In the absence of laptops, we’d been thinking for a while that it might be useful to get another portable device.
Laurence sometimes takes the iPad for work and I like to sit on the sofa and get a bit of writing in if Talitha is watching TV in the afternoon and Ophelia is napping. We also quickly watch little videos on a device together, especially when we’re trying to find the answer to something.
Talitha has a few educational games she likes to play and while she’s pretty good at handling the mouse, a touch screen is, naturally, easier for her to manipulate.
We were offered the ASUS MEMO Pad 7 ME176 to review and figured it could be a solution.
On first impressions, it’s light, an easy size for Talitha to operate but big enough for my purposes too. I love the vibrant colour and it seems really sturdy and well-made as far as I can tell. This is going by looks and feel, of course. I’m not about to drop the thing. On purpose, anyway.
The battery life is much lower than our iPad Air. I didn’t time it but, surprised when it ran out, I looked around for reports online and a few noted a five-hour difference. That’s not a problem for our purposes. It’s just worth being aware of if you’re not used to it. You just want to charge it up before you hit, say, a transatlantic journey.
The touchscreen seems just as responsive as the iPad and it’s pretty intuitive to use, once you’ve had a little play.
You can’t really compare the two, of course. The Memo Pad is a budget tablet, retailing at just £99. The price makes it attractive as a tablet for our whole family as it’ll hurt a bit less, should something happen to it.
I do love how easily it connects with all my Google products, a feature you don’t get with Apple.
I reckon that could make it a good option if you’re looking for a first tablet for your teen, for instance. Defo look at the parental control options, obviously. I need to put some safety features on our MEMO Pad but, I admit I haven’t got that far yet.
What we’ve done so far:
Games: Annoyingly, it doesn’t support Flash so Talitha can’t play Reading Eggs, Maths Seeds or Teach your monster to read on it (firm favourites here) but she has played games on the CBeebies app with no problem.
Video & Music: We’ve watched YouTube videos and Alphablocks clips. The quality is decent and the size perfect for quickly grabbing and dipping in and out. The sound is slightly tinny to my ear but that hasn’t stopped me using it to practise for my a capella group.
Photographs: The camera is not as good as the one on my iPhone 5C so I won’t be relying on it but it’s fine for Talitha to take photos. I rather the kids don’t use my phone, anyway.
Word processing: For writing notes and emails, it’s a much better option than my phone by virtue of size. I’d still like to get a laptop at some point but this will certainly do for now.
Reading: The MEMO Pad 7 is similar size to my Kindle and I’ve been happy to read blog posts on it. I doubt it would replace a Kindle for me but it’s a good option if you don’t already have a reader.
All in all, I think you get a lot for your £99 with this tablet. I’m not sure it completely fulfils our need (desire?) for another portable device but it fills the gap for now.