Notebookcheck

Asus ZenPad 3s 10 (Z500M-1H006A) Tablet Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 01/01/2017

Pleasant sounding elite of tablets . Asus' ZenPad 3s wants to be a serious competitor for Apple and aims to attract iPad owners. Thanks to a high-quality casing and hi-res sound, this might even function - were it not for some strange happenings during the test...

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For the original German review, see here.

It seems as if tablets have been stagnating even more than smartphones for some years. There is often a lack of new ideas or features, and the design has not changed much either. Lenovo’s attempts as a pioneer with its Yoga tablets have been quite successful. However, other manufacturers, including Asus, still rely on basic, slim tablets.

Perhaps Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 will be the turning point. We are testing the Z500M-1H006A model with 64 GB of storage. After all, it offers hi-res sound, a high-resolution screen, fingerprint scanner, and stylus support. At a price of below 400 Euros (~$421), it is also much cheaper than an iPad Air 2 with less storage.

Other high-quality, 10-inch tablets are the very expensive Google Pixel C, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, the Sony Xperia Z4 tablet, and the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro.

Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M (ZenPad Series)
Processor
Mediatek MT8176 2.1 GHz , MediaTek MT8176 Hexa Core, up to 2.1 GHz, 64bit
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
9.7 inch 4:3, 2048x1536 pixel 264 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, native pen support, IPS, Asus Tru2Life, anti-fingerprint finish, 10-finger multi-touch, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 52 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SDXC max.128 Gb, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, compass
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 5.8 x 241 x 164 ( = 0.23 x 9.49 x 6.46 in)
Battery
22 Wh, 5900 mAh Lithium-Ion, Quick Charge, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 10 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix 1080p videos
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix 1080p videos
Additional features
Speakers: stereo-speakers on lower edge, DTS HD Premium sound, DTS headphone:X, Sonic Master, aptX, hi-res, USB cable, charger, SIM tool, Mobile Manager, Photo Collage, MiniMovie, Do It Later, ZenCircle, SuperNote, Puffin, 24 Months Warranty, Miracast
Weight
430 g ( = 15.17 oz / 0.95 pounds), Power Supply: 49 g ( = 1.73 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
380 Euro

 

Case

The casing of Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is traditional, which is not necessarily a drawback. The tablet looks very elegant; its polished metal frame gleams and the matte metal back shimmers. Our photos show the "gray" model with black front and a somewhat darker back. The "silver" model has a white front and a slightly lighter colored back.

The stability is satisfactory. However, there is some room for improvement in the front's pressure resistance as medium pressure causes temporary blue spots in the liquid crystals. Minor color distortions are visible on the screen when the tablet is twisted, and it also produces audible cracking noises.

With 430 grams (~15.2 oz), Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is midfield in terms of weight. The iPad Air 2 is 14 grams (~0.5 oz) heavier. Our review sample is quite slim with 5.8 millimeters (~0.23 in). The ZenPad 3s 10 is pleasant to hold, thanks to its rounded edges.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is available with 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage. Apparently, there is no price difference on the Internet at the moment, and thus buyers can opt for the 64 GB model; 52 GB of which can be used. 4 GB of working memory is generous and none of the comparison devices offer this.

Google's Pixel C features a fast USB 3.0/3.1 port. Our review sample is only equipped with a slower USB 2.0 port. A version with mobile Internet is not offered either.

Left: MicroSD slot
Left: MicroSD slot
Right: Volume control, standby button
Right: Volume control, standby button
Upper edge: 3.5-mm audio jack
Upper edge: 3.5-mm audio jack
Lower edge: Speakers, USB-C port
Lower edge: Speakers, USB-C port

Software

Asus relies on a modified Android 6.0 operating system. However, many of these modifications affect only the looks. Asus calls its interface ZenUI that catches the eye with its strikingly large buttons. Overall, Android has not been changed to such an extent that the user of another Android tablet would not recognize it anymore.

Asus has preloaded many apps. The social media applications Facebook and Instagram are among them. "ZenCircle" is something like Asus' own social network with photos. Photo collages and videos can be created with other preloaded apps. "Puffin" is an alternative browser that is supposed to be particularly fast. Handwritten notes can be made with "SuperNote", and the service app answers questions concerning the tablet as well as providing some self-checks.

Although Asus has preloaded lots of apps, many are quite useful.

Communication and GPS

The ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M offers fast Wi-Fi that operates in the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards. Consequently, 5-GHz networks are supported. The transmission speeds in our standardized test using the Linksys EA8500 reference router are not quite as fast as with other 802.11ac-Wi-Fi devices.

The full signal is still available even a few meters away from the router in the practical test. The reception first decreases to half when three walls and 10 meters separate the device and the router, and websites open much slower.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
525 MBit/s ∼100% +107%
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
257 MBit/s ∼49% +1%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 5.0 GHz)
254 MBit/s ∼48%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
575 MBit/s ∼100% +134%
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
313 MBit/s ∼54% +27%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 5.0 GHz)
246 MBit/s ∼43%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The incorporated GPS/GLONASS module could not find a signal indoors. It also took very long before it found enough satellites for localization outdoors. However, the accuracy gradually increased up to a decent 4 meters (~13 ft).

For a direct comparison, we took Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 along with Garmin's Edge 500 professional navigation system in our backpacks on a roughly 12-kilometer (~7.5 mi) bike ride. Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 recorded a much shorter distance than Garmin's device. This is probably because it repeatedly drew straight lines between remote measuring points. Although Garmin's system also had a clear dropout in the street behind the railway crossing, it tracked the route considerably more accurately than the tablet when crossing the bridge.

Nevertheless, Asus' tablet should do an overall good job as a free-time navigation system even if it might need longer for connecting to satellites.

GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – overview
GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – overview
GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – crossing
GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – crossing
GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – bridge
GPS Asus ZenPad 3s 10 – bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – bridge

Cameras

Front-facing camera photo
Front-facing camera photo

A rear-facing 8-megapixel and a front-facing 5-megapixel lens are installed in our review sample. The cameras do not have any special features, such as an LED flash. At least both cameras can record Full HD videos.

The photos taken with the primary camera show that the dynamic is not very satisfactory. Both dark areas and very bright areas do not show any outlines, and they are only displayed as black or white areas. This still looks quite romantic in landscape photos, but it is annoying in photos of bright candles. It is also noticeable that the color reproduction is too cool. High-quality smartphone cameras, such as in Samsung's Galaxy S7, present considerably more details even in dark areas. On the other hand, the sharpness of the camera in Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is acceptable.

The front-facing camera produces quite acceptable photos, and we also liked the dynamics better. However, a visible color noise is soon evident when zoomed slightly.

Preferably, videos should not be made with the tablet. The motion pictures of both cameras make an unquiet, noisy impression, and often omit details such as print.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the zoom step. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

In addition to practical photography, we look at the tablet in our test studio where all cameras in smartphones and tablet have to photograph the same test picture. The primary camera in the ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M presents clearly frayed edges and has problems displaying clear fonts on a red background. White areas have a color tint. However, the pictures look quite sharp overall.

Visible spots are seen in colored areas in the color comparison. The reproduction of some is also strongly distorted. Black in particular looks more like a medium gray tone.

Test picture (click for original)
Test picture (click for original)
Test picture section (center)
Test picture section (center)
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.

Accessories and Warranty

Asus does not include any special accessories for the ZenPad 3s 10. At least, it is possible to fold a tablet kickstand with a rubber holder out of a part of the box. All kinds of accessories are offered on Asus' website, but none is product specific. However, many third-party covers and other items for the tablet are offered on the Internet.

An active stylus by Asus that is compatible with the ZenPad 3s 10 is also available on the Internet for approximately 50 Euros (~$53).

A "12" is noted on the warranty card, and thus Asus only gives a 1-year warranty on its tablet. Naturally, this does not affect the manufacturer's legal warranty.

Input Devices and Handling

The app "SwiftKey" is used as the virtual keyboard, and provides many settings, themes and input options. The keys are clearly lettered and typing on it is easy. Other options, such as gliding over the keyboard or voice input (via Google's voice detection), function well. It is always possible to change to Google's standard app or download another keyboard from the Play Store.

The touchscreen is very accurate and also still functions very precisely in the corners. The fingerprint scanner and menu buttons are outside the screen. The latter could be slightly larger; they are very close to the fingerprint scanner that, unfortunately, does not reactivate the tablet from standby, making it necessary to push the button before unlocking the device via fingerprint.

The grooved keys for volume and standby are on the right, and they are well-palpable and function precisely.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

Subpixel screenshot
Subpixel screenshot

With a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is on par with the comparison devices. The 4:3 screen based on IPS technology is also middling in terms of brightness. It shines brighter in the center than at the edges. The illumination of 86% is acceptable, and at most minor brightness differences are visible even in larger colored areas.

433
cd/m²
438
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
458
cd/m²
489
cd/m²
422
cd/m²
437
cd/m²
456
cd/m²
431
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 489 cd/m² Average: 442.6 cd/m² Minimum: 7.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 489 cd/m²
Contrast: 1137:1 (Black: 0.43 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.5 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.7 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.06
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
IPS, 2048x1536, 9.7
Apple iPad Air 2
IPS, 2048x1536, 9.7
Google Pixel C
LTPS, 2560x1800, 10.2
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Triluminos display with X-Reality, 2560x1600, 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Super AMOLED, 2048x1536, 9.7
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
IPS, 2560x1600, 10.1
Screen
6%
4%
-22%
32%
6%
Brightness
443
427
-4%
510
15%
457
3%
357
-19%
434
-2%
Brightness Distribution
86
92
7%
91
6%
92
7%
86
0%
82
-5%
Black Level *
0.43
0.61
-42%
0.39
9%
0.46
-7%
0.35
19%
Contrast
1137
693
-39%
1249
10%
1024
-10%
1226
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.5
2.86
48%
5.24
5%
8.69
-58%
1.78
68%
4.61
16%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.7
2.37
65%
7.95
-19%
11.24
-68%
1.38
79%
6.64
1%
Gamma
2.06 117%
2.43 99%
2.16 111%
2.17 111%
2.24 107%
2.42 99%
CCT
7457 87%
6941 94%
6565 99%
9508 68%
6366 102%
6929 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88
98
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 962 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

The decent black level of 0.43 cd/m² leads to a good contrast ratio of 1137:1. Subjectively, the colors look relatively vivid on the screen. Asus promises that the contrast adapts dynamically to the image situation and that individual areas are ideally synchronized to achieve a subjectively higher contrast. The Tru2Life technology is supposed to make even sharper images possible. The reproduction looks really sharp subjectively, but not strikingly better than on other high-quality tablets.

Many parameters of the image reproduction can be adapted via the app "Splendid". A blue-light filter can be enabled (the color temperature is simply set to very warm) for minimizing eye strain.

In our test using the CalMAN software and a spectrophotometer we discovered that the reproduction of colors is generally a bit too blue. However, the bluish tint can still be tolerated. The color deviation compared with the sRGB reference color space is also within an acceptable range. The color space coverage of 95.3% will probably be too little for professional users.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 66 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
50 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 35 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 78 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (44.3 ms).

The glossy screen is a problem for outdoor use. Content is only legible on the screen to some extent at maximum brightness, and this also becomes difficult in very bright surroundings. The light sensor functions quite well and fast.

The viewing angles are very good thanks to the IPS technology. The image remains legible even from very flat angles, and only very slight brightness shifts are noticed.

Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - ambient light sensor
Outdoors - ambient light sensor
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - minimum brightness
Outdoors - minimum brightness
Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Discussion

Performance

The SoC in Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M is Mediatek's MT8176, which is relatively new to the market. It has six cores, two of which clock fast and four slower, more efficient cores that share the work.

Generally, the performance of Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 is quite high. Navigating through menus is absolutely smooth and apps are launched quickly. However, our review sample sometimes behaved oddly. Apps crashed, benchmarks refused to start or stopped half way through. It is unclear whether this is due to the SoC or the software. In any case, Asus should provide a software update for eliminating these issues.

The SoC is also conspicuous during some benchmarks, and its performance falls behind its rivals. Then again, it is quite far ahead in other benchmarks. The relatively weak graphics card evidently plays a role here. The PowerVR GX6250 is now over two years old, and it was already mid-range at its release. In any case, the ZenPad 3s 10 has to be satisfied with the last places in the comparison field. Some benchmarks that require OpenGL ES 3.1 or higher launched, but then crashed with the message "Out of Memory" half way through, which seems rather unlikely in view of 4 GB of RAM.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
90568 Points ∼49% +22%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
74177 Points ∼40%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
70385 Points ∼38% -5%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1955 Points ∼76%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1641 Points ∼63% -16%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1254 Points ∼48% -36%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1205 Points ∼47% -38%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4293 Points ∼56% +343%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1426 Points ∼18% +47%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
970 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
843 Points ∼11% -13%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2735 Points ∼56% +150%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1926 Points ∼40% +76%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1384 Points ∼28% +27%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1092 Points ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
946 Points ∼19% -13%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22527 Points ∼33% +37%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
17981 Points ∼26% +9%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
16673 Points ∼24% +1%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
16449 Points ∼24%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11189 Points ∼16% -32%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
10379 Points ∼15% -37%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
52816 Points ∼12% +274%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
37312 Points ∼8% +164%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
31542 Points ∼7% +123%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
21327 Points ∼5% +51%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20482 Points ∼5% +45%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
14121 Points ∼3%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
40665 Points ∼21% +326%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
24566 Points ∼12% +157%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
21707 Points ∼11% +127%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20081 Points ∼10% +110%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
19867 Points ∼10% +108%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9548 Points ∼5%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
70.4 fps ∼5% +143%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
69 fps ∼5% +138%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54 fps ∼4% +86%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
38 fps ∼3% +31%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
34 fps ∼3% +17%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
29 fps ∼2%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
52.1 fps ∼11% +127%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
39 fps ∼9% +70%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
37 fps ∼8% +61%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
29 fps ∼6% +26%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23 fps ∼5%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20 fps ∼4% -13%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
40 fps ∼7% +186%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
37.6 fps ∼7% +169%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
26 fps ∼5% +86%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
18 fps ∼3% +29%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
17 fps ∼3% +21%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼3%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
27 fps ∼12% +178%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22 fps ∼10% +127%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
16 fps ∼7% +65%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
12 fps ∼5% +24%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
9.7 fps ∼4%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8.5 fps ∼4% -12%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6858 Points ∼84% +76%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5565 Points ∼68% +43%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5152 Points ∼63% +32%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4441 Points ∼55% +14%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3898 Points ∼48%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1263 Points ∼82% +16%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1086 Points ∼70%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
884 Points ∼57% -19%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
872 Points ∼57% -20%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
758 Points ∼49% -30%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
648 Points ∼42% -40%
Graphics
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6355 Points ∼74% +436%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
4920 Points ∼57% +315%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2683 Points ∼31% +126%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1886 Points ∼22% +59%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1385 Points ∼16% +17%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1185 Points ∼14%
Memory
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1887 Points ∼49%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1141 Points ∼30% -40%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
954 Points ∼25% -49%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
868 Points ∼23% -54%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
832 Points ∼22% -56%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
590 Points ∼15% -69%
System
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
4104 Points ∼62% +34%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3071 Points ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2867 Points ∼44% -7%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2724 Points ∼41% -11%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2488 Points ∼38% -19%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1643 Points ∼25% -46%
Overall
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash
1967 Points ∼60% +19%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1909 Points ∼58% +16%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1652 Points ∼50%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1482 Points ∼45% -10%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1325 Points ∼40% -20%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1103 Points ∼34% -33%
Geekbench 4
Compute RenderScript Score
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2166 Points ∼27%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3324 Points ∼12%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1592 Points ∼29%

The zigzag course of Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 continues also in the JavaScript and HTML 5 benchmarks that show the browsing performance. It is sometimes midfield, sometimes it has the lead, while at others, it is in the last place. Stable performance rates are evidently a problem for the review sample. Overall, we also had the feeling that websites sometimes opened quickly and sometimes a bit slower in the practical tests, which confirms these test outcomes. YouTube videos, however, usually load and stream fast, but HTML 5 pages stutter slightly in Chrome 55.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Safari 9.0 Mobile)
10512 Points ∼21% +192%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 48)
8197 Points ∼17% +128%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 39)
7790 Points ∼16% +117%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 44.0.2403.133)
7563 Points ∼15% +110%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 45)
6885 Points ∼14% +91%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 55)
3596 Points ∼7%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 45)
6483.2 ms * ∼11% -116%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 44.0.2403.133)
5533.1 ms * ∼9% -84%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 48)
4471.6 ms * ∼8% -49%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 39)
4064 ms * ∼7% -35%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 55)
3001 ms * ∼5%
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Safari 9.0 Mobile)
2396 ms * ∼4% +20%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPad Air 2
PowerVR GXA6850, A8X, 128 GB eMMC Flash (Safari 9.0 Mobile)
158 Points ∼27% +61%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 44.0.2403.133)
128 Points ∼22% +31%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 48)
111 Points ∼19% +13%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 55)
98 Points ∼17%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 39)
93 Points ∼16% -5%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 45)
79 Points ∼14% -19%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 55)
57.4 Points ∼0%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 44.0.2403.133)
47.4 Points ∼0% -17%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 45)
41.12 Points ∼0% -28%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 48)
41 Points ∼0% -29%

* ... smaller is better

The storage performance is the last part of our performance chapter. We test the access speeds on both the internal storage and on an external microSD card. Again, very different results are presented with the internal storage: The ZenPad 3s 10 takes the lead on all comparison devices in sequential write, while it falls behind to the last places in random write. However, since the access times are overall good in read and we did not experience extremely long loading times subjectively, we would say that the storage performance is good.

Accessing our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 microSD reference card was performed at an acceptable speed. However, higher access times are certainly possible with the fast card.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
26.9 MB/s ∼31%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Toshiba Exceria SD-CX32UHS1)
15.93 MB/s ∼18% -41%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Toshiba Exceria SD-CX32UHS1)
56.41 MB/s ∼58% +25%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
45.15 MB/s ∼47%
Random Write 4KB
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
13.6 MB/s ∼9% +100%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
10.57 MB/s ∼7% +55%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
10.08 MB/s ∼7% +48%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
9.82 MB/s ∼6% +44%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6.8 MB/s ∼4%
Random Read 4KB
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
25.56 MB/s ∼15% +3%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
24.85 MB/s ∼15%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
23.7 MB/s ∼14% -5%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20 MB/s ∼12% -20%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
19.96 MB/s ∼12% -20%
Sequential Write 256KB
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
136.5 MB/s ∼72%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
109.38 MB/s ∼58% -20%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
81 MB/s ∼43% -41%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
50.96 MB/s ∼27% -63%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
49.37 MB/s ∼26% -64%
Sequential Read 256KB
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
256 MB/s ∼35% +22%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
Mali-T760 MP6, 5433 Octa, 32 GB eMMC Flash
248.24 MB/s ∼34% +19%
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
PowerVR GX6250, MT8176, 64 GB eMMC Flash
209.3 MB/s ∼28%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
154.29 MB/s ∼21% -26%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), Z8500, 32 GB eMMC Flash
153.72 MB/s ∼21% -27%

Games

A mixed impression is also left in gaming. Basically, the graphics unit should support the effects and improvements from OpenGL 3.1. However, since there were issues in the benchmarks, we assume that games will not utilize these effects for compatibility reasons. The performance is also unsatisfactory: The high resolution prevents "Asphalt 8: Airborne" from running absolutely smoothly in high detail settings. An average of only 26 frames was achieved here.

On the other hand, "Dead Trigger 2" is not limited to 30 frames per second as in other devices, and the game was even rendered at very smooth 59 frames on average. Older and less demanding games, such as "Angry Birds" run without any issues.

Control via touchscreen and position sensor function impeccably.

"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
"Dead Trigger 2"
"Dead Trigger 2"
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high26 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high59 fps

Emissions

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Temperature

The casing's idle temperatures are inconspicuous at a maximum of 29.7 °C (~85 °F). The temperature increase during full load can be felt, but are in no way unpleasant at a maximum of 38.7 °C (~102 °F). The temperature increase is limited locally and much lower on the back.

We use the battery test of GFXBench to find out whether the device can maintain its performance even during prolonged load as the benchmark logs the frame rates. They only fluctuate slightly at thirty runs, and thus the system performance should remain fairly stable even during prolonged load.

Max. Load
 38.6 °C34 °C33.1 °C 
 37.6 °C34.4 °C32.9 °C 
 34.6 °C32.8 °C33.1 °C 
Maximum: 38.6 °C
Average: 34.6 °C
29.7 °C32.1 °C34.5 °C
29.9 °C32.2 °C34.1 °C
29.8 °C31.9 °C32.7 °C
Maximum: 34.5 °C
Average: 31.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  33.8 °C | Room Temperature 21.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

Asus is especially proud of the two stereo speakers installed into the lower edge. According to the manufacturer, the sound is impressive thanks to five magnets and all kinds of software support via DTS-HD and 7.1 Virtual Surround. In any case, the maximum volume is impressive, even though the trebles clash very unpleasantly in pop music, regardless of whether audio enhancement is enabled or not. In full orchestra sound, tones are skipped and the sound is no longer absolutely linear. Sometimes, the volume has to be reduced to half to make the sound more pleasant. The speakers are still loud enough then.

We also noticed that system sounds are generally quite loud, for example, the tone that confirms tablet shutdown or the keyboard's typing sound. We would recommend users with sensitive ears to adapt this manually at initiation.

It is quite possible to listen to higher-quality soundtracks since the tablet supports hi-res audio files. A special improvement for headphones via DTS X Headphone is also on-board. In fact, the sound via headphones or external speakers is good regardless of whether they are connected via cable or Bluetooth.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.640.12525.444.23125.338.44032.9415033.644.96331.646.58028.446.81002748.312520.848.71602250.120021.353.125020.858.631521.264.940019.468.650019.570.263017.771.280017.969.3100017.873.6125017.378.5160017.480.7200016.781.3250017.277.9315018.278400017.984.5500017.686630017.789.8800017.886.61000017.982.71250018.181.81600018.280.8SPL3095N1.3103.7median 17.9Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500Mmedian 77.9Delta1.39.33730.934.43725.629.328.925.628.931.523.728.929.331.830.929.33935.937.23933.535.130.533.52730.928.52722.432.722.322.423.534.522.923.530.438.92030.434.443.420.434.440.649.719.840.644.255.620.344.247.158.619.247.152.265.917.952.257.172.616.357.15770.417.65758.472.41858.46176.917.66163.779.21763.760.376.717.260.359.275.717.759.256.977.717.356.963.181.917.463.166.688.517.766.664.584.81864.553.975.617.753.947.569.518.247.542.164.217.942.133.357.317.833.373.392.829.873.329.588.31.329.5median 53.9Google Pixel Cmedian 70.4median 17.9median 53.99.411.71.39.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (94.99 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.4% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 24% similar, 76% worse
» The best had a delta of 17%, average was 23%, worst was 33%
Compared to all devices tested
» 23% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Google Pixel C audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (92.79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 47% of all tested devices in this class were better, 24% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 17%, average was 23%, worst was 33%
Compared to all devices tested
» 61% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 31% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The ZenPad 3s 10 is quite economical with power. It consumes a maximum of 4.23 watts when idling, and at most 11.58 watts during load. Then again, the average load consumption of over 10 watts is relatively high.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.59 / 4.14 / 4.23 Watt
Load midlight 10.89 / 11.58 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
5900 mAh
Apple iPad Air 2
 mAh
Google Pixel C
 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
 mAh
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
6200 mAh
Power Consumption
1%
-6%
-10%
-169%
Idle Minimum *
1.59
1.2
25%
1.82
-14%
2.3
-45%
8.6
-441%
Idle Average *
4.14
5.1
-23%
4.26
-3%
4.5
-9%
11.26
-172%
Idle Maximum *
4.23
5.4
-28%
4.33
-2%
5
-18%
11.3
-167%
Load Average *
10.89
7.9
27%
9.82
10%
9.4
14%
14.57
-34%
Load Maximum *
11.58
11.1
4%
13.99
-21%
10.4
10%
14.9
-29%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The battery in Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M can provide 22 Wh. This enables the tablet to achieve 8:38 hours in the practical Wi-Fi test. Google's Pixel C manages a much longer runtime and the iPad Air 2 also achieves a few extra minutes. However, we tested the latter using our former procedure that was not as demanding.

In practice, the ZenPad 3s 10 can certainly last an entire workday, with some reserves afterward. If not used constantly, it might even last two days and even four days of occasional use are not unrealistic.

The battery is recharged by approximately 25% within half an hour via Quick Charge. It then progresses slower so that up to 2.5 hours can be expected for a full recharge.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
24h 13min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 38min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 45min
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
5900 mAh
Apple iPad Air 2
 mAh
Google Pixel C
 mAh
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 LTE
 mAh
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 YT3-X90L
6200 mAh
Battery Runtime
-6%
30%
10%
-6%
12%
Reader / Idle
1453
1364
-6%
2090
44%
2135
47%
918
-37%
1261
-13%
Load
225
212
-6%
294
31%
166
-26%
291
29%
323
44%
WiFi
630
WiFi v1.3
518
638
23%
525
1%
393
-24%
558
8%
H.264
600
562
-6%
740
23%
705
18%
651
9%
644
7%

Pro

+ stylish metal casing
+ good configuration
+ accurate controls
+ fingerprint scanner
+ good screen
+ low temperature development
+ useful battery life
+ sharp photos
+ very loud speakers

Cons

- cameras' low dynamics
- poor video quality
- slow GPS module
- 12-month warranty only
- very loud system noises
- trebles sometimes dominate unpleasantly
- fluctuating system performance

Verdict

In review: Asus ZenPad 3s 10. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany.
In review: Asus ZenPad 3s 10. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany.

Stable, high-quality, good screen, decent speakers, useful battery life - Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 does not present any major shortcomings in our test course. However, we are not quite sure whether or not the review sample impressed us. The speaker sound alongside all its sound enhancing software and the hi-res support is loud, but it sounds much better on paper than in real life. The cameras' low dynamics in bright and dark areas will not awe anyone either.

However, the strangest thing is the SoC's behavior that sometimes provided the best performance and then dropped again to the other extreme - not everything runs smoothly in everyday use. Perhaps a software update will improve this behavior. The very loud system sounds that often can only be reduced in volume or turned off in hidden menus are also annoying. Furthermore, there are many preloaded apps that some users will probably never activate.

Basically, purchasing Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M is not a bad decision: The buyer gets a solid tablet with a competitive screen and good casing. However, many minor annoyances in details prevent real enthusiasm.

Can we give Asus' ZenPad 3s 10 a purchase recommendation? It depends: It certainly offers many aspects for its price that an iPad Air 2 could not do much better, and it can even compete with the considerably more expensive Google Pixel C in many sections. The buyer will get a relatively useful tablet for everyday use if not too much is expected from the speakers or one does not depend too much on performance.

Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M - 12/25/2016 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
70 / 80 → 88%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
40 / 65 → 62%
Weight
84 / 88 → 92%
Battery
91%
Display
83%
Games Performance
40 / 68 → 59%
Application Performance
49 / 76 → 64%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
52 / 85 → 61%
Average
73%
86%
Tablet - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ZenPad 3s 10 (Z500M-1H006A) Tablet Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-01- 1 (Update: 2017-01- 2)