't I run Android Apps on OS X (assuming I have downloaded that dangerous OS), or Windows (again, assuming Java Suppo

            • Dalvik runs code compiled from Java, but Dalvik bytecode isn't compatible with JVM bytecode. It was also replaced in 5.0 with ART, which recompiles software into native architecture code. Software that needs native code (games that include C libraries, for instance) generally have builds for multiple architectures available.

              So, why can't I run Android Apps on OS X (assuming I have downloaded that dangerous OS), or Windows (again, assuming Java Support has been installed)?

              Because you haven't head of BlueStacks [bluestacks.com]? Or possibly the apps you want to run don't run stably in that environment. Back to Java: Java's just a language. It can be compiled to bytecode fo

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Cost? Intel optimizes a chipset for a tablet and includes wifi, bluetooth, etc, and suddenly its price/performance is lower than a similar ARM. There is no other reason.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I assume its so that Asus can swap the OS and make a Windows version cheaply in small quantities. Doing so they qualify for the return of their patent fees for Microsofts 'inventions'.

      (We learned that Samsungs settlement for Microsoft 'Patent' lawsuit was a fake payment, which was waived as long as Samsung got made Windows phones too, and when they stopped making Windows phones, Microsoft sued them for patent license fees).

      I also suspect Intel gives them a price cut on PC x86 chips if they use x86 in tablet

    • Re:Why x86? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:40AM (#50540183)

      "The x86 architecture is very old..."

      In addition to all the stupid stuff that others have already responded to, I'll point out that ARM is also very old. It clearly upsets you that x86 competes successfully on a level playing field...but the news gets worse, your fresh architectural savior in ARM is a dinosaur as well.

      • Re:Why x86? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:46AM (#50540213)

        It's not about age in years, it's about the amount of accumulated cruft. x86 is designed for 16-bit real mode, then leftover opcodes were taken by useless 286 protected mode, then you had 32 bit protected mode crammed in, and then an unclean move to 64 bit. ARM in comparison started with clean 32 bits, and its 64-bit variant has no opcode compatibility.

        • Re:Why x86? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:57AM (#50540279)

          So? The instruction decoder makes up such a tiny part of a modern CPU that the instruction set is largely irrelevant in terms of efficiency.

          • So? The instruction decoder makes up such a tiny part of a modern CPU that the instruction set is largely irrelevant in terms of efficiency.

            Because it's an ugly architecture. There's more to ISA than efficiency. If we can get rid of the x86 architecture, the world will be a better place (and Intel thinks so, too, as long as they can control the new architecture).

            Not that ARM is particularly beautiful, it has accumulated cruft from decades, too. But at least it has a few more registers to work with.

            • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

              Few developers need to have any exposure to the instruction set, especially on a platform like Android where most software is in a virtualized language like Java. There are exceptions, but the days of inline assembly are generally behind us.

              • You responded to the comment, "x86 is an ugly architecture" by saying, "most people don't have to use it." I therefore conclude that you must also think it's an ugly ISA.
                • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

                  That wasn't my intent, my intent was to indicate that, for most developers, the ISA is completely irrelevant. It can be ugly or beautiful and they'll never need to know or care. If ISA mattered, we'd all be using MIPS.

            • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

              AMD64 is not all that x86 like and that is the isa most people use today. The old 16 bit stuff is just a tiny bit of cruft for backwards compatibility.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          PowerPC started with a clean 32-bit design as well, and it could run circles around ARM if someone would just focus some R&D resources on it. But the king of R&D is currently Intel, and they shine their spotlight on x86. Deal with it.

          • PowerPC started with a clean 32-bit design as well, and it could run circles around ARM if someone would just focus some R&D resources on it.

            You're right about that! Think of IBM's Watson. Runs on POWER architecture, IIRC. (Yes, I know it isn't quite the same as PPC; but they are certainly kissing-cousins, or variations on a common theme).

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          None of which matters if the cost and performance / power capabilities of the Atom processor is better than the equivalent ARM processor.
          • None of which matters if the cost and performance / power capabilities of the Atom processor is better than the equivalent ARM processor.

            Which would be great, if it were even REMOTELY true.

            • by DrXym ( 126579 )
              The Antutu scores for the Atom chips are out there and they're not out of line with similar chips. Indeed, Asus already use the chip in their $229 Zenfone 2 and it has a pretty decent performance for that price range. My biggest reason to not buy this particular tablet has less to do with the CPU and what I've read about ZenUI.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        To be fair x86 goes right back to the early 70s. The 8086 was released in 1978, but the architecture was an extension of the 8080 (1974) which itself was an improvement on the 8008 (1972), which traced aspects of its design right back to the original 4 bit CPUs that Intel made. The architecture itself was designed to be somewhat compatible with mainframes of the day.

        x86 is fairly horrible in all regards, but it also lends itself to being very well optimized by things like out-of-order execution and conversi

        • The 8080 owed very little to the 8008 (yes I have written assembler for both). They were completely unrelated to the 8086, but are distantly related to the 8085.

          The 8086 was a very poor attempt at a PDP11 clone - deliberately bad enough to avoid patent suits.

          You are confused by the 8088 (after all, that is what it was there for). The 8088 was an 8086 with an 8 bit external bus to keep the pin count and peripheral cost down. Assembler for the 8086 was far more painful, and it has only got worse with the

      • "Competes successfully" is not how I would describe x86 on mobile devices. The vast majority uses ARM for a reason. While age isn't really the main problem with x86 on mobile as it is with legacy, there are huge disadvantages. Sure Intel is working on the short comings, but they have still some work to go.
      • "It clearly upsets you that x86 competes successfully on a level playing field."

        In what way is that so? iPad (ARM) sales still trounce all x86 tablet sales, even when the x86 tablets ship with more memory and so on.

        Plainly x86 cannot really compete on a truly level playing field.

    • Why are we so slavishly stuck with x86?

      Huh? Tablets are almost all ARM. This tablet is the aberration. Maybe Intel finally has their power issues worked out.

      Who cares what the ISA is if the specs are better? PC x86 also comes with more machine-support for system setup than ARM, which could help speed development, but it's not necessarily true that an x86 tablet is a PC-compatible tablet either.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      "Why are we so slavishly stuck with x86?"
      Because it works.
      Because the x86 was picked for the PC and we have bought untold millions of PCs Intel has had untold billions of dollars to spend on making the x86 very fast and pretty power efficient.
      When the pc came out the 68000 was a much better cpu and an 8Mhz Z-80 was faster.
      ARM tends to win at the low end of the scale and the x86 at the higher end.
      I find it depressing but Intel has the advantage of huge scale and profits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:30AM (#50540117)

    This is a slashvertisment, please move along.

  • by Mr. Droopy Drawers ( 215436 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:35AM (#50540155)

    Very happy with my Samsung 12.1 Galaxy Note Pro. But, they've discontinued it. Will Apple be the only offering this form factor? Or does it take them to legitimatize the 12" screen size?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Microsoft, Dell, Acer and others all still do 12" tablets. Lots of other manufacturers support the 12" form factor, it's just Samsung that hasn't updated last year's model for some reason.

  • by Doug Otto ( 2821601 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:37AM (#50540163)
    I get a chuckle every time either side of the droid/apple ecosystem does an "X sucks" and then follows it up with "this Y has specs just as good as X!" comparison.

    So they both suck?
  • Site issues? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @09:40AM (#50540179)
    Hey Slashdot, I think your ads disabled checkbox is broken.
  • Silly comparison (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 )

    1, The iPad Mini 3 is about to be replaced by the iPad Mini 4.
    2. It runs Android or Windows, which both need better hardware specs than IOS.
    3. It runs Android or Windows. In the former case, it's a security nightmare that the manufacturer will probably stop supporting in a year or so, and, in the latter, it's a privacy nightmare.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Android needs better hardware specs than an iPad? Interesting. As for Windows, it *might* be a security issue if you use your tablet as a Windows desktop instead of just apps from the app store. Then again, being able to run a full desktop from a tablet is a pretty useful thing on occasion. Even just installing a printer driver on a Windows tablet is far simpler and more apps print properly than some of the bullshit that iOS or Android puts you through.
      • Then again, being able to run a full desktop from a tablet is a pretty useful thing on occasion.

        That's what VNC and RDP is for. Or don't you own a computer and an internet connection? Do you need help setting up a VPN?

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          I see. So even though a Windows tablet is entirely capable of being a full desktop in its own right, to take into an office or hotel and do real work, you think it's that RDP is an adequate replacement.
          • I see. So even though a Windows tablet is entirely capable of being a full desktop in its own right, to take into an office or hotel and do real work, you think it's that RDP is an adequate replacement.

            With an adequate internet connection and possibly a bluetooth keyboard (which would benefit the Windows tablet, too), sure. Done it many times with my iPad. And with the new iPad Pro, it's pretty much a no-brainer.

            • by DrXym ( 126579 )
              I take my tablet (which has a keyboard dock) to Spain, Portugal, the USA and I don't particularly relish leaving a PC on in my house for 2 or 3 weeks. I don't relish having to set up remote access to it through a firewall, or making the assumption that I have internet at all in order to access it.

              And why should I when my tablet is a PC? I can take my work with me. I can write software (my profession), or play a game or just use it like a tablet. It's a thoroughly impractical idea to suggest use RDP instea

  • Throw the submitter under the bus.

    • Spare the submitter.....

      TL;DR - Cheap is not always pejorative

      This is possibly a difference between English and American

      Americans view cheap as implying poor quality. Something cheaply made implies cutting back and using lowest cost components.

      This meaning also exists in English but it usually just means low cost. "Cheap and cheerful" means low cost but generally equivalent to higher priced items.

    • No, really. For some of us it's a factor.

      I don't want some $500 tablet, I want a relatively cheaper tablet which has enough specs to do what I need without trying to be bleeding edge.

      For some of us, the $200 price point is the sweet spot, it's not a super low end piece of garbage, but it's not a super high end thing we don't need with features we don't want.

      That was pretty much how I ended up with my Nexus 7. It was right in the $199-$219 price range when I bought it, was a 'vanilla' Android, and covered

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @10:00AM (#50540297)

    I have an ASUS Memo Pad 10 FHD, that has served me pretty well for just over a year. My one complaint is that the company stopped supporting it way too early (it's running Android 4.3), and this seems to be standard practice. My next tablet will be Nexus or Apple, simply because that should provide me with 2-3 years of OS updates. That little bonus is worth an extra $100 or so to me.

    • That was how I ended up with the Nexus.

      It wasn't full of proprietary crap, and was likely to be supported the longest possible.

      I expect to get a couple of years out of the device, and have no desire to chase the latest and greatest.

      I also don't want the additional crap from whatever vendor has decided to reinvent the wheel/try to monetize my experience.

    • My iPad 3 updated quite happily to iOS 9 today. It was released in 2012 running iOS 5.1.
  • Seriously, can you replace android with a real (glibc) based linux?

    • Probably. But even without replacing it, you can install most command line linux programs anyways. Either directly on inside a chroot

  • If not, I don't care about any android tablet.
  • in addition to running the latest version of Android Lollipop.

    Hahahahahaha! [slashdot.org]

    That is all.

  • All complaints about OS, rooting, browsers, privacy aside... this is a really nice tablet for the price... and this holiday season (or next) it will be a steal.
  • I have always regretted purchasing any device with an Atom in it, and I was stupid enough to do it more than once. Always the wrong combination of hot and slow. Did Intel finally get it right this time? I seriously doubt it.

  • There is no mobile data option in the specs on Asus' website [asus.com]

    No good if you want a stand-alone mobile data terminal.

The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James

Working...