Notebookcheck

Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML) Tablet Review

Florian Wimmer, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/17/2017

Good connections. The refresh of Asus' ZenPad 10 is available in two versions and both support LTE. Since it is more expensive than last year's model, the ZenPad 10 Z301ML has to first prove that it is worth the extra money in the test.

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Asus ZenPad 10

For the original German review, see here.

Tablets are handy for the living room and as lightweight companions for on-the-go. However, their users do not renew them as often as smartphones and thus, manufacturers do not invest much time and effort into reworking them. Asus' ZenPad (Z302ML) deviates from the sample and is a revamped ZenPad 10 (Z300M) from last year. This year's 10-inch tablet is furnished with a new SoC, comes with LTE by standard, and it also offers a Full HD screen in the Z301MFL when preferred. However, our review sample has the lower 1280x800 pixel resolution and also less storage than last year's model. The manufacturer's price is 50 Euros (~$59) higher at the same time. Is it still a successful new iteration in the tablet mid-range?

The comparison with the current competition will primarily show this: The Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite, Medion's Lifetab P10505, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A are among them. Lenovo's Yoga Tab 3 10 with its unique design is also a strong rival.

Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 1280 x 800 pixel 149 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 128 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, hall sensor, Miracast
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, LTE (bands 1/​3/​5/​7/​8/​9/​18/​19/​20/​26/​28/​38/​41), UMTS (850/​900/​1800/​2100Mhz), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.95 x 251.77 x 172.17 ( = 0.35 x 9.91 x 6.78 in)
Battery
17.8 Wh, 4680 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: front-sided stereo speakers, DTS HD Premium Sound, Sonic Master technology, aptX support, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, FAQ, ServiceCenter, 24 Months Warranty, LTE-Speed UL:50 Mbps/DL:150 Mbps; , fanless
Weight
490 g ( = 17.28 oz / 1.08 pounds), Power Supply: 49 g ( = 1.73 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
250 (~$295) Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Two different color versions of the ZenPad 10 Z301ML are presently available in Germany: One with a dark gray back cover and black front and the other in white with a silver bezel and gold highlights. The Z301MFL is additionally available in dark blue. Like the predecessor, the rear again features a specially textured pattern that slightly looks like textile and feels secure to hold. Its weight of 490 grams is marginally lower than that of the ZenPad 10 Z300M, and it is generally not a heavyweight among the 10-inch tablets in its category. At the same time, the present Asus ZenPad is a bit thicker than its predecessor.

The tablet can be twisted to quite some degree and then also produces a cracking noise. Pressure on the front or back is passed on quickly to the liquid crystals. Asus' ZenPad 10 Z301ML thus makes a rather mediocre impression in terms of rigidness.

Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10
Asus ZenPad 10

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The ZenPad 10 Z301ML is presently only sold with 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB storage device. That is 16 GB less storage capacity than the predecessor had. Only the Full HD model offers 32 GB, but it also costs over 300 Euros (~$354). A USB C port serves as a physical connection to the outside world but only transmits data in USB 2.0 speed. A docking port like in the predecessor is not installed. USB OTG is not supported but screen content can be transmitted via Miracast.

A micro-SD card can be inserted. The manufacturer promises a compatibility of up to 128 GB. The micro-SD card cannot be formatted as internal storage. However, apps can be moved to the external storage.

Lower edge: SIM and micro-SD flap
Lower edge: SIM and micro-SD flap
Upper edge: standby button
Upper edge: standby button
Right: no interfaces
Right: no interfaces
Left: volume control, microphone, USB C, 3.5-mm audio jack
Left: volume control, microphone, USB C, 3.5-mm audio jack

Software

Asus covers Android 7 with its ZenUI. Our tablet received an update during the test. The security patches were then dated early June, which was already two-and-a-half months old. Asus pleasingly does not install much bloatware (apart from some Facebook apps) and only little additional proprietary software: A support tool and system cleaner alongside a gallery app. Otherwise, the buyer gets the standard Android apps.

Asus ZenPad 10 software
Asus ZenPad 10 software
Asus ZenPad 10 software
Asus ZenPad 10 software
Asus ZenPad 10 software

Communication and GPS

The ZenPad 10 Z301ML is only sold with LTE support; a version with Wi-Fi only is not available. Thirteen LTE bands and four UMTS bands are supported and mobile Internet should thus be found everywhere in Europe at a minimum. The reception is decent. We usually had half the signal indoors in the well-developed German D2 network. The ZenPad 10 cannot be used for making calls via the mobile network.

In terms of Wi-Fi, the ZenPad 10 supports the 5-GHz band but not the fast 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. Tablets that support this fast Internet exist. However, these are devices such as the Galaxy Tab A that were more expensive at their market launch and whose prices have now dropped. The ZenPad 10's Wi-Fi transmission rate is acceptable for 802.11 n Wi-Fi. We examined the signal strength and how fast different websites open in the router's vicinity and at a distance of 10 meters and through three walls. The full signal is available near the router, but websites open quite slowly. Images particularly need a while to load. Half the signal was displayed further away from the router and websites open at roughly the same speed as nearby the router.

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
338 MBit/s ∼100% +297%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
Mali-T720 MP2, MT8735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
85.2 MBit/s ∼25%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
258 MBit/s ∼100% +204%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
Mali-T720 MP2, MT8735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
84.9 MBit/s ∼33%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The GPS module in the ZenPad 10 could locate us indoors quite accurately and was only insignificantly more accurate outdoors: An accuracy of seven meters is an average rate.

We trace a bike trip with the ZenPad 10 and additionally put Garmin's Edge 500, a professional navigation system for cyclists, into our bag for the practical test. The devices show a difference of approximately 250 meters on a route of six kilometers, which is already quite a high deviation. The reason for this is found quickly: The ZenPad 10 simply does not log our position as often and then draws a straight line between both distant points. However, localization is still overall good for a tablet and the ZenPad 10 is throughout suitable for occasional navigation.

GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – woods
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – total
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – total
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – crossing
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – crossing
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – woods
GPS Asus ZenPad 10 – woods

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

Cameras are often a rather secondary aspect in tablets and normally do not offer the photo quality that even mid-range smartphones can deliver. The resolution already makes it obvious that the ZenPad 10 Z301ML is not a photo expert: 5 megapixels on the rear and only 2 megapixels on the front are at most enough for snapshots. Neither camera has an LED flash.

The rear camera shoots decent photos in terms of colors. However, surfaces and color transitions look pixelated in detail and some places are visibly blurred. Thus, we stick to our opinion: OK for snapshots as long as the viewer does not look at details too closely. Videos can be recorded in 1920x1080 pixels, but they already look blurred while recording them. The auto-focus has problems to find the right sharpness and often has to be corrected manually. At least the exposure responds relatively quickly to changing light conditions.

The front camera takes relatively small photos at just 2 megapixels, but their colors are quite good. They lack a bit of dynamics in dark areas and their sharpness could be better. However, the camera is suitable for occasional use here as well.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. 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
click to load images

The primary camera has to show its capabilities in our test lab under defined light conditions. The test chart clearly shows that the camera has problems with fine lines. This could be due to the low resolution or a too low contrast that is especially visible when text is displayed on a colored background. At least the sharpness is acceptable over the whole image.

Strange artifacts and double outlines are seen in the color reproduction that is also too pale.

ColorChecker: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
ColorChecker: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Photographed reference card
Photographed reference card
Reference card details
Reference card details

Accessories and Warranty

In addition to a charger and a USB cable, only a quick-start guide is in the box. Asus offers some accessories on its website, such as a mobile dock that connects the tablet via Bluetooth and a full-fledged keyboard that turns the tablet into a convertible. Furthermore, a so-called Tri Cover that can be used as a kickstand or sleeve is also offered.

Asus offers a 24-month warranty on the tablet.

Input Devices and Handling

Asus uses its own ZenUI keyboard app. It is clearly arranged and offers many settings, as well as some themes. It is even possible to use personal photos as the background. The size can be modified, swipe inputting is available and two languages can be enabled on the keyboard simultaneously. When preferred, it is possible to download another keyboard from Google's Play Store.

The touchscreen offers a glide-friendly surface. However, commands are sometimes implemented with a slight delay. The screen is very sensitive even at the edges and can be used well. The standby button is situated on the tablet's upper edge; the volume control is on the casing's left. Both have a slightly spongy pressure point but are easy to find and are relatively reliable to use.

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

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

We are testing the ZenPad 10 model with a 1280x800 pixel resolution; a Full HD version is also available. The ZenPad's resolution can keep up with equally expensive tablets, but it has a hard time against tablets from the higher-price range that have dropped in price as they all have a Full HD screen. The difference that is virtually invisible in small smartphone screens becomes all the more apparent in a 10.1-inch panel: The reproduction does not look as sharp as in Full HD screens and individual pixels are visible at the edges when taking a closer look.

The average brightness of the screen in the ZenPad 10 Z301ML of 381 cd/m² is not top-notch but is still good. The illumination of 81% is comparatively heterogeneous and the naked eye can see brightness differences in large colored areas.

410
cd/m²
376
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
406
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
366
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
382
cd/m²
370
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 410 cd/m² Average: 382.7 cd/m² Minimum: 7.95 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 392 cd/m²
Contrast: 1568:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.2 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
78.3% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.23
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
IPS, 1280x800, 10.1
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
IPS, 1920x1200, 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
TFT, 1920x1200, 10.1
Medion Lifetab P10505
IPS, 1920x1080, 10.1
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
IPS, 1280x800, 10.1
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
IPS, 1280x800, 10.1
Screen
8%
-20%
-65%
-0%
-28%
Brightness middle
392
435
11%
542
38%
320
-18%
363
-7%
370
-6%
Brightness
383
413
8%
520
36%
308
-20%
344
-10%
351
-8%
Brightness Distribution
81
93
15%
91
12%
84
4%
87
7%
89
10%
Black Level *
0.25
0.25
-0%
0.68
-172%
0.36
-44%
0.34
-36%
0.4
-60%
Contrast
1568
1740
11%
797
-49%
889
-43%
1068
-32%
925
-41%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.2
4.4
-5%
4.2
-0%
7.5
-79%
3.25
23%
4.6
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.2
7.7
31%
6.7
40%
16.1
-44%
5.68
49%
9.5
15%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.9
3.2
-10%
4.8
-66%
10.8
-272%
2.78
4%
6.5
-124%
Gamma
2.23 99%
2.35 94%
2.42 91%
2.3 96%
2.23 99%
2.17 101%
CCT
7115 91%
7056 92%
7434 87%
9907 66%
6722 97%
6354 102%

* ... 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: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8781 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

AMOLED panels in tablets from this price range are rather rare and thus the black level is a central issue in the reproduction quality. The lower it is the deeper black is reproduced and the higher the contrast ratio is for brilliant colors. Asus' ZenPad 10 Z301ML stands out with a very good black level here: 0.25 cd/m² is relatively low and thus the high contrast ratio of 1568:1 is unsurprising. Huawei's MediaPad M3 Lite is even a bit brighter and consequently also has an even better contrast ratio. However, the ZenPad is very close behind.

We perform a detailed analysis of the reproduction quality with the spectrophotometer and CalMAN software. It should be mentioned that the ZenPad 10 offers four display modes that modify the image's diverse parameters and which can be changed even further manually. When preferred, the tablet can even be used in a black-and-white mode. We test all four modes and find that "Balance" is most suitable for natural-looking colors. However, the highest color-space coverage is achieved with the user's settings. A slight bluish tint exists in all modes but is hardly visible to the naked eye. The colors are reproduced with an evident yellowish tint in the blue light mode.

CalMAN ColorChecker – Balance
CalMAN ColorChecker – Balance
CalMAN ColorChecker - Blue light filter
CalMAN ColorChecker - Blue light filter
CalMAN ColorChecker - user's settings
CalMAN ColorChecker - user's settings
CalMAN ColorChecker - Vivid
CalMAN ColorChecker - Vivid
CalMAN Colorspace – Balance
CalMAN Colorspace – Balance
CalMAN Colorspace – Blue light filter
CalMAN Colorspace – Blue light filter
CalMAN Colorspace - user's settings
CalMAN Colorspace - user's settings
CalMAN Colorspace - Vivid
CalMAN Colorspace - Vivid
CalMAN Grayscale – Balance
CalMAN Grayscale – Balance
CalMAN Grayscale – Blue light filter
CalMAN Grayscale – Blue light filter
CalMAN Grayscale – user's settings
CalMAN Grayscale – user's settings
CalMAN Grayscale – Vivid
CalMAN Grayscale – Vivid
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps – Balance
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps – Balance
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - Blue light filter
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - Blue light filter
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - user's settings
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - user's settings
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - Vivid
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps - Vivid

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
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 19 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. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

The ZenPad 10 has an ambient light sensor that adapts automatically to the surrounding's light conditions. It functions well outdoors. The sensor switches the screen to maximum brightness quite soon in bright environments. Then, the screen's content can be recognized quite well. It is still possible to recognize something even in medium brightness when in the shade. The screen is too glossy when light hits it directly.

The IPS panel's viewing angles are good. However, the brightness visibly decreases toward the top and bottom.

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

Performance

The tablet uses MediaTek's MT8735 SoC. The additional "W" apparently only indicates that another graphics unit is installed. Four cores and a maximum clock of 1.3 GHz are the processor's key specs. Thus, our review sample accomplishes lower performance rates in almost all benchmarks than its predecessor! The 2016 ZenPad 10 with MediaTek's MT8163 always has a lead of approximately 10%. This is odd considering the high price that Asus demands for the 2017 ZenPad 10. The ZenPad 10 Z301ML is also fairly far in the back in the comparison field. Much stronger tablets exist at a similar price. This is also noticed in everyday use: Waiting times and stutters cannot be prevented when navigating through the menu.

The graphics unit is the same as in the former model: An ARM Mali-T720 MP2 with two cores and a clock speed of up to 650 MHz. The ZenPad 10 cannot reach the top positions with this, either.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Medion Lifetab P10505
65641 Points ∼26% +93%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
46814 Points ∼18% +38%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
44191 Points ∼17% +30%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
36602 Points ∼14% +8%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
34009 Points ∼13%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
22422 Points ∼9% -34%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
3927 Points ∼38% +32%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
2980 Points ∼29%
Work performance score
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
5438 Points ∼41% +38%
Medion Lifetab P10505
5233 Points ∼40% +33%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
4796 Points ∼36% +21%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
4246 Points ∼32% +8%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
3948 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
2720 Points ∼21% -31%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Medion Lifetab P10505
832 Points ∼41% +24%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
762 Points ∼37% +13%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
682 Points ∼34% +1%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
672 Points ∼33%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
527 Points ∼26% -22%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
10 Points ∼0% -99%
Graphics
Medion Lifetab P10505
1576 Points ∼5% +440%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
764 Points ∼3% +162%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
511 Points ∼2% +75%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
339 Points ∼1% +16%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
292 Points ∼1%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
274 Points ∼1% -6%
Memory
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
1362 Points ∼22% +81%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
1214 Points ∼19% +61%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
910 Points ∼14% +21%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
752 Points ∼12%
Medion Lifetab P10505
708 Points ∼11% -6%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
229 Points ∼4% -70%
System
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
2240 Points ∼14% +88%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
1902 Points ∼12% +60%
Medion Lifetab P10505
1429 Points ∼9% +20%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
1277 Points ∼8% +7%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
1192 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
793 Points ∼5% -33%
Overall
Medion Lifetab P10505
1084 Points ∼13% +68%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
1015 Points ∼12% +57%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
749 Points ∼9% +16%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
647 Points ∼8%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
402 Points ∼5% -38%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
362 Points ∼4% -44%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
2242 Points ∼5% +103%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
1103 Points ∼3%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
2889 Points ∼8% +70%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
1697 Points ∼5%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
662 Points ∼10% +13%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
588 Points ∼9%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
1646 Points ∼39% +91%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
1318 Points ∼32% +53%
Medion Lifetab P10505
1254 Points ∼30% +46%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
918 Points ∼22% +7%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
860 Points ∼21%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Medion Lifetab P10505
1175 Points ∼22% +988%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
259 Points ∼5% +140%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
235 Points ∼4% +118%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
123 Points ∼2% +14%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
108 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Medion Lifetab P10505
1192 Points ∼25% +790%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
315 Points ∼7% +135%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
290 Points ∼6% +116%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
152 Points ∼3% +13%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
134 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
1657 Points ∼40% +105%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
1313 Points ∼32% +62%
Medion Lifetab P10505
1244 Points ∼30% +54%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
916 Points ∼22% +13%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
810 Points ∼20%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Medion Lifetab P10505
1732 Points ∼21% +937%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
518 Points ∼6% +210%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
388 Points ∼5% +132%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
203 Points ∼2% +22%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
167 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Medion Lifetab P10505
1593 Points ∼25% +685%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
599 Points ∼9% +195%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
468 Points ∼7% +131%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
245 Points ∼4% +21%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
203 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
0 Points ∼0% -100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Medion Lifetab P10505
15139 Points ∼19% +67%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
12095 Points ∼15% +33%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
10816 Points ∼14% +19%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
9275 Points ∼12% +2%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
9076 Points ∼11%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
6786 Points ∼9% -25%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Medion Lifetab P10505
22025 Points ∼4% +377%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
10102 Points ∼2% +119%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
6151 Points ∼1% +33%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
5490 Points ∼1% +19%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
4622 Points ∼1%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
4092 Points ∼1% -11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Medion Lifetab P10505
20003 Points ∼9% +286%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
9906 Points ∼5% +91%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
6905 Points ∼3% +33%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
6165 Points ∼3% +19%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
5188 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
4488 Points ∼2% -13%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Medion Lifetab P10505
33 fps ∼0% +284%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
17 fps ∼0% +98%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
12 fps ∼0% +40%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
10 fps ∼0% +16%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
8.6 fps ∼0%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
5.4 fps ∼0% -37%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Medion Lifetab P10505
27 fps ∼1% +93%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
16 fps ∼0% +14%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
14 fps ∼0% 0%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
14 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
11 fps ∼0% -21%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
9.3 fps ∼0% -34%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Medion Lifetab P10505
15 fps ∼0% +384%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
7.5 fps ∼0% +142%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
4.9 fps ∼0% +58%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
3.5 fps ∼0% +13%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
3.1 fps ∼0%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
1.8 fps ∼0% -42%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Medion Lifetab P10505
13 fps ∼0% +110%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
7 fps ∼0% +13%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
6.9 fps ∼0% +11%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
6.2 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
4.5 fps ∼0% -27%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
3.8 fps ∼0% -39%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Medion Lifetab P10505
11 fps ∼0% +450%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
4.8 fps ∼0% +140%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
2.3 fps ∼0% +15%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
2 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
1.7 fps ∼0% -15%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Medion Lifetab P10505
10 fps ∼0% +133%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
5 fps ∼0% +16%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
4.5 fps ∼0% +5%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
4.3 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
2.8 fps ∼0% -35%

Legend

 
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML) Mediatek MT8735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585 Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Medion Lifetab P10505 Intel Atom x5-Z8300, Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash

A very similar result is seen in the browsers as in computing performance. Almost all review samples are faster. Even the predecessor could browse the Internet a bit quicker. Websites need a relatively long time to load on our review sample and sophisticated HTML5 games like letsplay.ouigo.com are still playable but inputs are implemented with a slight delay and the player has to respond even faster.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Medion Lifetab P10505
6177 Points ∼100% +170%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
3855 Points ∼62% +68%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
3320 Points ∼54% +45%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
3167 Points ∼51% +38%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
2290 Points ∼37%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
2152 Points ∼35% -6%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
65 Points ∼100% +20%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
61 Points ∼94% +13%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
61 Points ∼94% +13%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
54 Points ∼83%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
44 Points ∼68% -19%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Medion Lifetab P10505
34.439 Points ∼100% +124%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
23.712 Points ∼69% +54%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
21.2 Points ∼62% +38%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
20.178 Points ∼59% +31%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
15.407 Points ∼45%
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
14.187 Points ∼41% -8%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
15228.5 ms * ∼100% -11%
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
13705 ms * ∼90%
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
12839.9 ms * ∼84% +6%
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
11161 ms * ∼73% +19%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
9788.7 ms * ∼64% +29%
Medion Lifetab P10505
5133 ms * ∼34% +63%

* ... smaller is better

Although our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference memory card is accessed slightly faster than with the predecessor, this is still very slow for the card's potential. At least sequential read on the internal storage is very fast. However, the random access speed is considerably slower again.

Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)Huawei MediaPad M3 LiteSamsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585Medion Lifetab P10505Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50FAsus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
AndroBench 3-5
27%
17%
-26%
-47%
1%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
34.9
56.8
63%
50.09
44%
15.4
-56%
24.7
-29%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
40.9
78.7
92%
75.54
85%
18.9
-54%
37
-10%
Random Write 4KB
9.8
8.5
-13%
10.01
2%
11.7
19%
3.12
-68%
7.36
-25%
Random Read 4KB
23
38.8
69%
23.46
2%
23
0%
10.9
-53%
25.79
12%
Sequential Write 256KB
66
60.3
-9%
45.88
-30%
44
-33%
50.15
-24%
121.22
84%
Sequential Read 256KB
216
133.5
-38%
215.76
0%
142.9
-34%
127.82
-41%
163.48
-24%

Games

Gaming is possible with Asus' ZenPad 10 Z301ML. However, this depends on the game and detail settings. Asphalt 8: Airborne runs too slowly for a smooth gameplay at averagely 16 frames per second in high details. In return, 30 frames is reached in low details. Dead Trigger 2 also runs smoothly.

The touchscreen and position sensor function reliably as controls. Asus additionally includes a special game mode that identifies games automatically and offers some options via an overlay (visible in our screenshot in the upper left corner), such as screenshots or recording videos, optimizing the performance or automatically sharing things in social networks.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high16 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Temperature

The tablet only heats up moderately even during prolonged full load with a maximum of 34.4 °C. This temperature increase is very limited to the back right. The rest of the tablet hardly heats up at all. The maximum idle temperatures range around 31 °C.

Thus, it is not surprising that the SoC does not have any problems with excessive heat and that it does not have to throttle its performance even during prolonged load. We can confirm this after running the GFXBench Manhattan battery test that renders the same sequence 30 times.

Max. Load
 29.6 °C
85 F
28 °C
82 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
 31.2 °C
88 F
28.8 °C
84 F
30 °C
86 F
 
 30.3 °C
87 F
28.5 °C
83 F
29.5 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 31.2 °C = 88 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
27.2 °C
81 F
27.3 °C
81 F
30.8 °C
87 F
27.8 °C
82 F
27.8 °C
82 F
34.4 °C
94 F
27.5 °C
82 F
27.2 °C
81 F
32.5 °C
91 F
Maximum: 34.4 °C = 94 F
Average: 29.2 °C = 85 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.4 °C = 105 F | Room Temperature 22.7 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.5 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 30.8 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 31.2 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 34.8 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.3 to 51.8 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 34.4 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.2 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 30.8 °C / 87 F.
Heat-map front
Heat-map front
Heat-map rear
Heat-map rear

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

Asus has put a lot of effort into the speakers and positions them on the front above the screen like in the predecessor. Many investments have also been made in licensing third-party technology: For example, DTS-HD Premium Sound and DTS Headphone-X for better headphone sound is installed. aptX is also supported and is to improve the sound quality of Bluetooth devices.

Diverse profiles can be selected in the audio assistant or can be left up to the system. Some profiles can be adapted manually; however, not via a real equalizer but via bars for setting basses and trebles.

What about their sound? This was rather mediocre in the predecessor. The speakers are quieter at a maximum of 80.2 dB(A) in the ZenPad 10 Z301ML. No low tones are actually audible even in maximum bass settings. Low mids are rendered well but a minor distortion is audible at maximum volume. In total, the sound is good and useful for occasionally playing music. However, users who have an even slightly higher expectation will have to either use headphones or external speakers. The connection via the 3.5-mm jack and Bluetooth both function well; the sound output is clear.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.830.528.82527.230.827.23127.129.227.14029.533.529.55028.629.228.66334.227.834.2802830.52810028.729.528.712534.223.734.216038.723.838.720047.622.747.625048.622.248.63154722.54740052.722.152.750061.621.361.663060.519.360.580058.519.758.51000621962125066.618.366.6160067.816.267.8200071.215.971.2250069.615.569.6315069.615.769.6400069.315.469.3500069.815.269.8630069.515.269.580007115.2711000062.515.162.5125005515.1551600042.21542.2SPL80.229.680.2N45.51.345.5median 61.6median 18.3median 61.6Delta113.51128.629.428.62929.52932.429.132.443.936.743.933.726.733.728.926.228.924.824.624.829.124.429.141.927.441.954.720.454.76022.56056.92156.959.620.759.662.622.262.664.921.464.964.418.164.471.119.571.172.819.972.872.619.672.67516.37576.61676.676.715.476.776.615.176.673.515.273.572.414.972.470.715.170.769.615.169.666.315.166.361.81561.851.914.951.985.629.585.662.71.362.7median 66.3median 18.1median 66.38.42.98.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML) audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 65% of all tested devices in this class were better, 14% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 63% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 31% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We can affirm that Asus' ZenPad 10 has very low power consumption. The predecessor consumed a bit less power during load but was slightly thirstier in idle mode. However, the ZenPad 10 is an efficient tablet with a full load maximum of 5.72 watts in any case.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.14 / 0.23 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.76 / 3.23 / 3.35 Watt
Load midlight 4.79 / 5.72 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
4680 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
6600 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
7300 mAh
Medion Lifetab P10505
7000 mAh
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
10200 mAh
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
4680 mAh
Power Consumption
-41%
-36%
-81%
-88%
-8%
Idle Minimum *
0.76
1.45
-91%
1.18
-55%
2.01
-164%
2.54
-234%
1.22
-61%
Idle Average *
3.23
4.44
-37%
4.65
-44%
4.82
-49%
5.1
-58%
3.15
2%
Idle Maximum *
3.35
4.61
-38%
4.74
-41%
4.89
-46%
5.24
-56%
3.39
-1%
Load Average *
4.79
6.21
-30%
5.75
-20%
8.35
-74%
7.07
-48%
3.95
18%
Load Maximum *
5.72
6.33
-11%
6.97
-22%
9.91
-73%
8.24
-44%
5.64
1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The low power consumption is also needed seeing that the battery is ridiculously small compared with other tablets. It can only store 4680 mAh or 17.8 watt hours of power. Lenovo's Yoga Tab 3 offers twice the capacity. The former ZenPad 10 Z300M also had such a small battery. Thus, it is not surprising that the runtimes are similar: We could browse the Internet via Wi-Fi for 7:47 hours before the tablet needed an outlet. A workday on the Internet would therefore be just possible. The tablet will likely last a few days when used normally. Other tablets in this price range have to be recharged considerably less frequently.

Also annoying: A quick-charge function is not installed and it can sometimes take several hours for the small power supply to recharge the tablet.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
22h 01min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 47min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 22min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 02min
Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML)
4680 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite
6600 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 SM-T585
7300 mAh
Medion Lifetab P10505
7000 mAh
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 YT3-X50F
10200 mAh
Asus ZenPad 10.0 Z300M-6A039A
4680 mAh
Battery Runtime
28%
66%
-1%
59%
-5%
Reader / Idle
1321
1345
2%
2634
99%
1445
9%
2830
114%
1275
-3%
H.264
622
833
34%
893
44%
740
19%
603
-3%
WiFi v1.3
467
802
72%
826
77%
564
21%
776
66%
435
-7%
Load
302
312
3%
428
42%
203
-33%
415
37%
279
-8%

Pros

+ slim and light casing
+ extensive software
+ LTE support
+ decent GPS
+ high-contrast screen
+ low temperatures
+ low power consumption

Cons

- not very stiff casing, cracking noise
- no USB OTG
- long charging times
- weak system performance
- relatively short battery life

Verdict

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

Asus' ZenPad 10 Z301ML offers LTE support, an HD panel, and a stylish, relatively light casing for 240 Euros (~$283). However, this involves quite a few "buts": The former Asus ZenPad 10 Z300M offers a better configuration in some aspects and better performance, and it now costs considerably less. Many tablets from the next higher price level have now also entered the price level of the ZenPad 10 and defeat the tablet in many areas, such as resolution, performance or battery life.

So why has Asus put effort into an update? This is difficult to answer. The newly launched Full HD version Z301MFL might be considerably more competitive especially since it offers more RAM and a faster SoC.

The ZenPad 10 Z301ML's strengths are found in the high-contrast screen, good software with many settings, decent cameras, and the LTE connectivity. However, many equally priced tablets outperform it in many aspects.

Buying the device might be worthwhile if its price drops soon, money is an issue and a tablet with mobile Internet is needed. Then the buyer will get a decent screen, cameras with good image quality, and of course, LTE. However, better alternatives exist for the manufacturer's present price.

Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML) - 08/15/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
77%
Keyboard
67 / 80 → 84%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
35 / 65 → 54%
Weight
83 / 40-88 → 90%
Battery
91%
Display
84%
Games Performance
8 / 68 → 12%
Application Performance
35 / 76 → 46%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
62 / 91 → 68%
Camera
58 / 85 → 69%
Average
68%
79%
Tablet - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ZenPad 10 (Z301ML) Tablet Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-08-17 (Update: 2018-05-15)