ASUS’ $149 MeMO Pad HD 7 challenges Nexus 7 to the core

By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 02, 2013 12:24 PM EDT

A new Nexus 7 challenger is here: the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, a 7-inch Android slate with a $149 price tag.

In many ways, the new MeMO Pad HD 7 is similar to the Google Nexus 7 tablet ASUS created last year. With a new 7-incher of its own, ASUS now hits Google where it hurts and brings notable improvements in areas most criticized on the Nexus 7. After all, who better to acknowledge the faults and improve them than the creator itself?

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The MeMO Pad HD 7 aims to offer a better experience than the Nexus 7 did/does, and it aims to do it for just $149. Whether ASUS will successfully manage to take on the Nexus 7 or not remains to be seen, but the new slate is definitely intriguing.

Similarities between the new ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 and the Nexus 7 include a 7-inch IPS screen with a 1200 x 800 resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage capacity and a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front of the slate. From here on, the two tablets split ways and boast their differences.

First of all, ASUS addresses one of the biggest complaints with the Nexus 7 and adds a micro SD card slot to its MeMo tablet. While the Nexus 7 faced criticism for not offering the possibility of expandable memory, the MeMO Pad HD 7 allows for up to 32GB of additional storage via micro SD. Another key difference in the MeMO's advantage, meanwhile, is the addition of a 5-megapixel rear camera. The new slate also comes with 16GB of ASUS WebStorage, free for one year.

The new ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 also features Bluetooth 4.0, while Google's Nexus 7 uses the older Bluetooth 3.0. In terms of connectivity, both tablets have support for Wireless N. The Nexus 7 supports only the 2.4GHz band, while the MeMO's specs do not specify whether the slate supports single or dual band connectivity (2.4GHz, 5GHz). Battery performance, however, is apparently better on the new ASUS slate: up to 10 hours compared to the Nexus 7's 8 hours.

When it comes to color options, the Nexus 7 comes only in black, while the new ASUS slate comes in black, blue, white, pink, green and gray. For additional convenience and protection, the new ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 also comes with an optional TransCover case with microfiber interior.

"TRansCover folds into a stand to prop up the tablet at the perfect angles for watching video and typing with the on-screen keyboard," touts ASUS. "TransCover is available in blue, pink, white and black for the MeMO Pad HD 7. The Persona Cover for the MeMO Pad HD 7 is also available. Available in black, pink and green, this is a snug-fit case that protects the tablet from everyday bumps and scrapes."

On the other hand, Google's Nexus 7 does melt the heart of Android fans by offering a pure Google experience, unadulterated in any way. From this point of view, the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 may not beat the Nexus 7 in the eyes of the Android purists. Otherwise, a $149 price tag with the MeMO's specs is bound to give the Nexus 7 a run for its money. 

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