ASUS ZenPad 7.0: World’s 1st Tablet with Interchangeable Functional Cover

Models pose with ASUS ZenPad
Models pose with ASUS ZenPad
Models pose with ASUS ZenPad

ASUS ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) and ZenPad C 7.0 (Z170CG), ASUS brand new tablet series, were officially launched during ASUS Zensastion Roadshow in Mid Valley Megamall at the end of August 2015. The new 7-inch Android tablet has a new outlook design and customizable functionality with interchangeable covers (ZenPad 7.0).

ASUS ZenPad launch event at Mid Valley Megamall
ASUS ZenPad launch event at Mid Valley Megamall

The beauty of new design is the embossed-leather patterning back cover, which is influenced by fashion accessories such as clutch bags and wallets, giving the tablet a luxury feel.

The front is a 7-inch display with thick top and bottom bezel, surrounded by a metallic frame. ZenPad C 7.0 has a similar design, except that the back cover is not interchangeable.

All aspects of the tablet’s display — including contrast, sharpness, colour, clarity, and brightness — are optimized by
ASUS VisualMaster, a suite of visual enhancement technologies that combine hardware and software, including ASUS Tru2Life and ASUS TruVivid.

ASUS ZenPad is also the world’s first tablet to integrate DTS-HD Premium Sound. It provides high-fidelity sound from multimedia content with DTS-HD encoding and transforms stereo audio into virtual surround sound. You will also get full 360-degree surround sound when listening with headphones. ASUS SonicMaster will enhance other non-DTS-HD encoded audios.

ZenPad 7.0

ASUS ZenPad 7.0
ASUS ZenPad 7.0

ZenPad 7.0 is powered by a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage (supports microSD memory card up to 128GB). It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and ASUS ZenUI.

The display is 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS panel with Corning Gorilla Glass1. Its 8MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing cameras are powered by ASUS’s PixelMAster technology to capture better-looking photos, videos and selfies.

ASUS ZenPad 7.0
ASUS ZenPad 7.0

It supports mobile network (no 4G) with a micro SIM. The 13Wh Li-polymer battery provides up to 8 hours battery life. The dimension is 189 x 110.9 x 8.7mm, Weight is 272 gram.

The interchangeable cover design allows you to easily customise the tablet with functional back covers for additional features and colour options. (Read ZenPad 7.0 accessories later)

ZenPad 7.0 specs and price
ZenPad 7.0 specs and price

ZenPad 7.0 C Dual SIM

ASUS ZenPad C 7 (Red)
ASUS ZenPad C 7 (Red)

On the other hand, ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 is the junior using the same Intel Atom 64-bit Quad-Core CPU, but 1GB RAM and 8GB storage (support microSD card up to 64GB). Its 7-inch IPS panel display’s screen resolution is 1024×600 pixels. The front and rear cameras are 0.3MP and 5MP respectively. ZenPad 7.0 C is dual-SIM phablet supporting 2G/3G networks.

ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 dual SIM and microSD slots
ASUS ZenPad C 7.0 dual SIM and microSD slots

ASUS ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) price in Malaysia is RM 749 (free one extra Zen Case). ZenPad C 7.0 price is RM 529. Both are now available for sale at ASUS Store Online.

The following table compares ZenPad 7.0 (Z370CG) and ZenPad C 7.0 (Z170CG): (click to enlarge)

Compare ZenPad 7 vs ZenPad C 7.0
Compare ZenPad 7 vs ZenPad C 7.0

ZenPad 7.0 accessories

ASUS ZenPad is the world’s first tablet to feature an interchangeable cover design that lets you easily customize the tablet with functional back covers.

Audio Cover (RM 249)

ZenPad Audio Cover
ZenPad Audio Cover

Audio Covers brings 5.1-channel surround sound to ZenPad. It includes four satellite speakers, one center channel speaker, and one subwoofer to provides surround-sound experience when watching videos or listening to music. Audio Cover sound output is 6x louder volume than the tablet alone.

ZenPad Audio Cover
ZenPad Audio Cover

It last up to 6 hours of continuous usage on a single charge. Audio Cover also double as a stand for conveniently watching videos or getting some work done.

Power Case (RM 109)

Power Case
Power Case

Power Case extends ZenPad’s battery life up to 15 hours of usage, long enough for your whole day usage or longest international flights.

Power Case
Power Case

It is compact and seamlessly attaches to ZenPad, giving you power on the go without the need to carry portable batteries and extra cables.

Zen Clutch (RM 119)

Zen Clutch
Zen Clutch

Zen Clutch is a fashionable protection case features a leather finish and is available in black and white colours. Its folding design also serves as a stand for typing or watching videos.

Zen Clutch
Zen Clutch

Zen Case

Zen Case
Zen Case

Zen Case is another stylish accessory featuring fine leather texture that allows you to outfit ZenPad in 5 colours: Obsidian Black, Pearl White, Aqua Blue, Vibrant Orange, and Aurora Metallic.

For more information, please visit www.asus.com/my

All prices mentioned are inclusive 6% GST.

Surface 3 with Type Cover Review: Can the Bundle Replace Your Laptop?

Surface 3 with Type Cover
Surface 3 with Type Cover
Surface 3 with Type Cover

Microsoft Surface 3 is a Windows 8 (or Windows 10) tablet. You can use it in tablet mode or desktop mode with a Type Cover.

Microsoft claims that it can replace your laptop. Is it true?

I had an opportunity to use a Surface 3 and Type Cover for a few weeks. Read on for my review to find out more.

Disclosure: I do not use Windows 8 in tablet mode at all. I set it to login directly into desktop mode.

Surface 3 Design

Surface 3 is not the thinnest tablet but it has a good build. It is lightweight at only 622 gram. Simply drop it in your bag and you are Windows productivity ready on the go.

It has 1x full-size USB 3.0 port, 1x mini DisplayPort and a microSD memory card slot hidden under the kickstand. It is equipped with 3.5MP front camera and 8MP rear camera. The power button and volume rocker are on the same side.

You charge Surface 3 via a microUSB port — yes, the same charging port found on other non-Apple smartphones.

Tip: With optional accessory, you can turn the microUSB port into a full-size USB port, too.

Surface 3 ports
Surface 3 ports

Single USB port means you may need a USB hub to connect to computer accessories. The upper position of USB port in laptop mode make your USB hub hanging in the air. It is ugly.

I would suggest Microsoft to replace the microSD memory card reader with a standard SD memory card reader. I would rather have an SD card reader to conveniently import my camera’s photos for editing and upload.

Surface 3 microSD card slot
Surface 3 microSD card slot

It is not a smartphone, you do not add a microSD memory card to expands the storage space. 128GB is enough for most users, and we have portable external storage.

The kickstand with shining Microsoft logo can adjust to 3 angles. I find it limited. I have to adjust myself to find a better viewing angle.

The thin kickstand can hold the tablet firmly on a flat surface. No bouncing nor shaking when you tap on its touchscreen. But Surface 3 is standing less stable — because the small surface of the kickstand and tablet body — when you place it on a non-flat surface, such as your laps.

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Performance

Surface 3 a Windows 8 tablet computer (Windows 10 ready), it runs all your Windows desktop software — A great improvement from previous Surface RT which runs only Windows Store apps.

The main advantages of using Surface 3 is its portability. It is smaller and lighter than Ultrabook laptop, yet it has the power to run your Windows software.

Surface 3
Surface 3 running Windows 8

The Windows tablet is powered by Intel Atom x7-z8700 @ 1.6GHz processor with 2GB/4GB RAM and 64GB/128GB SSD storage.

Intel Atom is not a powerful processor but it can handle most computing tasks, such as running office suite, web surfing, playing videos and music, simple graphic editing.

The 10.8-inch FullHD (1920×1280) display is so bright that I have to set the 3rd lowest level to type this article.

You will need to wear a pair of sunglasses at its highest brightness level. The bright display may be useful to show screen content under direct sunlight.

For a tablet, Surface 3’s stereo speakers with Dolby audio have clear and loud audio output. The battery last around 6 to 8 hours for my moderate usage: web surfing and streaming online music.

Surface 3 does not come with useless pre-installed 3rd party software (bloatware). What you get is a tablet with clean, pure Windows installation. The 128GB model has 100GB usable disk space out of the box.

It also comes with free 1-year Microsoft Office 365, which you can online download and activate.

Surface 3 Type Cover

Surface 3
Surface 3

Surface 3 is not complete without the Surface 3 Type Cover, and it will cost you additional RM479. Surface 3 and Type Cover should be sold as a bundle, instead of additional purchase.

Recently, Microsoft (finally) make a Surface 3 and Type Cover bundle with 10% discount.

Type Cover does 2 things: 1. Protect your Surface 3 and 2. Adds a physical keyboard to Surface 3. It does not expand any Surface 3’s input/output ports.

Surface 3
Surface 3 Type Cover

The Type Cover feels flimsy with a smooth leather-like surface, which adds grip and avoid fingerprints and smudge.

Surface 3 Type Cover attach magnetically to Surface 3 and draw power via metal pins. It is strong and does not detach easily.

I like the row of function keys. The keyboard is backlit and you can adjust the brightness level using function keys. Neat!

Volume control is not found on Type Cover keyboard. Microsoft wants you to use the volume rocker on the tablet.

Surface 3
Surface 3 Type Cover

Surface 3 Type Cover has a small trackpad to keep your palm on the keyboard, do not need to raise up your hand to touch the screen. Web page scrolling is a bit lagging using the trackpad.

The trackpad is usable, but I wish it is bigger. Am I asking too much, considering the small size of Type Cover?

The Surface 3 Type Cover’s magnetic flap folds up and snaps to the front of the tablet to raises the keyboard for comfortable typing angle, but it will  slightly blocking finger access to windows taskbar at the bottom. Not a problem if you use a mouse or trackpad, though.

The keyboard keys’ travel distance is shallow, the key size is near to full-size keyboard. It is comfortable to type and definitely better than virtual touch keyboard.

Conclusion

Surface 3
Surface 3 with Type Cover in tablet mode

In a nutshell, I like Surface 3 because it is a lightweight, no bloatware, and stable Windows tablet.

Surface 3 is a Microsoft hardware. Logically, it will highly supported by Microsoft Windows operating system and drivers. Thus, fewer problems and more stable than the other OEM computers.

This is the confidence you get when you are buying a Microsoft Surface device.

I would recommend it anyone who need a portable Windows computer for office work. Just make sure you buy the Surface 3 Type Cover, too. It is a must-have.

The only deal breaker would be the Surface 3 price. It is RM1,989 (64GB) or RM2,389 (128GB), plus RM479 for Surface 3 Type Cover.

The total cost of the Surface 3 bundle can buy you a lightweight and more powerful ultrabook computer.

Photo Gallery: Surface 3 and Type Cover

JOI KinderTab, the Malaysia Pre-school Education Tablet

The Intel Atom-powered JOI KinderTab
The Intel Atom-powered JOI KinderTab
The Intel Atom-powered JOI KinderTab

Parents with pre-school kids know this well–kids are the shared user of our tablet. It is a magical device to keep your children sitting still and quiet. But, also the No.1 reason your tablet get destroyed. Ouch!

How about a dedicated child-friendly tablet for your young one? JOI KinderTab is an Android tablet in a rugged package with educational apps build for pre-school learning.

Brought to you by Intel Malaysia, SNS Network and Myteach, JOI KinderTab is 7-inch (1024×600 pixels) Android 4.4 tablet, powered by Intel Atom processor (Z3735G), 1GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable to 32GB), VGA front camera, 2MP back camera and built-in 2600 mAh battery. Not a powerful machine but should be enough to satisfy your kids.

The tablet comes with a Bumpee casing & stylus. The casing protects your KinderTab from drops and bumps. It has handles at the side for your kids easily carrying it around and a stand at the back for reading, watching videos and doing activities.

JOI Kinder is building for pre-school learning with pre-loaded educational apps, including contents based on the National Preschool Curriculum (Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan). The contents cover English and Science subjects. Bahasa Malaysia, Mathematics and Chinese will be coming soon.

The child-friendly tablet built-in parental control to limit your kid’s access and parents can decide which apps to be accessible by your kid. Parents can track your kid’s learning progress via an app, too.

You can switch JOI Kinder Tab to normal Android mode, in case you “borrow” the tablet from your kid.

JOI Kinder Tab price is RM529 (inclusive GST), available at AEON departmental store and buy online at Gloo.com.my, Lazada.com.my, Lelong.com.my, and Myteach360.com

Surface Pro 3 Price in Malaysia

Surface Pro 3 in Malaysia
Surface Pro 3 in Malaysia
Surface Pro 3 in Malaysia

Surface Pro 3 tablet computer with Windows 8.1 Pro is officially available in Malaysia from 28 August 2014. Price start from RM2729, exclude RM409 type cover.

Surface Pro 3 price & availability in Malaysia

Surface Pro 3 price in Malaysia starts from RM 2,729 (Intel Core i3, 64GB, 4GB RAM version) up to RM6,779 for highest specs (Intel Core i7, 512GB, 8GB RAM).

  • RM 2,729 – Intel Core i3, 64GB, 4GB RAM
  • RM 3,299 – Intel Core i5, 128GB, 4GB RAM
  • RM 4,199 – Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8GB RAM
  • RM 4,999 – Intel Core i7, 256GB, 8GB RAM
  • RM 6,779 – Intel Core i7, 512GB, 8GB RAM

All Surface Pro 3 prices exclude the essential Surface Pro Type Cover, which will cost you extra RM409.

You can buy Surface Pro 3 in Malaysia from the following Microsoft retailers and resellers:

  • Aone Plus Supplies & Services
  • Harvey Norman
  • Machanics Sdn Bhd
  • PC Image Sdn Bhd
  • Senheng Electric & senQ Digital Station
  • SNS Network
  • Thunder Match Technology
  • Viewnet Computer System

Surface Pro 3 accessories price list:

  • Surface Pro Type Cover – RM409
  • Surface Pen – RM139
  • 36W power supply – RM249
  • Surface Ethernet adapter – RM159
  • Surface Pro 3 docking station – (available for pre-order)

About Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s latest hybrid tablet (laplet) computer running Windows 8.1 Pro.

It has a 12-inch touch display with 2160×1440 pixels (216 ppi) and powered by 4th generation Intel Core processor family (i3, i5, i7). Available storage option available from 64GB to 512GB, with microSD slot supporting up to 128GB. The build-in kickstand has multiple positions capable of opening up to 150 degrees.

The laplet has dual 5.0 megapixel cameras on rear and front, as well as, a full size USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and a headset jack. It has front-facing stereo speakers and dual microphones. A Surface Pen with pressure sensitivity included.

The battery life last up to 9 hours of web browsing on single charge. It is only 800g weight.

Thoughts

I wonder why don’t Microsoft just include the Surface Pro Type Cover with Surface Pro 3 as a bundle? So far I don’t see other third-party keyboard cover for Surface Pro 3 yet. Yes, you can use any bluetooth keyboard with Surface Pro 3.

The included Surface Pen is a gift if you want to take hand-written notes or drawing with pen on tablet. I have a Windows 8 tablet computer with pen, too. How often do I use the pen? None. Yet, my wife, who is a lecturer, would love to have a digital pen to make remarks on notes.

Surface Pro 3 processor, RAM, and storage are not user upgradable. I will avoid Intel i3 64GB version because Windows 8.1 Pro and Microsoft Office would taken up most of the space already.

Surface Pro 3 (Intel Core i7) seems to have over-heating problem and Microsoft promises a software fix.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is not your budget computer. It is for those who wants a lightweight Windows tablet computer with digital pen and don’t mind to pay more.

Yes 4G Offers Intel-Powered Acer Iconia One 7 Tablet for FREE

Intel powered Acer Iconia One 7 tablet and Yes Huddle XS
Intel powered Acer Iconia One 7 tablet and Yes Huddle XS
Intel powered Acer Iconia One 7 tablet and Yes Huddle XS

Acer Iconia One 7 tablet is first available in Malaysia through Yes 4G. The Intel-powered tablet is FREE with Yes 4G postpaid plan for early bird promotion starting on 28 August 2014.

Yes 4G is the first and only Internet service provider in Malaysia to offer Intel-powered Acer Iconia One 7 tablet.

Acer Iconia One 7 tablet

Acer Iconia One 7 is a 7-inch tablet with WiFi only. Do not mistake it as Acer Iconia Tab 7 with 3G connectivity and phone functionality.

Iconia One 7 is powered by Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core 1.6GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB storage (support microSD up to 64GB). It runs Android 4.4 KitKat.

The 7-inch IPS display gives you 800 x 1280 pixels HD resolution. The tablet has 5MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera.

Iconia One 7 is available in 4 colours — black, blue, red and white — with textured panel back.

Acer Iconia One 7 Super Postpaid Bundle Plan

Wing K. Lee (CEO, YTL Communications), Prakash Mallya (Managing Director Sales and Marketing Intel South East Asia) and Ricky Tan (General Manager of Acer Sales & Services Sdn Bhd) at the launch of the bundle promo
Wing K. Lee (CEO, YTL Communications), Prakash Mallya (Managing Director Sales and Marketing Intel South East Asia) and Ricky Tan (General Manager of Acer Sales & Services Sdn Bhd) at the launch of the bundle promo

New subscribers of Acer Iconia One 7 Super Postpaid Bundle Plan with 24 months contract will receive FREE Huddle XS modem (worth RM480) and FREE Acer Iconia One 7 tablet (worth RM399). The Super Postpaid Bundle Plan is applicable to any Yes 4G postpaid plan, starting from RM48 per month.

Please note that this is a limited time promotion with an undisclosed end date.

Huddle XS is Yes 4G portable modem. It allows you to share Yes 4G connection with up to 5 devices through WiFi hotspot. Its battery life last up to 6 hours per charge.

The 7-inch Acer tablet from Yes 4G has pre-installed Yes wallpaper and Yes Life app. The app allows you to make free calls and SMS to other Yes users. Calls and SMS to other networks will cost 9 cents per minute/SMS.

The Acer Iconia One 7 Super Postpaid Bundle Plan will be available starting on the 28th August 2014.

For more information, please visit Yes Stores and Yes Exclusive Retail Partners nationwide, or visit Yes 4G website.